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Rosemary Kariuki: From Fleeing Election Chaos in Kenya to a Prominent Figure in Australia

Rosemary Kariuki fled political instability in Kenya back in the 90s and has since established herself as one of the most revered individuals in Australia.

Rosemary is a Multicultural Liaison Officer with New South Wales Police, where she links and facilitates communication and interaction between the police and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Through this role, Rosemary has helped build relationships in the community and improved service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people.

She was born and raised in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County and had 16 siblings. She fled for Australia in 1999 with the aim of seeking a better life.

Rosemary Kariuki comes from a politically involved family and her father had seven years in prison for defying the British Colonial government.

osemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero. | SITTHIXAY DITTHAVONG
Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero. | SITTHIXAY DITTHAVONG

She arrived in Australia knowing nobody, but she was determined to survive. Rosemary is a social person, and she knew how to make friends. She had left Kenya with a couple indigenous ornaments which she gave away to prospective friends.

Rosemary was welcomed by her friends and sooner, she felt part of a community.

“I’m very proud that Australians accepted me in their country. I was able to educate my boys and also to fill in some gaps in the society through my volunteering work with women and the migrant community,” she said in a past interview.

“I also acknowledge the indigenous people of Australia for opening their land and country to us. Thank you for accepting us migrants and refugees,” she added.

Social Activism

Rosemary Kariuki co-founded the African Women’s Group, an organisation that empowers and breaks down social isolation for CALD women through programs like the annual African Women’s Dinner Dance and the Cultural exchange program that connects CALD women with Australian families.

These programs have positively impacted the lives of women limited by language barriers, restrictive gender roles, religious practices, lack of education and insufficient or inexistent integration processes.

Rosemary is an advocate for CALD women’s social and economic empowerment as it ultimately sets the ground for them to live in freedom and independency.

Leadership

Being a vocal member in the Aussie community, she urges members of the public to always nominate individuals who would go above and beyond for their communities.

“Nominate those people who do so much and give so much for their community. Nominate the people who never complain, who never tire of doing the work. The more recognition people get, the more others can see how valuable it is to help others. They can see the benefit of helping to make this country a better place,” she stated.

Awards & Recognitions

Rosemary Kariuki was named Aussie Local Hero of the Year in 2021.

Hobbies

When she’s not working, Rosemary Kariuki can be found empowering people through storytelling. She has been involved in Baulkham Hills Ladies Troupe and Rosemary’s Way, two documentaries about forgiveness, resilience and empowerment.