Rosemary Kariuki 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
Through this role, Rosemary has helped build relationships in the community and improved service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people.
When Rosemary arrived in Australia in 1999 to flee tribal clashes in Kenya, she struggled to navigate her new life in Australia, facing loneliness and lack of information. This difficult time helped her recognise that isolation is a huge issue for many migrants and Refugee Women and that’s when she began her journey of supporting them.
Rosemary 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 independence.
Her work has earned her many recognitions including Australia’s Local Hero (2021), Community Fellow- Western Sydney University (2021), Civilian Employee of the year- Parramatta Rotary Club (2016) and Parramatta Citizen of the year (2012), to name a few.
In 2022 Rosemary was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to the multicultural community.
When she’s not working, Rosemary 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.
Rosemary’s story has been described as impactful and life-changing and it’s no wonder that many refer to her as ‘Mama Africa’ and ‘Big Mama’.