Amanda Carlile

 “I want to help women realise that they are strong and powerful, that they have a place in this world, and they mean something.”

Originally from Liverpool, UK Amanda arrived in Australia in 2000 after travelling through Asia with just what was in her backpack. Her journey into the not-for-profit sector began when she got a role with the Australian Red Cross. Amanda then spent the next nine years with the organisation, travelling to the furthest corners of Australia, developing the network of retail stores and began to learn about the struggles women were experiencing particularly those who wanted to work but were not able to. That’s when she became interested in learning more about the work of the organisations supporting women specifically.

Amanda’s next role at Prahran Mission, working with people with mental health issues gave her a good insight into some of the bigger picture issues that are happening in Australia around unemployment, drug abuse, domestic violence and how that was really impacting women’s lives. Brought to a Fitted for Work event by a friend, Amanda was impressed with the organisation and started to look for opportunities to get involved. She secured a role as a National Services Manager in 2012.

It was not quite what she expected. “From an outsider’s perspective, I saw Fitted for Work as this entity with beautiful branding and fabulous image. I expected a large team where everyone had a defined role, something quite big and maybe even glamorous. From day one I was absolutely amazed at how small the team was but how much everybody did. I knew at that point that I was really going to enjoy working here.”

Amanda comes from a line of strong women. Her mother would not let her forget the stories about women taking their families out of poverty and danger, risking everything trying to create a better future for their children.  “I’ve got women in my family that really sacrificed and worked hard, and I won’t be letting them down. I have been given opportunities, and I don’t want to waste them, because I understand that a lot of people don’t have what I have.”

What’s important for Amanda is to help women realise that they have value and worth, and they have something to contribute.  “I know so many women that don’t feel this.  I want to help women know that they are strong and powerful, that they have a place in this world and they mean something.”

Amanda feels fortunate that her life in Australia turned out the way it has. She credits Fitted for Work with helping her find her voice, educating her on social issues, and giving her an opportunity to contribute. “I’ve become an advocate, I’ve become actively involved. It would have been easy for me to have become isolated in Australia or taken quite a different path. Working here has really opened up new possibilities and friendships.”

Amanda is proud to be part of the team that works tirelessly and passionately to make a difference. “Every day people walk through that door ready to work. They put their heart and soul into it. I’ve never worked anywhere like it.  We are passionate strong women, and we don’t give up. If we want something to happen, we keep going and the results are amazing.”

 

This profile was written by Natalia Tsygankova.