Coordinator, National Traveller Womens Forum
Graduate of BA Community Work and Youth Work
My job as coordinator of the National Traveller Womens Forum a membership organisation with a human rights and equality ethos is varied and diverse. We have a strong policy focus and representational role with government Departments on key areas of Traveller policy particularly accommodation, education and health all major issues for Traveller women.
Professional community work education has been important for me and other Travellers. It was especially important for those of us who have had very negative experiences of school and were predominately at that time in the 90s early school leavers. The insights and knowledge I got on issues such as racism helps with the challenges this work brings. I knew about and experienced racism long before I went to Maynooth but the tools and strategies to address it that I developed from there remain with me.
I encourage Travellers of all ages who are interested in community work to promote and realise our rights, to consider third level education and I encourage colleagues from other minority ethnic groups to do also. I also think that Higher level education institutions need to be more ambitious for and supportive of Travellers and others who continue to experience exclusion and inequality of outcomes from education.