Q&A: The new executive director of ActionAid Australia on being a feminist leader

Michelle Higelin, executive director at ActionAid Australia. Photo by: ActionAid Australia

SYDNEY — Michelle Higelin has spent her career empowering women and advocating for equality within Australia and developing countries.

Out of university, she started working for a number of women’s rights organizations with a continuous career focus on social justice and development. Four years ago, she joined ActionAid Australia as deputy executive director. At the start of August, she officially became their new executive director after acting in the role for four months.

This week, Higelin spoke to Devex about the importance of career progression and her plans for a feminist leadership and strategy within the ActionAid.

Here is the interview, edited for length and clarity.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.