We welcomed Grace Forrest (2010) to address a recent Assembly and talk about her own personal journey from her school days and how her experiences impacted what she is doing today.
Grace is a founding director of the Walk Free Foundation (an international Human Rights organization) and has worked as a communications strategist on the Global Slavery Index.
She spoke of her experience visiting Nepal as part of a School Community Service program, which initiated her interest, meeting children in orphanages and later returning to the area to find that the children she had met previously had been sold to slavery. It was seeing first-hand the physical, emotional and mental trauma of children as young as three that was unbelievable. This was the catalyst in becoming actively involved in change and becoming a voice and leader in the abolishment of modern slavery.
Grace offered some advice to girls to “follow what fires you up”, find what moves you and get involved. Grace has done this with extensive time working on the ground with survivors and documenting slavery conditions throughout South East Asia and The Middle East focussing on refugee communities who are vulnerable to slavery and forced labor. This is being explored by The Freedom Fund for a hotspot intervention, of which she is on the counsel of advocates.
Grace has represented Walk Free Foundation at a variety of forums globally, including events at the Vatican and United Nations, and is an Ambassador for the Humanitarian Group and The Freedom Hub. She was recently nominated for an ‘abolitionist' award by the Nomi Network based in NYC, of which she recently won. She has just been asked to become a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Australia. This is both an appointment and an award in recognition of her contribution to human rights and the anti-slavery space.
It was an inspiring talk, and you can read the transcript here.