Meet a Member – Penny Mallinson

20 June 2017

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 Penny Mallinson.  

You in a nutshell?

Truth seeker, champagne lover, wife, mother of two fur kids, rugby tragic and citizen of the world.

What’s on your playlist?

I don’t own an iPod so I don’t really have a playlist – I usually just listen to what’s on the radio. However, if we go on a road trip out come the CDs – Ed Sheeran, Adele, P!NK, Tracy Chapman, Cat Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, Eurythmics and a few others.

People would be surprised if they knew…

That I’m really not that surprising…..

What are you reading at the moment?

After an inspiring evening at the (She Leads) In- Conversation with Dr Anne Summers,  I thought I’d revisit ‘Damned Whores and God’s Police.’ It’s an impressive feminist tome that still packs a serious punch. As Anne says: ‘We have changed a lot. But we have not changed enough.’

What was your highlight of the past year?

I’m still in my highlight right now! I decided it was time to take some Long Service Leave to do all those things you don’t have time for, when you’re working. There are so many interesting exhibitions, forums and activities, including all those Y events that I can now attend. It’s heaven to wake up and think – ‘I can do whatever I want today!’.

Who is your feminist hero?

There are a few, but at the moment, I can’t go past Malala (Yousafzai). Shot, along with her friends, and left for dead by the Taliban at 15, she goes on to become a powerful advocate for education and particularly girls’ education. As she says: One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.

 What’s an achievement you’re proud of?

Staying sane and keeping a sense of humour in an increasingly serious world.

Why did you join the Y?

I didn’t really know much about the Y until I attended the She Leads Conference last year – I joined that day! I wasn’t aware of all the events and activities that were on offer as well as the amazing programs the Y supports. The opportunity to meet some inspirational women was also a big drawcard. I thought, ‘I definitely want me some of that!’

Who inspires you?

All those women who came before us – trailblazers, agitators, those who fought to get their voices heard, rebel ratbags who walked their own path, took a risk and lived with the consequences. Thank you – we can only go forward because of what they did.

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

There needs to be more compassion, a lot less fear and more one-on-one respectful conversations with people who don’t share the same views as you. Apart from that world peace and the end to disease would also be good.

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