Class of 1987
I was privileged to work on projects addressing violence against women and girls.
From a young age, Kim Henderson was interested in travel and loved writing. She dreamt of becoming a foreign correspondent and on completing Year 12, she got herself the right score to commence a Journalism degree. Kim’s dream was about to become a reality. Half way through her degree Kim took a class on development studies and all of a sudden, that dream of becoming a foreign correspondent became old news, quite literally.
Kim recalls being so overwhelmed by what she learnt in her new class, that she changed the direction of her studies almost immediately. “For the first time, I was exposed to global injustices and I just wanted to do something about them. Before then I hadn’t understood the global scale of inequality. I understood poverty but not that most of the world lived in poverty,” says Kim.
In 1992 Kim completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government and in 1995 she completed her Masters in Development Studies. From this moment onwards, Kim has been working all over the world for organisations such as the United Nations, AusAID and currently for Oxfam International. There was also a stint as Parliamentary Advisor for Foreign Affairs.
A true international development expert, Kim works day in and day out to make a difference. For 10 years she worked for the United Nations Development Programme and was lucky to be able to call Bangkok and New York home. Working predominately in the Policy Bureau, Kim’s focus was to develop policy in the areas of Democratic Governance and Gender Equality.
“I was privileged to work on projects addressing violence against women and girls and increasing women’s political participation – both issues that are significant still in Australia. I also worked on improving women’s rights,” says Kim.
At Oxfam, Kim’s role as a Gender Justice Lead is very similar to her role at the United Nations. Working on violence against women and girls, as well as women’s leadership and women’s economic empowerment, Kim develops policy and is also involved in campaigning and political advocacy. “We know that women bear the brunt of poverty worldwide and that empowering women and enabling them equal access to fulfilling their human rights is also a pathway towards ending poverty and injustice,” says Kim.
The most rewarding part of Kim’s role is the people that she is fortunate to meet and work with. She embraces multiculturalism and diversity and connects with people of many cultures, beliefs and ways of living. “I interact with so many inspiring people who challenge injustice and inequality in their own communities and abroad, often at great personal risk. I find this immensely admirable and inspiring. It also amazes me how connected you can become to others despite many differences,” she says. Kim holds great respect for Jo Cox, the British MP who was recently murdered. Both ladies worked for Oxfam and Kim believes that Jo expresses the sentiment of multiculturalism so well. In the words of Jo Cox MP, ”We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than the things that divide us”. Kim, we congratulate you for all that you’ve achieved. You are a true inspiration and it’s clear, that you are living the School’s motto – Utilis in Ministerium.