Their Stories

Q&A with Anna Carr

8 March 2018

Anna Carr,  graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) Course 20 and ARLF Board Member, answers a few questions in celebration of International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March 2018)

Tell us about you and how you got to where you are today?

I got to where I am today through the decisions, actions and choices in my past, the stories I invented along the way, the bio-chemical soup I inherited and the extraordinary people who influenced me.  Here is a snap-shot to date:

  • Childhood: Dannevirk, NZ, Walkaway WA; immigrant, wheatbelt farm-kid adventurer, hostage.
  • Teens: Geraldton, Perth; student, pool-player, carer, rebel, rouse-about, mediator, guitarist.
  • Twenties: Fremantle, Waterloo (Canada); wife, student, researcher, divorcee, patient, advocate.
  • Thirties: Canberra, Perth; student, tutor, partner, post-doc, environmentalist, mother, writer, feminist.
  • Forties: Canberra, Eugene (US), Guildford (UK), Sydney: academic, social scientist, traveller.
  • Fifties: Canberra; executive, coach, board member, consultant, business owner, grandmother.

Is there a particular woman you find inspiring and why?

My mother Natalie – for independence, grit, adventure, charm, compassion, determination and style.

Women who work for global transformation – eg activists for women and girls against repression from superstition-related violence in PNG; Kiran Bedi whose strength and compassion in India freed men who were prisoners and women from unconscious cultural slavery.

Women who invent, explore and create – eg Angela Merkel, Jane Milburn, Suzanne Cook-Greuter,

Women who listen deeply and communicate clearly across generations – eg Samantha Wall, Joanna Maxwell.

Women who transcend cultural boundaries – eg Cheryl Penrith – Wagga Wagga; Sam Duinker – Balginjirr; Vonda Malone Thursday Island.

My children Isabelle and Mietta – for their authenticity, courage to speak out and emerging awareness of responsibility.

What advice do you give to other female leaders?

Develop self-awareness and be responsible for your influence and impact.

Work in the gap between what is (acceptance) and what could be (possibility).

Align your actions with your speaking and your commitments with your current context.

Be generous to yourself and others.


Anna is part of our inspiring alumni and undertook the Australian Rural Leadership Program.