Alexandra Cordukes, director of Laundry Lane Productions in Sydney and a Leading Women Fund donor.
Q: Tell us a bit about the work you do at Laundry Lane Productions
A: I have a background in public health and not-for-profits, so when I joined my husband’s video production company eight years ago, that’s the direction we took the business. Essentially, we’re storytellers; we share people’s experiences so others can walk in their shoes.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: It’s such a privilege to hear someone’s story – even more so to help them tell that story. One of our major clients works in the rehabilitation of refugees here in Australia, and we interview many of those refugees about their experiences and the challenges they’ve faced settling in a new country. That sort of work is the closest to my heart.
Q: Why did you become a Leading Women Fund donor?
A: I had already been sporadically donating to UNHCR, so when I came across the Leading Women’s Fund last year I signed up. I was most attracted by the fact that it’s a group of women committed to making a difference to refugees and coming together to do so. As a collective, you can have a much greater impact. It’s women helping women and that’s a powerful thing. I also believe in the power of cash assistance, which gives recipients dignity and autonomy.
Q: What have you learnt about the situation of refugee women in Jordan since joining the fund?
A: I was shocked when I connected with the Syrian woman I was matched with and found out she’d been displaced for 10 years. It’s such a long time – her children’s entire lives – and it’s easy to forget just how enduring the hardship is. It’s only when you hear someone’s story that you can start to understand.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
A: I worked with the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation – who help Ethiopian women with the childbirth injury obstetric fistula – for seven years and I got to meet Dr Hamlin here in Australia and in Ethiopia. She was an incredible woman with a warm sense of humour and a natural ease. I felt like I was in the presence of someone great, but not at all intimidating. She was the oldest living surgeon in the world operating on fistula patients and she changed so many lives.
Q: Where is your happy place?
A: I’m happiest when I’m bobbing in the ocean off Fairy Bower Beach. I’m a part of the Bold and Beautiful swim club that swims from Manly to Shelly Beach in the mornings. The ocean delivers some extraordinary things; I’ve swum with dolphins, cuttlefish and even a seal. Smooth seas with good friends: that’s my happy place.
Q: What’s your greatest hope for the future – both for yourself and the world at large?
A: This might sound clichéd, but I hope to live a long, healthy life so I can meet my future grandchildren – my kids are in their late teens now. As for the world, I hope the disparity between the rich and poor closes. For that to happen, I think we need more people to give and to contribute.
Find out more about joining Alexandra as a Leading Women Fund donor here
Craftivists Stephanie Dunlap and Tal Fitzpatrick reached out to artists around the world to raise funds for Australia for UNHCR
The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.