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Education key to breaking barriers and empowerment

21/09/2022. By Raquel de Brito. 5 min read.

Professor Jaya Dantas

As India’s extreme gender disparities prevailed around her, a young Jaya Dantas buried herself in her studies and broke through what seemed like impossible barriers the only way she knew how, with education.

Today, she continues to use her education as a beacon of hope for others downtrodden by inequality in her role as Dean, International at Curtin University and more recently as Dean of Gender Equality, Inclusion and Diversity.

She knows better than anyone the limitations inequality can place on various social groups to succeed, having lived in a country of severe disparities between the rich and poor, men and women, and various tribal groups.

But as someone who escaped such limitations, she can attest that education is the most powerful weapon against them.

“When I finished my master’s education my first substantive job was in a woman’s university,” Jaya said.

“For me, if women are educated, empowered and have a job, it gives them that ability to progress,’’ she said.

“They often say when you educate a woman, you educate a nation. And if you educate a community this makes a huge difference to people and their families.”

As Professor of International Health Jaya also holds a teaching position in Curtin’s School of Population Health and has spent 20 years researching refugee and migrant populations and works relentlessly to bridge the gap.

“Globally what we’ve seen is the diversity and inclusion agenda is gaining more prominence and especially in terms of gender equality,” she said.

At the university level, Jaya wants to see more women of colour, women of diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal women and women with disabilities have senior roles.

She currently supports Curtin’s Humanitarian Scholarship for international students and the university’s Moorditj Yorga Scholarship, for mature-aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

“We often find that there will be many women of colour and of different diverse backgrounds at the lower levels and the mid-levels. But when it comes to the higher levels, it, it is more of a challenge to achieve that,” she said.

Jaya’s humanitarian endeavours extend beyond a professional capacity, having transformed the lives of several children through her involvement in foster care over the past 17 years.

 “I was doing research with refugee youth when I met the cultural diversity officer from the Department of Child Protection. She said they were really looking for foster carers of other backgrounds,” she said.

Jaya, with her mother, children and foster daughter.

Without hesitation, and while completing her PhD and parenting two children of her own, she put her hand up, and fostered her first child – a 10-year-old boy who lived with her until he reached 18 and whom she continues to maintain a bond with.

Dealing with significant trauma of their own, that would have otherwise stunted their development, it was thanks to Jaya’s guidance and encouragement to pursue an education, they thrived.

One of her foster children became a nurse, one is studying to become a naturopath, and another is completing a double degree.

“Education is the key to breaking barriers for anyone – men and women. The more educated you are, the more empowered you are,” she said.

Her tireless efforts to empower the disadvantaged also saw Jaya launch the EMPOWER project, where she assisted refugee and migrant women in navigating their way through job hunting in WA.

Jaya’s EMPOWER project gives hope to refugee women looking for employment in WA.

“We had classes like preparing for an interview, writing a CV and answering a cover letter,’’ she said.

In 2019, Jaya headed another project for migrant women called SAMBA (South Asian and Middle Eastern Women Being Active), which looks at physical activity programs and how these can help women to feel part of the community and create a positive impact on physical and mental health.

SAMBA encourages women to get active and boost their mental and physical health.

“What we wanted to look at is when migrant women come to Australia, they look after their families, their husbands, their children, and they try and get a job if they can, but they often neglect their health and wellbeing,” she said.

“This physical activity program gives them an avenue to attend physical activity with other migrant women who are passionate about physical activity, dance and exercise.

“For 10 weeks, they can attend a free class and see if it makes a difference in their lives.”

It might seem like relentless work to some, but Jaya is fueled by an innate understanding that an empowered woman can achieve anything.

“Sometimes I feel they just need someone to talk to. Not only about the good things, but about the challenges,’’ she said.

“This not only gives me a great deal of satisfaction, it also gives the women an avenue to unpack or talk through these issues on a one-on-one basis.

“Women are very resilient and if they have this sense of direction, they can succeed,’’ she said.

___

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As India’s extreme gender disparities prevailed around her, a young Professor Jaya Dantas broke through what seemed like impossible barriers, with education. 📚
 
As Dean, International at Curtin and more recently Dean of Gender Equality, Inclusion and Diversity, Jaya uses her education as a beacon of hope for others downtrodden by inequality.
 
