Kendall Advocates for WAs Rural, Regional and Remote Women
To say Kendall Galbraith (Piper, Class of 2000) has had a monumental impact in the gender equality space would be an understatement.
Kendall is currently the CEO of Rural, Regional, Remote (RRR) Women’s Network – Western Australia’s preeminent communication network for inspiring and connecting regional women.
She, along with her board of seven other women, champion RRR women’s roles in our communities, and advocate on their behalf. Together, they actively inform the gender equality policy with the government, private sector, civil society, and the media.
RRR has a loyal membership base of approximately 120 women and a large network of 13,000 following their every move. This network brings together various industries, sectors, corporates, and most importantly RRR women.
The RRR Women’s Network host regular online and face-to-face networking sessions, capacity-building programs and workshops, mentoring, and more.
All the social problems that impact women, also impact RRR women. The only difference is the environment in which they are lived out. This is where RRR Women’s Network steps in – to address head-on the issues that these different environments present.
“Isolation and distance play a significant barrier in women achieving equality or the same outcomes as their metro sisters.”, says Kendall.
“For a RRR woman experiencing family domestic violence, her ability to safely flee a farm that is two hours drive from a community centre, is next to impossible. The local policeman may be friends with her partner, and she feels uncomfortable turning to these people. There may not be a local hospital in her region. She may not have access to money to put petrol in the car.”, adds Kendall.
And isolation doesn’t just exist in this context. Women can also be in situations where they live in a vibrant place but frequently miss out on opportunities for professional development, education, and corporate networking.
“Growth can be at a glacial pace, and you are at risk of being siloed in your ideas and ways if you’re not challenging yourself with new and diverse peoples. Being regionally based and securing employment, employment that meets your skills and desires is not an easy task.” Says Kendall.
Kendall has always been a regional woman at heart. She attended Santa Maria College as a boarder, and today lives in Margaret River. As someone who strongly believes that women’s geographies should not be a barrier to their success, she is committed to living and working in the regions.
Kendall has recently been recognised for her incredible work, having received the Gender Equality award from the United Nationals Western Australian Association. She was also the runner-up for the Leader of the Year in the not-for-profit sector for the Institute of Public Administration WA in 2021.
“I had tears in my eyes when I was advised I was the winner – truly honoured and shocked. For the Leader of the Year award, I was also again stunned that my name was mentioned among such incredible men and women. Both awards were an excellent professional reminder, that I’m doing well and I’m on the right track and motivated me to keep going.”, says Kendall.
Kendall stresses, however, that we still have a long way to go to get to where we need to be in the gender equality space.
“We’ve had so many wins in the past couple of years, but in saying that it suggests we’ve only just begun, and these wins are not enough to balance the scales”, says Kendall.
If there’s one thing we can take away from Kendall’s story, it’s that we must understand where we can do better, and get ourselves among the right people who are likely to pursue that.