ON BOARD: FIONA WAITES
Portfolio: Events and Logistics
Fiona has volunteered with youth in a variety of church-based and inter-denominational ministries as well as worked within child out-of-home care and homeless shelter settings. Since mid-2013, she has focused her career on Learning and Development – specialising in supporting staff and carers engaging with traumatised young people. Fiona has qualifications recognised at International and National levels designed to equip people with skills to engage and support those who are struggling, particularly with pain-based behaviours and poor mental health. Based in Brisbane, she travels regularly around Australia and occasionally overseas regularly, as well as facilitating a number of in-house programs for Churches of Christ Queensland. Fiona has been involved in Girls’ Brigade throughout a number of roles, initially as a girl growing up in a small country city company, then as a Staff member of the Leadership Development Course, and Leader in a city Company. Fiona has shared from her knowledge, passion, and experience in numerous roles across State, National and Regional levels, and eagerly engaged in Fellowship and International events when the opportunity has arisen. Fiona is keen to empower the next generation of leaders within GBA to navigate current and future society, providing GB in a manner that supports girls’ need for connection and community.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done? Well, this depends on your own perspective of crazy!! Probably all the high-adventure things I have done – particularly as I have a fear of heights! So, solo skydiving, bungy jumping, high ropes facilitation… I still get that feeling in my stomach, however manage it as I love the sensation of falling!!
What inspired you to start with Girls’ Brigade? Initially I started as a girl, and joined in just cause. As an adult I reengaged via the Leadership Development Course. I initially went along to help out my parents who were catering, and was inspired by the community developed there, encouraging, supporting and challenging girls in who they are, who God is to them, and how they engage with the world around them from this base.
If there was one thing that you could do in this world that would change the course of history, what would it be? I find this question difficult to answer – by changing history, we wouldn’t have experienced the lessons possible so far. However, there are some significant world events that have negatively impacted greater society. One that I am passionate about at the moment is the way in which Indigenous Australians have been treated in the past, and currently. It would have been wonderful if when Europeans first landed on these shores, the acknowledgement of Indigenous Australians as people, and owners of this beautiful country had existed from the beginning.
Please list two items you take with you to the beach and why? My Dog – Bella, and my Stand-Up Paddleboard. Beach is all about taking timeout with my girl and relaxing.
Do you prefer Fuschia or Aqua? Ooooh… aqua. I prefer a purple over the fuschia, so aqua wins here!
What is your hometown, and why do you feel like that is your hometown? Hmmm. Home now is Brisbane. Where I grew up – Warwick – will always be a special place for me because it influenced who I am today. Brisbane however I see as a gateway to many different experiences, and connection to many important people in my life. Plus, it’s where my dog is!! 😊