We are grateful for strong women like Jaya who are breaking down barriers of disparity through the power of education.
 
Read Jaya’s full story via the #WorldGratitudeDay link in bio. 👆
 
#WorldGratitudeDay #CurtinCommunity #givingback #gratitude #refugee #women #education #positivechange #makinganimpact #equality #empowerment

As India’s extreme gender disparities prevailed around her, a young Professor Jaya Dantas broke through what seemed like impossible barriers, with education. 📚

As Dean, International at Curtin and more recently Dean of Gender Equality, Inclusion and Diversity, Jaya uses her education as a beacon of hope for others downtrodden by inequality.

We are grateful for strong women like Jaya who are breaking down barriers of disparity through the power of education.

Read Jaya’s full story via the #WorldGratitudeDay link in bio. 👆

#WorldGratitudeDay #CurtinCommunity #givingback #gratitude #refugee #women #education #positivechange #makinganimpact #equality #empowerment
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1 Tin of mixed beans (or kidney beans/broad beans/cannellini beans)
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4 eggs
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Method
1. In a frying pan over a medium heat, drizzle olive oil and fry chorizo for 1-2 minutes or until browned on each side
2. To the chorizo, add the onion, garlic and paprika and fry until the onions soften
3. Add in the beans and tomatoes and stir, turn heat to low and leave to simmer for 5-6 minutes
4. Create 4 wells in the tomato mixture and crack and egg into each well (if the egg escapes the well that's okay)
5. Cover the pan for 8 minutes or until the egg white is completely cooked. If you do not have a lid, use aluminium foil instead!
6. Whilst the eggs are cooking, toast some bread to serve with your dish
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If you’re a #CurtinGrad with a delicious recipe to share? 📩 us for a chance to get featured.
 
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🍳🌶 Chilli Chorizo Eggs 🌶🍳

Stuck on a Father’s Day present? 🤔Why not cook up a storm and try #CurtinGrad Ruby Delaney’s (Bsc (Nutrition & Food Sc) 2021) mouth-watering Chilli Chorizo Eggs.

Ingredients
1 Tsp olive oil
1 chorizo sausage sliced
1 brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tin of mixed beans (or kidney beans/broad beans/cannellini beans)
2 Tins of diced tomatoes
4 eggs
Chilli flakes to taste

Method
1. In a frying pan over a medium heat, drizzle olive oil and fry chorizo for 1-2 minutes or until browned on each side
2. To the chorizo, add the onion, garlic and paprika and fry until the onions soften
3. Add in the beans and tomatoes and stir, turn heat to low and leave to simmer for 5-6 minutes
4. Create 4 wells in the tomato mixture and crack and egg into each well (if the egg escapes the well that's okay)
5. Cover the pan for 8 minutes or until the egg white is completely cooked. If you do not have a lid, use aluminium foil instead!
6. Whilst the eggs are cooking, toast some bread to serve with your dish
7. Uncover the eggs, add chilli flakes to taste and enjoy!

Did you try it? Make sure to tag us to get featured on our Instagram stories. 🤞

If you’re a #CurtinGrad with a delicious recipe to share? 📩 us for a chance to get featured.

#CurtinGradCookOff #fathersdaygift #breakfastideas#winterfood #winterrecipes #perthfoodgram#perthtodo #perthisok #perthfoodie #lunchrecipes #nutrition #foodstagram #healthyfoodideas
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Marnie believes in a future where the value of natural resources is respected, women in mining feel supported and the environmental impact of all mining activities contributes towards a greener future.
 
Read our full interview with Marnie via the link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinCommons #mining #miningengineering #engineering #sustainability #sustainablemining #womeninmining

As the world turns its attention to lithium in a bid for a greener future, head of Rio Tinto’s Battery Materials Marnie Finlayson is proud to be at the forefront of change. 🌱⛏

Growing up in the Goldfields combined with her deep appreciation for Country is what fuelled her passion for mining.

Since graduating from WA School of Mines as a minerals processing engineer in 1997, Marnie has enjoyed an impressive mining career spanning 25 years.

Marnie believes in a future where the value of natural resources is respected, women in mining feel supported and the environmental impact of all mining activities contributes towards a greener future.

Read our full interview with Marnie via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinCommons #mining #miningengineering #engineering #sustainability #sustainablemining #womeninmining
...