Inspiring Women of SFX Featured on CEO Website

Three women from the St Francis Xavier community have been featured on the Catholic Education Office’s website as part of an initiative to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Barbara Morris, Kelly Candy and Batseba Bereket Araya were each interviewed and this is what they had to say:

Barbara Morris – Teacher, St Francis Xavier College

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

Being a woman is about being part of an inspiring tribe who love, laugh, create and cry in equal measure.

Who do you aspire to be? 

I aspire to be a happier human being who is grateful for the good fortune in my life.

How do you strive to make a difference in the world? 

Making a difference in the world can be as simple as saying hello to a student when they arrive at school. Making a difference through giving hope and

What are your hopes for women in the future?

Women of the future will see equality as a given, that gender will not be a discussion point and respect is a given. That women will have a voice that is listened to.

What makes a strong woman?

A strong woman is someone who is brave, who has dignity, compassion and generosity, who has the ability to laugh deeply, understand heartache and knows she does not walk alone.

Who inspires you?

Can be male or female  I am inspired not by one person but by many: those who champion the rights of the underdog, those who hunger for knowledge, the person who is compassionate, the person who listens with their heart and their ears, the brave and the generous.

What are you greatest achievements to date?

Being a wife, mother and Nanna to my family are wonderful achievements in my life. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to study at a tertiary level from my initial degree through to my doctoral studies. I have great friendships that have sustained me through the easy and the difficult times.

What is your message for International Women’s Day?

For young women – Be the Truth: empower each other and build a future of hope. You can do it!

For adults – Do the Truthbe the people that we want our children to be.

Overarching

Kelly Candy – Teacher, St Francis Xavier College

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

It’s a gift to be a woman today. So many women have fought hard battles for todays women to be where we are, however, there is still a long way to go. To me, being a woman means I need to set a strong example to other women, students and young people that no matter your gender, we are all humans with individual characteristics. I want to live my life by my values and show kindness, courage and truth to the people around me.

Who do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be a leader. A person who stands up for their beliefs and achieves change through education, research and understanding.

How do you strive to make a difference in the world?

By educating young people and assisting them to be the best people they can be. I want to inspire them to learn about the person they really are and focus on nurturing and growing that person. I have worked with students and staff around health and well being in the past and now I am focussing on teaching and learning strategies to ensure students gain the most from their education.

What are your hopes for women in the future?

I hope women continue to stand up for themselves and be confident to be the individuals they are. I hope that society continues to be even more accepting to all people regardless of their backgrounds.

What makes a strong woman?

A strong woman is someone who lives by her values and sets a good example to younger people by being empathetic, focussed and courageous.

Who inspires you? Can be male or female

I am inspired by Malala Yousafzai and how she had the opportunity to stand up for her beliefs and even though it was dangerous, continued to fight for freedom and education for girls. She is still sharing her message to young people and this helps the students I teach understand how lucky they are to be receiving the education that they are. I am also inspired by sports women of today. They are making a huge difference by fighting for the right to make a living by playing their sports and setting a great example to young girls to be active and strong.

What are you greatest achievements to date?

My greatest achievement to date is graduating from University after recovering from a brain injury 2 years before. I am also very proud of becoming a National Certified Highly Accomplished teacher and using this to mentor and coach other teachers to improve practice and therefore outcomes for students. I have an amazing family that I count my blessings for every single day.

What is your message for International Women’s Day?

For young women – be yourself. Know your values and live by them every day. Stay fit and healthy and question everything!!!!

For adults – Set good examples to teach our young people to treat each other respectfully.

Students – What do you want to do in the future/career?

In the future, I aim to continue to guide my children to be strong, kind people who see the world as a place of learning and wonder. I aim to be a lifelong learner so I can continue to grow as a teacher and leader within education.

Batseba Araya – College Captain, St Francis Xavier College

What does it mean to you to be a woman?

I have never seen myself, or others, as simply their gender. I try instead to see myself as a human being, who has dreams to be achieved and places to go in life, that hopefully I can work with others to reach. Everyone is equal in this respect. As a sister, I try to be caring and considerate, as a daughter, respectful and hardworking, but these are traits that can be in anyone.

Who do you aspire to be? 

I aspire to be someone who is successful at the important things in life, such as developing friendships, building a strong family, being a constant support to those around me who need it. Obviously, I want to achieve academically as well, but I want to be balanced at the same time, someone others can see Christ in.

How do you strive to make a difference in the world?

I think every individual whose life I make a difference to is really important. So every time I encounter a situation where my actions could make a positive impact, I try to act, so that little by little, step by step, I can make my mark, even just on the lives of a few people. However, I do want to make a more overarching impact on the world, maybe by joining the U.N. and advocating for human rights, or Medicine San Frontier and providing free medical services to those in developing countries.

What are your hopes for women in the future?

I hope that every woman will have equal opportunity as men to succeed in life, be it before or after joining the workforce. I hope that discrimination against women will no longer have any place in our society, that we will be seen with the dignity that God created us to live in.

What makes a strong woman?

I believe that a strong woman is one who knows who she is, someone of inherent worth and dignity. Someone who does not let the hurdles and obstacles in life hold her back or keep her from achieving what she has set out to achieve. Someone who is not concerned with what others think, but rather with what she holds to be important, and what she will strive towards, and will advocate for the rights of others to support them along their journey also.

Who inspires you? Can be male or female

I find Ben Carson, who grew up in harsh conditions, yet still went on to a successful career that has made a big impact in the field of medicine, very inspiring. I also find Bethany Hamilton inspiring, because she is a young woman who refused to let her circumstances get in the way of her dreams.

What are you greatest achievements to date?

I am really privileged to be a participate in the leadership team at my college, and have so far done well in my studies.

What is your message for International Women’s Day?

For young women – To work hard and be themselves, continuing to advocate for women’s rights and not allowing themselves to be caged in by the unfair practices that many of them may face.

For adults – To remember that if we all benefit as individuals, we will benefit as a society, so the welfare of women should be one of the issues we push our governments to prioritise.

What do you want to do in the future/career?

I would love a career in medicine!

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