Dr Haidi Badawi | Member Spotlight
Updated: May 13, 2020
Founding Member and Ambassador of WomenH2H, Board Director, Australian Global Goodwill Ambassador, Public Speaker, STEM Educational Leader and an Inaugural Women Influencer.
Haidi’s life mission is to advocate for women with disabilities, be their voice and endeavour to create opportunities, to be visible and to be heard in their communities. She is a Board Director at Women with Disabilities Victoria and a Board member at United National Australian Association (Victorian Division).
Haidi’s profession is an educational leader in the area of Science Leadership with a PhD in Genetics and MEd Degree in Educational Leadership (University of Melbourne). She is an Advisory Board member of the GTAC-Gene Technology Access Centre (Victoria’s leading source of Life Sciences and Education) affiliated with Melbourne University.
Haidi is a member at status of the Women Committee with the United Nation Australian Association-UNAA. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Haidi is a recipient of the Inaugural Women’s Board leadership program scholarship from the Victorian Government. She is also Inaugural Egyptian Education Committee member and member of the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce as well as a Youth Forum Speaker. She is a member of many associations nationally and internationally dealing with Health, Women and Gender Equality, Education and general Wellbeing. She is currently consulting the Government on SDG4 and SDG5.
Haidi has four registered patents in science innovation and has been awarded several international and national awards in the areas of Science and teaching innovation including:
An Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship (Australian Government)
Visiting Scholar at Flinders University (2007 - 2010)
The Ron Cockcroft award for international recognition in Wood research (2010)
First positions in MILSET organization-France on Mediterranean countries (2001)
Best scientific invention on Egyptian universities (2000)
International scientific research for Mediterranean countries (2000).
Haidi’s recent position is a Gender Specialist for UNAA International. She is involved in policy decision making, strategy formulation and advocacy. As a Gender Specialist at UNAA and WDV International, she provides advice and support to board management on gender issues. Enabling women with disabilities and giving them better participation opportunities in the wider community.
Moreover, Haidi has nine years of lecturing and tutoring experience at the university level for undergraduate students at Flinders University and Melbourne University. She was selected Technology Judge by Australian museum to judge and assess technology and educational technology games -1 of 5 judges in Victorian State Australia and Selected Democracy Ambassador for Victorian Government Australia. The latter involves teaching and training the community on democracy. The selection is based on high-level leadership skills and negotiating training opportunities with government high officials.
First, here is an important message from Haidi:
"To enjoy my interview, I suggest listening to the music I've posted in each answer and dreaming with the image I've attached."
How did you realize that your life’s mission is to advocate for women with disabilities?
Seven years ago I acquired a disability. What brought light was getting to know a great support group in Melbourne Australia called Women with Disabilities Association.
It was one cold night two years later (I remember it well) when I was in tears from pain and thinking there must be people feeling how I feel. I searched online and found this magnificent group of women with disabilities who have a great mission and vision of having their voice heard and their messages clear about their rights. I decided to join them and help with the set of skills I already have developed over the years in academia and the soft skills I've been developing for years. Then I moved from one group talk to several, from national to international level, from a member to a Board Director. During all these times I always had a strong voice on my mind all the time, it will not be for me without me. I started to believe that there is a group of people who rely on me to have their voice heard globally.
What should our education focus on today so that people are prepared for the future of work?
Education these days should cover many sets of skills to help the new generations to be work- and community-ready.
We can’t assess new generation skills with the same set of educational tools we offer for hundreds of years.
We should include the following skills in our education for future and present:
Creativity and Innovation
Inclusion and diversity
Ethics, Values and personal qualities
Leadership skills for life
EQ not only IQ
You have an amazing record of awards. Which one is most dear to you?
One of my most dear awards is the inaugural Women' Board Leadership Program by the Australian Government. It was a great honour to be selected for it and it offered me a great opportunity to join the Women's Board Leadership Program which is designed to support Victorian women to become influential Board Members and Leaders. The program received over 800 applications representing a high calibre of candidates. The assessment panel was particularly impressed by my commitment to leadership and it shaped a lot my directorship journey by joining ministers and CEOS of big ASX companies in training. I found it life-changing and a turning point experience in my life.
Why did you become an Ambassador of WomenH2H?
I joined WomenH2H initially by following a beautiful nomination from another remarkable Ambassador- Noha Hefny. She spoke to me how this hub is different and amazing in finding and celebrating women leaders and talents.
I decided to join based on her recommendation but what made me believe in the mission and vision of WomenH2H more is the collective solidarity way of setting a positive environment for all women leaders via using different channels, tools and ways of engagement. There is always a place for any type of leadership- the artistic one, the mathematician, the scientist, the author, the dreamer, the analytical and the social one. It’s one place that caters for the needs of all women leaders and depending massively on multiple intelligence methods of cognitive engagement. I like that it’s challenging my brain and made the right and the left sides of it working.
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