Fundraising News

Runner Profile: Jude Blacklock

In the lead up to the 2024 Canberra Times Marathon Festival, we are profiling some of the runners on the #RunforFemiliPNG team.

Our first runner is Jude Blacklock. Jude has a strong interest in both PNG and gender equality, and is running in the 10km event at the Festival.

We sat down with Jude to ask her some questions about running and her interest in Femili PNG’s work.

Jude Blacklock: 2024 Runner Profile

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a research officer at the School of Regulation and Global Governance, at the Australian National University (ANU). I’m currently working on a project that looks at gender equality in sport, and the effectiveness of different strategies at ensuring women and gender diverse peoples are included in leadership roles. You can learn more about the project here.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, gardening and and singing in my choir.

Why are you interested in supporting gender equality initiatives in PNG?

I started to gain a real interest in PNG when I worked at Australian Business Volunteers – an NGO that sends corporate volunteers to assist on projects across the Asia Pacific. I had the opportunity to visit PNG on one of the projects I worked on, which strengthened my appreciation for the history of PNG, its peoples and its cultures.

I’ve always been a passionate advocate for gender equality. So, when I learned about the non-profit Days for Girls through a group of women at my church, including some PNG nationals, I had to get involved. Days for Girls creates and distributes reusable period kits for women and girls across PNG (and several other countries). They teach local leaders to create the kits and support them to set up their own businesses – allowing them to uplift their communities through period care while earning an income. Volunteering for Days for Girls is how I became so committed to supporting locally-led initiatives for women, girls and gender diverse peoples in PNG.

How did you learn about Femili PNG?

I previously worked at the Crawford School of Public Policy on ANU campus, where I first met Stephen (Chair of Femili PNG). I learned about Femili PNG from him, and have been interested their work ever since.

Women and girls are exposed to high rates of family and sexual violence across the world. It is heart-breaking to know that in PNG, 2 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetime. Femili PNG’s case management centres provide essential support to survivors who are escaping violent situations, educate local leaders on how to address violence in their communities, and advocate for stronger responses to violence at a local and national level. I see their grassroots work as vital to addressing gender inequality in PNG.

Why did you decide to join the #RunforFemiliPNG?

I’ve watched Stephen get involved with the #RunforFemiliPNG each year. After being a long-time financial supporter, I decided to give the run a go this year!

I run regularly, but usually 4-7km. This will be my first 10km run in a few years, and I’m looking forward to training and challenging myself to complete the longer distance again. Having people sponsor my run to support Femili PNG’s work has been a massive motivator.

To sponsor Jude’s run and help her raise funds for survivors of family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea, visit her fundraising page.

Interested in being part of the team? See here for further details.