Hear me roar

I watched the movie “I Am Woman” and wept. I cried at the storyline, her courage and ultimately, her stepping out of the chaos and struggle. It was all too much.

And then recently I read that Helen Reddy has passed away after a five-year battle with dementia. It feels so wrong. Something deep inside of me wants to rail against the unrelenting demand of life whether it be financial, family, social or the quest for love. The deepest quest of all. To love and be loved.

And in Helen Reddy’s story we see it all. And it left me feeling a little empty. “I am woman, hear me roar…”, is this true? Was it true for Helen?

Until I am reminded that womanhood is not one person, it is a collective.

That our body growing old is not an option but a known destination.

That success and failure are not two sides of a coin, they sit side by side.

As we move from the cradle to the grave, we will have high mountain top moments to savour and deep valleys that seek to take all that we have but there is a uniqueness in women. Dare I say, every woman, that refuses to concede. That dares to believe that she has the strength and courage to take another shot at happiness, making a difference, finding her voice and reaching out to another.

And on that day in 1989 that Helen Reddy stood before the crowd in Washington DC, the day of her re-emergence into the public eye, she was once again proclaiming, “I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.”

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.