International Women’s Day

Kate Gilmore

Kate Gilmore was National Director of Amnesty International Australia, where I was working from 1999 till 2003. Kate is a ‘larger than life’ woman, full of big visions. Kate has a booming laugh and an energy that exhausted most people. She made connections from Amnesty in Australia to the global scene, and made everyone who worked at Amnesty International in Australia feel like part of a bigger international movement to defend human rights. I was completely inspired by her way of capturing a moment and making it a vision for the future. She had an amazing capacity to nuture new, radical, and different ideas. Kate would compel us to look 5, 10, 20 years into the future and demand that we find a way to make the impossible possible. And now, looking back, what Kate described has eventuated – the Amnesty International movement in Australia grew, expanded and moved into creative and edgy ways of human rights activism.

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In 2001 Kate moved to London to become the Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International, which was indicative of her ability to link into the global scene. Kate is a fantastic inspriration for me. I think her of her when ever I feel myself getting lost in too much detail, or despairing as to how can I do something, and I turn my eye to a bigger picture and a grander vision.

Story contributed by Kathy Richards.