On the surface of it, a northern New South Wales coffee roaster and an ACT lawyer may not have a lot in common, but Angela Lauman and Amelia Franklin do share a passion for gender equality and a desire to equip themselves with the skills needed to “make a difference”.
In order to achieve their ambition, coffee roaster, Amelia, and lawyer, Angela, will soon join executive education programs at the University of Sydney Business School with the support of scholarships awarded by UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia.
For the past decade, Angela Lauman has fought for justice for women and girls in the corridors of world power and on the streets of the national capital in her confronting role as a lawyer for Legal Aid ACT and the ACT Women’s Legal Centre.
She has driven a “respectful relationships” program in schools; joined an ACT Ministerial Advisory Council; worked to address financial abuse; represented Australian women at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women and sat on numerous committees.
Today, Angela is justifiably known as a leading advocate for gender equality and women’s leadership and she intends to continue her campaign with the help of a part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA).
“I am committed to building my business and management skills, and ultimately my goal is to run and manage a community sector organisation,” said Angela. “I see an opportunity such as completing the MBA as a key piece in the puzzle of achieving this goal.”
In addition to the MBA scholarship, the UN Women Australia also awards a scholarship each year to an “inspiring” woman wishing to join the Business School’s Global Executive MBA program.
This year that scholarship has gone to Amelia Franklin, the Director, Amelia Franklin Coffee Roasters and President of the Australian Chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance.
Amelia setup the coffee roaster in the northern New South Wales town of Bellingen in 2006 with a pledge to never allow the fledgling business to impact negatively on other people and quickly became an advocate for women in the coffee industry.
In 2018, Amelia began the company’s transition to People of Coffee, an Australian not-for-profit to better reflect its community values.
“I have been advocating for women in coffee since the day I started roasting and inspiring more women to be involved in the coffee industry,” said Amelia. “Specifically, I have been working to empower women by giving them access to markets through my commercial coffee roastery and introducing their coffee to other coffee buyers.”
While she encourages women worldwide to join the industry, Amelia also sees trouble ahead for the sector caused by poverty and climate change.
“Through our distributed project called BeanLedger, I am now leading an effort to disrupt the traditional coffee industry, which allocates nothing to research and development,” she said. Using blockchain technology we are able to track coffee from ‘seed to cup’, in a way that provides sustainable livelihoods for primary producers while mitigating climate change impacts.”
Amelia believes that the Global Executive MBA program will allow her to “continue to achieve meaningful outcomes for all women in coffee”.
“Women will be the leaders in the face of climate change in the coffee industry as they do over 70 percent of the work and are left on the land while the men look for work elsewhere,” she said.
Founded in the belief that “when women are empowered, whole communities benefit”, UN Women is working to improve the lives of women and girls in more than a hundred countries worldwide.
The Business School’s MBA and GEMBA programs are seen as closely aligned with the aims of UN Women NC Australia and by working together, the two organisations can “unlock opportunities for women to propel their career opportunities forward.
UN Women NC Australia has backed the School’s ground-breaking courses since 2014.