Celebrate Women in Leadership Series with Dawn McCoy

During the month of March 2010, Dawn McCoy, author of Leadership Building Blocks will highlight great women in leadership during Women’s History Month.

Linda: Thank you for allowing me to be a guest blogger today at Faygo’s Report. Today, in the Celebrate Women in Leadership series, I want to highlight Doris Pilkington Garimara.

The story of Doris Pilkington Garimara is amazing! Her legacy as a leader is extraordinary since she is the author of Rabbit-Proof Fence that became a noted film documenting the author’s mother, as well as two other mixed-race Aboriginal girls. The girl ran away from the Moore River Native Settlement, north of Perth, to return to their Aboriginal families after having been placed there in 1931. The book and film follows the girls as they trek/walk for nine weeks along 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of the Australian rabbit-proof fence to return to their community at Jigalong, while being tracked by a white authority figure and an Aboriginal tracker. What courage! What inner strength!

Austrailian author Doris Pilkington Garimara is an indigenous activist and lifetime advocate for reconciliation. Through her remarkable storytelling, Doris has raised awareness of Australian indigenous history, culture, and social conditions. She tells a story about the painfully true portrayal of the stolen generations, and the film opened up the discussion more generally about policies of protection.

Doris was born on Balfour Downs Station in the East Pilbara in 1937. As a toddler she was taken from her mother to be raised at the Moore River Mission. At 18, Doris left the mission system as the first of its members to qualify for the Royal Perth Hospital’s nursing aide training program. Following marriage and a family, she studied journalism and worked in film/video production. Her first book Caprice: A Stockman’s Daughter won the 1990 David Unaipon National Award.

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence was first published in 1996, and was released internationally in 2002 as the film Rabbit-Proof Fence. The novel has now been translated into 11 languages worldwide. In 2002, Doris was appointed co-patron of the state and federal Sorry Day committees’ Journey of Healing. Her third novel Under the Wintamarra tree was also published in the same year.

In 2006, Doris published Home to Mother, a children’s version of her own mother’s courageous 1600 km journey on foot from the Moore River Native Settlement to Jigalong. In the same year, she was awarded an Order of Australia for service to the arts in Indigenous literature.

Doris Pilkington Garimara is the recipient of the 2008 Australia Council Red Ochre Award. The award pays tribute to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artist for their outstanding, life-long contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts at home and abroad.

TOUR GIVEAWAY: Blog visitors who leave comments OR radio callers with questions for Dawn are eligible to win an autographed copy of Leadership Building Block and a copy of the Effective Community Engagement CD.

Dawn McCoy is author of Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success. As one of the youngest elected African-American elected to the Sacramento City Unified School Board, McCoy shares seven leadership fundamentals in her book. Inspiring readers to be top in their field, Dawn shares her insights based upon twenty years serving as a nonprofit and government executive.

A motivational speaker, coach, and founder of Flourish Leadership Group, a leadership development and communications firm, Dawn is dedicated to transforming ordinary people into extraordinary leaders. In recent years, she has worked with organizations to develop their vision and create phenomenal results. Dawn has worked with hundreds of individuals to help them capture their spirit of leadership and truly become the effective leaders they were meant to be.

Visit Dawn online at FlourishLeadership.com.

Read an excerpt online and visit the tour schedule at http://bit.ly/LeadershipBuildingBlocks.

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