When somebody compliments Australian Ambassador Dianne Laurance on her Same Sky jewelry she pulls it off and gives it to them. She tells them, “Each time you wear this bracelet you are empowering a woman. In turn, you must empower another woman.” Dianne is a believer in the full circle of Same Sky; she personally embodies our mission for women empowering other women.
Same Sky is very proud to announce Dianne Laurance as our June Ambassador of the Month. Dianne is so dedicated to women’s empowerment that her vineyard, Laurance Cellars, in Perth, Western Australia is notorious for it’s devotion to women’s causes. She donates many bottles of her rose collection to Breast Cancer functions and gives an annual donation to varying women’s charities, this year she donated to The Women’s Refuge in Busselton, Western Australia. The “Free as a Bird,” statue at Laurance Cellars (known to locals as the “chick on a stick”) rises high above the vineyard’s lake. The golden woman on the top symbolizes the freedom that Australian women have and their ability and readiness to dive into the next adventure.
Dianne’s dedication to women’s empowerment does not stop with her beautiful vineyard. We talked with Dianne about growing up feminist, working with indigenous communities, and her admiration for Same Sky artisans.
What makes SAME SKY unique to you?
I love the fact that Same Sky under the wonderful direction and Leadership of its Founder Francine LeFrak gives women a hand up in life as opposed to a hand out. The jewelry these women make is not only beautiful but totally unique and I feel very proud whenever I am wearing a piece. I buy many pieces and give them away to all my female staff and to my girl friends.
Can you tell us about your experiences working with women in indigenous communities throughout Australia?
The indigenous community that I work with is 80% women due largely in part to the fact that many of the men become alcoholics and die at a young age. I have worked with them for years sending them blankets, clothing, toys, and dresses for the girls. The little girls always ask for beautiful clothes to feel pretty in.
I buy aboriginal art from these communities and then sell it at auctions and events to benefit the livelihood of their communities. A few years ago when I went to donate and buy a painting from them they brought me to the sacred women’s circle to give it to me. (See video here.) The painting she was given represents a year in the life of aboriginal ancestors. Each detail represents where they travel for food and water, they say painting is “transferring knowledge onto canvas.”
What does women’s empowerment mean to you? Has women’s empowerment always been a part of your life?
My mother likes to tell all who will listen that I came out of her womb screaming about how unfair this world is to women and how I intended to do my bit to change it. She said from a very young age I would stand up to my father if I thought his remarks (or barked orders) were unfair to me or the female gender.
When women in the world have the right to make decisions about their own life, body and future, when there is no bias about gender in the work place and when equal pay for equal work is a must, rather than a myth, then maybe I will feel satisfied.
Do you have a message for the artisans? Do you have a message for our customers?
I honor these women artisans of Rwanda and have absolute admiration for all they are achieving in life. To come from the lowest depth of despair to be the happy souls they are today takes enormous strength, courage and integrity. I salute them.
I wear my Same Sky jewelry with enormous pride because I know I am helping a fellow sister on this planet to be able to lead a happy, healthy and what we sometimes take for granted NORMAL life.
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