February Volunteer Spotlight – Nanna Faulkner

Nanna Faulkner

Volunteer since: 2021

Day job: Senior Project Officer, Minderoo Foundation

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I was born and raised in Iceland, where I spent my childhood running up and down mountains and being immersed in one of the most progressive societies the world has to offer.

Since relocating to Australia, when I’m not working, I spend as much time as I can with like-minded people either by the ocean, or enjoying the incredible performing arts scene that Western Australia has to offer.

How did you come to be a 100 Women Volunteer?

Since 2021 when I attended my first 100 Women Connect event, I have been absolutely blown away by the work that 100 Women was, and still is, doing. I was so inspired by the people in the room that I signed up as a member that night. Shortly after, I became a member of the Grants Committee and the Membership Committee. I really enjoyed being involved in the Grants Process, it gave me such a sound understanding of the in-depth processes that have been established to ensure that we are able to provide support to meaningful, sustainable and impact driven projects.

I’m now the Chair of the Membership Committee, where our role is to ensure that all of our membership experiences are great ones and that a growing number of individuals – men and women – feel that they can make a difference to things that they believe should be different.

Which grant recipient do you feel most passionate about?

Shooting Stars WA is an incredibly inspiring project that is seeing tremendous success. At a panel event hosted by 100 Women in 2021 we heard from Fran Haintz, the Executive Officer at Shooting Stars. She shared stories about the impact their Seven Sisters Program has had after receiving a 100 Women grant.

This program in regional locations across Western Australia, provides Aboriginal girls and women with opportunities to develop positive social and emotional wellbeing skills and preventative mental health strategies. These can enable them to respond and adapt to life challenges.

We all face life challenges of course, but they are always situated in individual settings, in environmental and cultural circumstances. I found this work profoundly important because of its recognition of context and setting. That is what gave it such great application. To hear about the achievements and tangible, positive outcomes that are possible when we all give a little to well-designed and implemented projects like this was truly inspiring for me.

Tell us about a time another woman empowered you in your life’s journey?

Whilst undertaking my Honours Research Project at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) I had the life changing experience of meeting Jan Allen, who at the time was the Superintendent at Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women. She placed the women in the facility at the centre of all her decision making.

Jan’s support and my experience with this project led to me undertaking a creative arts role within the pre-release facility working with women to empower them on their life’s journeys. Whilst in this role I had the opportunity to facilitate multiple concerts and experiences with the women: singing at the Perth Concert Hall and The Karrakatta Club, creating and performing a whole concert with art, drumming, song, and dance at WAAPA as well creating a mother and child specific music group centred around engagement, movement, and play.

Jan helped me on my journey to use the arts to empower other women in their life journeys. When I started a degree in Performing Arts, I had no idea where this would take me: the support of Jan and the experiences I gained helped me turn my skills into a vehicle for social change. I had the honour of working alongside Jan for many years, and I will forever be grateful for the inspiration, kindness, and wisdom that she shared with me.

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