When Kat Armstrong applied for the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations (SWECO) Award in 2011, her leadership was evident at so many levels.
From her own prison experience, Kat had identified a gap for services for women prisoners leaving prison, that their prison terms are often related to their health issues, a high level of drug and alcohol dependence and the cumulative effects of long standing domestic and sexual violence.
Assisted by women in the community to finish her education, get re-established and find work after leaving prison, Kat’s vision was to give back the benefits she had received. WIPAN was formed as she collaborated with others to formalise her initiative to set up a Mentoring Program for women prisoners. Kat’s program has resulted in 82 % of women prisoners remaining out of prison.
SWECO recognised the power of what Kat Armstrong had achieved for NSW women prisoners enabled by her leadership, courage, persistence and personal investment.
Recognition for Kat and SWECO’s other 2012 Award recipients, (Ludo McFerran, Karen McFadzen, Yolanda Vega and the Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group and the Transform Team in Main Roads in Queensland ) matters because it showcases not just their achievements to advance women in communities and organisations, but the range of leadership and management skills they use to discern gaps, identify solutions and implement strategies that make their envisioning a reality.
ACLW has run a range of national leadership programs since 2006 to give women and men a public platform where they can be valued for what they have done to assist women and enhance gender equality in the community and in organisations.
SWECO 2013 is accepting applications now from women and men and will close on 22 November 2012. Nominate yourself or someone else.
SWECO’s judging panel comprises a distinguished group of community and business leaders.