Sponsor Club: District 1040, Yorkshire, UK 

Host Club: Mount Gravatt Rotary Club, Mount Gravatt, AUS, District 9630 

Kate is from the United Kingdom, and has come to UQ thanks to the support of local Rotary International District 1040 of Yorkshire, England. Kate is a specialist in prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian emergencies, with a focus on conflict-affected countries. 

In 2010, she graduated with an MA in Languages from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Having already spent time in India working on development projects, she decided to change direction from languages towards humanitarian assistance, peace and security issues, and took up an internship with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York. Here, she was exposed to issues around military and civilian response to conflict-related sexual violence, and worked on policy around the Protection of Civilians by UN peacekeeping missions. 

Following this she moved to Jordan to work with a UN agency on security and protection issues across the Middle-East, focusing on Palestinian refugees. She then moved to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she worked with an international NGO on election issues and was inspired by the work of women's political empowerment groups. Her following mission was to Liberia, where she worked on emergency Child Protection programs for an INGO, supporting Ivorian refugee children and Liberian host communities. She then moved to South Sudan where she implemented GBV prevention and response programs for an INGO. Kate’s last mission was to the Central African Republic, where she spent 15 months overseeing the GBV and Protection department, and led the national coordination of humanitarian response to GBV during and following the outbreak of violent conflict in 2013. 

During her time as a Rotary Peace Fellow at UQ, Kate spent three months in Beirut, Lebanon, as a Visiting Researcher with the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World – part of the Lebanese American University. She carried out research on gender and security sector reform in the Lebanese context, and supported a project to build the capacity of the Lebanese police force to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, and to improve gender equality in the forces.