Its encouraging and exciting when events that have traditionally been reserved for Sydney and Melbourne make their way to my home town of Newcastle, it means that people in my part of the world are catching onto the Fair Trade Movement. This is especially the case when the event being held is on International World Fair Trade Day!!!!! (Doing a happy dance).
On Saturday the 13th May The Fair Trade Emporium is holding the NSW World Fair Trade Day advocacy event. The Theme is “Be an agent for change”. The guest speakers on the day discussing this challenge include; the founder of ‘Uplift’ and ‘Change Threads’ Anna, the owners of ‘Global Conduct’ Zoe and Gai and Penny Cantel from ‘Zenana Women’. ‘Aware…the social design project’ will be participating as one of the Fair Trade stalls – YAY!!!.
The event is being held between 10am – 4pm at Warners Bay, Queen st, Warners Bay.
The following is a bio on some of the amazing speakers that will be on the panel at this event…..
Anna is the director of Uplift Fair Trade – has spent the last two years travelling back and forth to India, speaking face-to-face with people living under the weight of unjust labour practices. Her aim: To “follow the thread” – a mission in seeking to understand the people and systems who are producing our clothes at different stages of the supply chain.
She will be discussing her own journey and inspiring others to learn how to be “agents for change”.
Came from a family where ethics have always been at the forefront of many plans and projects. She has two brothers adopted from Sri Lanka, one whose mother is a tea picker, so fair trade standards have always been encouraged in her family.
Over the years she has participated in many events to raise awareness and funds, through Oxfam, TEAR Australia and World Vision. She has held many fair-trade stalls in Sydney for Tribes and Nations and Global Conduct for approximately 7 yrs.
As a young adult she had the privilege of being a volunteer in El Salvador and then later, in Zimbabwe. She has travelled extensively, and completed postgraduate studies in mission after being registered as a nurse/midwife. She is currently working permanent part time as a midwife, intentionally in a very multicultural hospital in Sydney.
She is an advocate for quality fair trade products to be open to consumers in Australia and encourage the message of fair trade to individuals, organisations, schools and churches.
She has always had an interest in the world and began travelling in her early 20’s. Seeing some very poor parts of the world in the 1990’s brought info focus a sense of injustice, inequality and that poverty was very real.
She began involving her local church in fundraising, supporting TEAR Australia, World Vision, Amnesty International and Community Aid Abroad.
In 1993 she attended a community development and anti-poverty discussion led by Tim Costello and hosted by TEAR Australia. This was all about the Millennium Development Goals and how they could be achieved. It opened her eyes to the need of a practical response to poverty.
In 1998 she travelled to India and Nepal with her husband. One of the places she visited was a Tibetan refugee self-help centre situated in a shed on a tea plantation in Darjeeling. They watched two women work and weave colourful and beautiful yarn. They had the bags for sale. This was her first experience of seeing the production of fair trade products, fair payment, reasonable conditions, women using their skills to support themselves and their families. She still has this bag 20 years later!!!out
These experiences have created a passionate owner of a Fair trade business who loves to share stories to help others also connect to the Fair Trade concept.
Penny is the founder of Zenana Women, a business that is about sustainable textiles, a social enterprise partnership between workers in India and designers. They form the link between business labels and the workshop in India that manufactures for them.
She her business runs beside women from the slums of a small city in India towards reducing their burden of poverty through stable employment and training in a secure working environment. They are also endorsed as a Fair Trader of Australia.
She has her own fashion label, Zenana, the first Australian Fair Trade fashion labels to be endorsed as Fair Trade. Her range features the lovely hand-done embroidery on beautiful hand-woven cotton fabrics.
Hope to see you at this awesome Fair Trade awareness event 🙂