We are excited to introduce our new Learning Coordinator, Amanda Aust! She is a former Women’s Centre volunteer and a recent graduate from the University of Calgary. We sat down with Amanda to find out more about her.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born and raised close to Calgary, in Airdrie! I graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in Development Studies and a minor in African Studies. My best experience was exploring my passion for African development at a global level when I participated in a group study in Ghana. After graduating from university in 2014, I explored my love for community at a local level by volunteering in Calgary. In my free time, I love to attend community events, festivals, and shows with friends. This summer, I want to become a better yogi, hiker, and gardener!
What is your personal definition of feminism?
To me, feminism means equality for all women of the world in all aspects of life; this especially means being able to live free from violence, no matter who you are. Feminism also means intersectionality, that all women experience exclusion differently for different reasons. I began to realize my passion for feminism when I started to learn how many women in my life have been abused. I knew one was too many, and that something must be done to prevent domestic violence as it is an issue that affects us all.
What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?
After I graduated, I began looking for volunteer opportunities in the city and came across the Women’s Centre of Calgary. I was really drawn to the Community Capacity Building Peer Model as it is an ideal model for me. I got involved with as many volunteer opportunities as I could, including the Peer Support team, Social Issues Committee, Fundraising Committee, and other events. I feel so lucky to have been brought on as the Learning Coordinator, getting to work on areas I’m passionate about: learning and connection.
What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?
I feel like I’ve already learned so much as a volunteer! I hope to connect with the women who use our service about learning opportunities they would like to see at the Centre and in the community. However this may happen, I would like to learn how women can share their voice, make connections, and get involved in different ways. I hope to foster this learning not only for myself but for others, by helping women create these opportunities for themselves.
Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life.
I admire many women but I can’t help but first think of my mom and how greatly she’s influenced my life. She has been through so much and I have always admired her strength. I’m grateful that my mom has taught me the important balance between putting others first, staying true to your own needs, and creating your own happiness in life.