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Wise Women: Philippa Moss

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“People should be embraced for their diversity, not merely tolerated.”

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day, HerCanberra celebrates 10 outstanding local women who revealing their own wisdom based on the very different paths they have taken in life.

Philippa Moss is an HIV advocate and educator, with a passionate interest in healthy public policy and urban development. She is the executive director of the AIDS Action Council of the ACT, a mother of two, an entrepreneur and a member of Canberra’s Lesbian, Gay and Queer community.


On countering intolerance

“Whilst intolerance is intolerable, even the notion of ‘tolerating’ another human being is not acceptable to me. People should be embraced for their diversity, not merely tolerated. I’m passionate about embracing diversity and addressing stigma and discrimination. I seek out like-minded people and organisations because working together leads to the achievement of shared goals, for all affected communities.”

I am happiest

“Using my passion, knowledge and experience to support the most marginalised members of our community. I also find happiness with all forms of H2O. Whether it is a day spa or the beach, a rain storm or kayaking on the lake, sailing on a catamaran or, doing laps at the civic pool; water relaxes, hydrates and rejuvenates me.”


When life presents challenges

“I always greet challenges as learning opportunities. Challenges allow me to use the skills I have and to identify the new skills I might require. I’m never afraid to acknowledge when something is beyond my ability and to outsource accordingly. Challenges can sometimes be too large for one person, but as a community anything is achievable.

A friend asked me recently what I do and I summarised it by saying ‘I get stuff done’ using common sense, community capacity, good governance and calling in the experts when needed.”

Photography: Martin Ollman

This article originally appeared as part of our Wise Women article in Magazine for Autumn 2017, which hits stockists next week. Find out more about Magazine here

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