Meet a member – Angela Fitzpatrick

31 January 2018

Eliza Hughes

Eliza is the Communications and Marketing Officer at YWCA Canberra

This article is part of our member profile series. Our members tell us that one of the things they love about being part of our community is getting to know like-minded women. So, each month, we’ll feature an interview with a member, so you can get to know each other a little better. Today, meet Angela Fitzpatrick.

You in a nutshell?

Originally a country girl who became a city girl and then moved from Sydney to Canberra two years ago so that we would be able to buy a house. I’m a food and wine lover, sports fan, pretend gardener, an avid reader and podcast listener and mum. I’ve worked in marketing within the property industry for the last 16 years and am currently working for a not-for-profit organisation helping low to moderate income earners rent or buy affordable homes in the ACT.

What’s on your playlist?

AC (after children), unfortunately, my playlist consists of The Trolls soundtrack, The Wiggles and Peter Coombe (not so unfortunate). These days, I get more enjoyment listening to podcasts – my ‘castlist’ includes Casefile, Conversations, Revisionist History, The Guilty Feminist (my favourite episode is Bring up Feminist Boys) and Song Explorer (favourite episode – MGMT Time to Pretend).

People would be surprised if they knew…

I am very shy, which for those who don’t know me some mistake for pretension. I’m an introvert at heart, and walking into a room full of people I don’t know or going to a pub with a large group leaves me a nervous wreck, but I’m a true believer in doing things out of my confront zone every day, so I force myself, and after years of practice I’m quite good at finding some confidence. I love history; historical fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I think of myself as a nerdy, amateur genealogist.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just finished Music and Freedom by Zoe Morrison which was heartbreaking but beautiful. My Christmas present to myself was a pile of new books including Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust; I just loved His Dark Materials, Helen Garner’s Stories and The Power by Naomi Alderman – I’m keen to see what all the fuss is about.

What was your highlight of the past year?

Returning to work after four years of looking after my children and gaining some awesome new friends in the process. I had to quickly and quietly reacquaint myself with Outlook and Word and get super organised. I totally underestimated how much personal leave, annual leave and leave without pay I’d need, with the kids catching everything from acute bronchitis to head lice and all that’s in between. Going back to the gym and doing something solely for myself was also a highlight, I won’t miss my Core Classes for anyone or anything.

 Who is your feminist hero?

I really try to be my own person and do what I feel is right and fair but there are many amazing women I look up to, and I like to take a little away from many. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dr Susan Carland, Stevie Nicks, Madonna and Emma Watson are all women I admire. And my Aunt who would never apologise for being smart, assertive and having strong opinions.

What’s an achievement you’re proud of?

It’s a bit of a clichéd response but honestly bringing two sweet, gorgeous children into the world is my proudest achievement. They are also the main reason for my fairly new found passion for feminism.

Why did you join the Y?

I joined YWCA Canberra because a colleague of mine suggested I attend the She Leads Board Governance Workshop, it disappoints me to see the under-representation of women on Boards.  I also take delight in knowing I’m part of a worldwide tribe who share the same values as I do and want to make the world a better place for the next generation of women, our daughters and nieces.

Who inspires you?

It was an honour to be asked to be Member of the Month especially featured after Rebecca Vassarotti, who, along with Cathi Moore (a YWCA Canberra life member) inspire me greatly. They both are board members of the organisation I work for, and are champions for women, multiculturalism and social issues in the ACT. My female friends inspire me, many have taken the risk and started their own businesses, and others have been feminists as far back as I can remember. And my mum who, along with my dad, has managed to guide three children to adulthood who are kind, tolerant and respectful people.  

What’s the change you want to see in the world?

It’s pretty simple really; I’d like to see more tolerant, open-minded and kind people in the world, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. If the world was made up of more of those people, I think we could come much closer to gender equality and greater acceptance of different cultures, races and sexualities.

I’d also like to see politicians in Australia take ownership and show conviction for their policies and worry less about media and party fall out. We have seen this a lot over the last few years, and it has led to little being achieved and what has been achieved has taken far too long.

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