Investing in Women: Accelerating Progress with Small Change Big Change

As we gear up to celebrate International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to honouring the extraordinary achievements and contributions of women globally, it’s essential to recognise the pivotal role that investing in women plays in accelerating progress closer to home. This year’s theme, ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.’ (UN Women Australia, 2024), underscores the critical role women’s economic empowerment plays in achieving gender equality and building a more prosperous world for all.

 

Partnering for Progress

At Ignite Telecom, we firmly believe that investing in women is not just the right thing to do, it’s essential for progress. That’s why we’re proud to partner with incredible organisations like Small Change Big Change who support charities like Red Dust – they’re dedicated to empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth through innovative health, wellbeing, and reconciliation programs.

 

Exploring IWD’s Theme: Insights from Red Dust Leaders

To gain a deeper understanding of IWD’s theme and its significance in the real world, we invited two inspiring female leaders from Red Dust to share their thoughts. Erin Riddel, Healthy Living Program Manager and Kyleen Randall, Strong Young Women’s Program Manager shed light on the transformative power of investing in women and girls, particularly within our remote Indigenous communities.

 

Empowering Through Education

Erin emphasises the importance of education in fostering a culture of investment and diversity, especially for young girls and women. “Education provides space for girls and young women to explore their identity, voice and their leadership style,” she explains. Erin goes beyond simply highlighting the importance of education; she underscores the need for diverse educational experiences.  “Both education and teachers can take many forms, not just a conventional classroom or someone with a blackboard,” she says. “Education, teaching and learning takes place all the time.”

 

Fostering Inclusive Learning Spaces

Red Dust prioritises creating safe learning spaces specifically tailored to young women and girls.  “It is critical that Red Dust makes conscious efforts to engage young women and girls,” says Erin. “We build diverse teams that elevate First Nations women and the diverse expertise they hold. Education and learning is also relational. It is critical that young women and girls have the opportunity to form strong and healthy relationships with others. Our programs seek to contribute to this.”  By fostering a culture of learning that is inclusive, engaging, and culturally relevant, Red Dust empowers young women to become strong leaders and advocates within their communities.

 

Inspiring Change: Women Leading the Way at Red Dust

Both Erin and Kyleen find inspiration in the countless women who dedicate their lives to creating positive change, with Erin even calling out her own co-worker, Kyleen as “a source of inspiration for often speaking up and advocating for matters related to community and women in particular.” Red Dust’s Strong Young Women’s Program Coordinators who are local Aboriginal women, were also mentioned, consistently inspiring Erin with the programs they co-design and facilitate with young women in community. “As strong young Aboriginal women themselves, they lead by example and create spaces for the young women they work with to shine. There is integrity and strength in their processes and approach”.

 

Collective Empowerment

When asked about a female figure at Red Dust who inspires her, Kyleen avoided singling out any one person, instead choosing to highlight the collective power of the organisation’s women. “It demonstrates a willingness to work in partnership and collaboration to actively demonstrate what reconciliation looks and feels like.” This sentiment reflects Red Dust’s commitment to empowering all women and creating a space where everyone can contribute their unique talents and perspectives.

 

Investing in the Future – Why Red Dust?

Your contribution, however small, can make a significant difference in the lives of young Australians. Through our Small Change Big Change initiative, we support a diverse range of charities such as Red Dust.

Red Dust’s innovative programs are now empowering more than 10,100+ Indigenous youth and families living in 15 remote communities each year. They achieve this by co-designing programs with remote communities, ensuring cultural relevance and effectiveness.

By supporting Red Dust we’re encouraging Indigenous youth and adults to adopt healthier lifestyle choices through the mentoring and influence of positive role models.

By actively involving the community in program development, Red Dust integrates Indigenous knowledges, languages, and perspectives, resulting in a more engaging and effective learning experience for generations of students.

 

Making a change is as simple as a dollar! Ignite Telecom is offering our new and existing customers the chance to add just $1 to their monthly bill to support Small Change Big Change’s cause. Let’s amplify our impact. Set up your On-Bill Donation today!