International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Seven Hills RSL has taken this opportunity to interview Annie Moore, the first female director on our Board in 17 years.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I was born in Valletta Malta and came to Australia with my parents on a big ship that took us about 3 months to arrive in Australia. Starting school and not being able to speak English was hard but mum said within a week I had it down pat. My parents worked very hard doing night and afternoon shifts to save and buy a house and live the Australian dream and so they bought their first house in Blacktown and have lived there ever since.
When I left school at the young age of 15 I had no clue what I was going to do with my life, that’s just what you did back then. My parents didn’t understand the importance of going on to get your higher school certificate to go through to University so I enrolled myself into a Stenography course and learnt how to type. I was quite determined I was not going to work in a factory like so many migrants did back then so my journey of learning began. I started with a company called David Holdings back in the 70’s in their mail room I then transferred to various departments learning and absorbing whatever I could to better myself in all aspects of administration.
I then married and moved to Qld, had 2 children and had a variety of jobs which included working in the Financial Planning Industry. After many years, I returned to Sydney and started working in the Banking Sector followed by Real Estate which was my passion and now I work full-time with an International Shipping Company, back where it all started, in fact in the same road where I got my first job in Blacktown!
How long have you been a Member of Seven Hills RSL?
I joined Seven Hills RSL in 2002 after going there a few times with my mum who loves the whole club environment and bingo. I thought this is a great place to meet people and make new friends and that’s what I did. I got to meet so many lovely people and one of them is our current Snr. Vice President Graham Black who introduced me to many more lovely people.
What motivated you to join the Seven Hills RSL Board?
The truth is, I had a dream one night that I was going to try and run for a position on the Board and I just happened to mention this to Graham and his wife Bev and they both said why not. So I thought ok you can do this although at that point I really didn’t understand what I needed to know but I knew I had to give it a shot. And so, my campaign began. I had to put it out there that I needed the help of the members. I walked and talked to everyone and anyone who would listen. I literally asked people if they would help support me and help me get on the Board and truly I was amazed at the support I received.
How long have you been a Director at Seven Hills RSL?
In 2008 my dream turned into a reality and I became the first female back on the Board of Seven Hills RSL in 17 years. Over the next 12 months I read everything and anything to help me learn. I attended many courses, training events, seminars and anything that would advance my knowledge of the Club Industry. Understanding the By-Laws and the Constitution wasn’t easy but I just kept reading. The Clubs NSW Magazine was a great industry source, it has so much information and is a great tool for any new Director.
You are the only female on our Board of Directors. How important is diversity on Boards?
Being the only female on the Board is very important to me, I hold my position with great pride. I make a point on addressing the members by name and making them feel special. I hold in high respect all my fellow Directors who I have now had the pleasure of working with for the past 8 years with a further 2 years to follow, so I’m very honoured that 2018 will be my 10th year as a Director. I think I bring diversity into the Board Room. I hear things and see things in a way men may not. I feel comfortable discussing female issues were as things can and may be overlooked by the men if they are on a personal nature. I strongly believe the women of our Club have just as many rights as the men. I believe in equality so I think my presence brings a nice balance.
What advice do you have for young women who are contemplating joining the Board of a registered Club?
My advice to any woman wishing to be part of any Club is to go for it. If it’s a Club you have involvement with make an effort to make friends and get to know the Directors, you would be working with and don’t be afraid to ask for their support. You would be surprised how supportive they are. Don’t be afraid of the old myth that all Board Rooms are just old boys club I do believe those days have passed. I truly believe every Board Room should have a woman working alongside the men.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a day women can show their strengths and their achievements. We have come a long way from days when women could not walk into a male dominated pub or any club without being scorned at. We can now enter any venue and mix with the men. With more women in Boardrooms, greater equality in legislative rights and an increased mass of women’s visibility we can now show we are role models too. Women like myself can work and have a family and contribute to the community. But what most stands out for me is women have choices, real choices, and so each year the world inspires women from all walks of life to take risks and make a difference.
Who are your female icons?
I would have to say that Oprah Winfrey. She was born into poverty to a single, black, teenage mother in Mississippi and then went on to be the successful woman she is today. Through all her struggles she proved to the world you can do anything.