AnneRobina Sgro

For forty years Anne has worked as an activist, at both the local and national level, to promote women's rights and social justice.

Honour Roll

One tribute to Anne Sgro's 40 years of community activism stands at 45 May Street Coburg. Established in 1984, the Anne Sgro Child Care Centre was Victoria's first work-related, whole-day, child care centre that involved workers, unions, a community group and government. The Centre's name is recognition of her role in the nine year struggle by the Women's Group of the Italian Federation of Migrant Workers and their Families to create work-related child care opportunities, as another choice of child care.

"It is hard to believe now that work-based childcare could be seen as 'unwelcome'. The thing I'm most proud of is that we not only built a child care centre that is still running twenty years later, but that we changed people's ideas about providing childcare and showed that by working together you could create change," Anne said.

Her volunteer work also helped the establishment of new language teaching programs at Coburg Primary School in the early 1980s. The program gave young people from non-English speaking backgrounds the chance to learn their native language at school. Until government funding was secured for the program, Anne taught as a volunteer.

Anne has also volunteered with the Union of Australian Women, campaigning for women's equity and wellbeing in a peaceful and environmentally-safe world. She has represented the views of women to all levels of Australian government on areas including pay equity, violence against women, women's health and abortion law reform.

Her interests also include the historical achievements of Australian women. Anne was involved in the Nothing on a Plate project, a travelling photographic exhibition celebrating women's journey toward equity in Victoria. More recently she has been a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council of Senior Victorians.

In addition to the Anne Sgro Child Care Centre, her many achievements are reflected in the improved lives that Victorian women now experience. She personifies the women she says she admires. "Whether they are doing something groundbreaking or providing a basic level of community support, they're dogged, committed women who never give up," she said.