Connie Mort, Lynne Strong and Dr Dione Howard presented at Soroptimist International Griffith Dinner in July 2021
In 2019, when Dr Anika Molesworth was preparing to travel to Antarctica with a cohort of 100 other female scientists from around the world, she crowdfunded to help cover the costs of her trip.
Young Farming Champion Dr Anika Molesworth travelled to Antarctica with the support of SI Griffith
Enter Soroptimist International Griffith, a branch of the global volunteer movement of women, who stepped in to sponsor Anika, then working in Griffith, in the NSW Riverina region.
Flash forward three years later, and when Soroptimist International Griffith (SI) wanted to take action to address climate change, they turned to Anika. She shared with SI the impact that Action for Agriculture (A4A) had played and was continuing to play in her professional and personal development, six years after joining one of its world-renowned programs, Young Farming Champions (YFC).
“I attribute my work’s impact with rural women, farming communities and international development largely to the skills I learnt through this program
A4A is championing rural young people, teaching them about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change and bringing those people close to food and farming production, motivating and enabling them to help shape rural communities for the better. Imagine if more rural people are given a similar opportunity!” says Anika, who now sits on the A4A Youth Leadership team.
As Soroptimist International Griffith’s member Will Mead says, that “was enough for us”. They decided to provide financial support for a leadership course run by A4A aimed at enabling equity for emerging female leaders, as part of their global vision on supporting rural women, gender equity and women’s mentorship. The workshop was run in October 2020.
At a dinner held in Griffith on July 21, SI told its members and community why “A4A is an organisation whose ideals and programs align with those of Soroptimist International perfectly as our objectives are all based on the UN’s SDGs”.
The dinner, held at the Exies Club in Griffith, was a chance for SI to meet A4A leaders including founder and national program director Lynne Strong, Dr Dione Howard, Connie Mort, Veronika Vicic and Dylan Male. All shared with Soroptimist International Griffith their own stories and A4A’s highly revered programs for primary and secondary schools.
Will Mead says that having A4A visit Griffith to share their experiences was “a bit special”, local media reported.
“We wanted our members and our community to meet some of these amazing people,” she says.
She told the event that Soroptimist International Griffith was impressed by A4A’s school programs Kreative Koalas and the Archibull Prize because they are “really pushing for better responses to climate change and achieving gender equality”, The Area News reported.
“Agriculture is such a male-dominated field and yet most of PYiA’s YFC are women,” said Will, who described it as a “wonderful organisation”.
The stunning table decorations at the SI Griffith Dinner
The A4A leadership course aimed at enabling equity for upcoming women leaders was part of a series of workshops rolled out at the end of last year. Alongside A4A’s fabulous national facilitators Kris Beazley, Jenni Metcalfe, Les Robinson and Josh Farr, we were delighted to add internationally acclaimed Kwame Christian to our repertoire.
Kwame is the director of the American Negotiation Institute, a practising business lawyer, and host of the world’s most popular negotiation podcast Negotiate Anything (downloaded over 1.5 million times). He’s also author of the Amazon best-seller Finding Confidence in Conflict, a negotiation and conflict resolution professor at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and regular Forbes magazine contributor. In addition, Kwame is a LinkedIn trainer, a regular contributor to Forbes magazine and a popular public speaker with his 2017 TEDx talk being named the most popular talk on the topic of conflict.
A4A is very grateful for Soroptimist International Griffith’s support.