I am an ambitious, independent womxn.
Caroline is a story-seeker who shares narratives from the margins through her writing and participatory research. She’s interested in people’s experiences of human rights, social justice, gender equality and wellbeing. In her Associate Professor role at UNSW Sydney, Caroline contributes knowledge on ethical research methods, decolonization and cultural safety. She likes to find creative ways to change and improve lives.
Caroline has now lived in Australia for longer than her birth country, Mauritius. She has many talents, which don’t include cooking or riding a bike. Caroline is privileged to be 12-year-old Lucie’s mum.
What's easy for womxn?
At the moment (March 2021), it feels like nothing’s easy for womxn. The norms dictating how womxn should behave and the limitations on what they should aspire to are suffocating. Men who abuse womxn are enabled and protected. And still, womxn find many ways to rise above and achieve and inspire and challenge and support one another.
What's difficult for womxn?
The constant abuse and violation of womxn’s rights in all aspects of life. Having to work three times as hard to prove their worth. Having to justify choices about un/paid work, not/having children, career aspirations, relationships.
How do you maintain mental fitness/mental health?
By setting clear boundaries between work and personal time – I then proceed to ignore those boundaries! By pushing back on others’ demands on my time and energy – I put myself first and engage with others on my own terms. By spending time with my friends – We talk, we laugh, we counsel, we grow together. They just get me.
What brings you joy?
Writing. Good food. Seeing life through my daughter’s eyes. Patting a dog. A nice haircut. Listening to good music. Art.
What’s important to you?
That my daughter grows up surrounded by countless examples of kindness, respectful relationships, using privileges to improve the lives of others, challenging injustice, caring about the world around us, aspiring to great things, and genuine respect for people who are vastly different from us.
What are you working on?
My second book, Participatory Action Research: Ethics and Decolonization. Just finished my first full draft, and I must say, it’s good!
How do you nurture your relationship with nature?
Walks in Centennial park, Sydney, sitting underneath trees, watching clouds and birds, swimming in the ocean, cuddling animals.
Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?
Nowhere and everywhere. I am part of a diaspora of migrants. I make the most of opportunities in new contexts. There are always points of difference and commonalities everywhere I go and among the people I connect with.
Where do you live/work?
I live, work and play on Bedegal land ( western, north-western, south-eastern, and southern Sydney, in New South Wales).
When, as individuals, we reflect on our heritage it's useful to go deeper and think about the experience of leaving everything you know to live in another country. Through books and articles, like those written by Caroline, we can immerse ourselves in these experiences to find "points of difference and commonalities", which broaden our understanding, allowing us to connect with each other. Arts-Based Methods in Refugee Research