Leading Women Fund donor Sabine McDonald and her family
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“I’m ready to start giving back”

Why Sabine McDonald donates to the Leading Women Fund 

Meet interior designer and Leading Women Fund member Sabine McDonald  

Can you tell us about your business? 
I launched By Sabine in 2014. I specialise in residential interior design and decoration. It’s a wonderful, flexible job that I can fit around my busy family life.  

What led you to interior design?  
I actually took a circuitous route. I grew up in Hamburg, northern Germany, and my working life started with an International Trade apprenticeship. This led to work as an overseas buyer for an import company, where I specialised in buying homewares and accessories from Asia for the European market. I absolutely loved that job, which involved a lot of travel and opened my eyes to the world.  

However, I felt the need to add a degree to my resumé, so I undertook a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in London. That led me to work in the financial sector, but I never really enjoyed it as much as travelling the world in search of beautiful homewares! So when my family moved to Australia in 2012, I decided to retrain and start my own interior design business.  

Leading Women Fund donor Sabine McDonald
Leading Women Fund donor Sabine McDonald

How did you learn about the Leading Women Fund?  
A good friend and Leading Women Fund member, Mel Brooks, invited me to a World Refugee Day lunch hosted by Australia for UNHCR. I was super impressed with what I saw, and have since read of the outstanding work that Australia for UNHCR does. I loved hearing all the personal stories of refugee women and, in these cases, positive outcomes, but it also made me think of the many who are not so lucky. Being a refugee is such a tough, uncertain and scary position in which to find yourself. All of this made me want to jump in and help somehow. 

Why did you join the Leading Women Fund? 
I liked the concept of having a human connection through the LWF with other women here in Australia, as well as through the Connecting Worlds App internationally.  

I have only just joined (in June), but I am already feeling much more connected to Australia for UNHCR due to also being part of the LWF. I can see that being a part of a group with like-minded women and regular events inspires you to think more about the cause and also to get more involved in the future.  

Are you going to take part in the Connecting Worlds app experience? If so, what do you hope to learn from it?
Yes, I would very much like to. I think connecting on that personal level will be super informative and help me learn more about how best we can help.  

What are you looking forward to in the future? 
Definitely more travel! Not so much the usual family holidays, although I love those too, but proper explorer's travel. There’s so much I haven’t seen yet. And I’m looking forward to giving back more, now that the kids are older and I have more time.  

Join the Leading Women Fund, a network of women supporting their Syrian sisters. The Leading Women Fund supports refugee women who are the heads of their households to provide basic needs for themselves and their families.

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