Women with Lived Expertise Build Peaceful Communities

01 April 2024

Refugee leaders gathered together for a Leadership Lunch and then formed a committee to plan an International Women’s Day event for clients and staff.

At JRS Australia, we are privileged to work alongside leaders with lived experience. We recognise the expertise that lived experience brings, and we are guided by it in our work.

Earlier in the year, JRS Australia hosted 12 women for a Leadership lunch at the JRS Women’s space in Parramatta. This lunch was planned collaboratively between the Employment team, Leadership Program, and Finding Safety Project and is an initiative of the Pathways to Empowerment Program.

During the lunch, women heard about various initiatives that they can engage in such as the Leadership Program, Community Mobilisers, and other training and professional development opportunities.

We asked the women how we could support their personal development journeys and they shared key areas of interest to them. These included leadership skills, public speaking, barista training and project management. They also identified a common interest in sharing skills amongst each other, such as recipes for cultural dishes.

Afterwards, the women shared a beautiful meal together and then engaged in a meditation activity, reflecting on the importance of rest, mindfulness and inner strength.

A key outcome of this leadership lunch was that some women elected to join a committee to help plan an International Women’s Day event, which was held on 6th March 2024.

The committee met each week in the lead up to the event to help plan and organise key aspects of the event including the theme, program and location.

This opportunity to collaboratively plan the IWD event gave the women a practical exercise where they could sharpen their skills working in a team – and to design an event that would benefit other women.

Read more about the incredible success of their IWD event here.