Take 5 with Kasey Dragisic

22 October 2020

Rae Knopik

Rae is the Events and Marketing Officer at YWCA Canberra

We sat down with Kasey Dragisic, a firefighter with ACT Fire & Rescue and a former rugby star. Kasey comes from a culturally diverse background. Her mum is part Aboriginal part Kiwi. Her dad is part Serbian, part German. Each of her grandparents were born in their respective countries.

She has always been proud of her rich heritage; Kasey says it has shaped her inherent appreciation for diversity. From a young age, Kasey was very drawn to sport, team sports. These same qualities that attracted Kasey to sport have led her to my current career as a firefighter.

Kasey will speak in our panel at She Leads High Conference 2020, a leadership conference for girls, including female-identifying and nonbinary people, in years 9 and 10. The conference will take place at Kambri, Australian National University, on 30 October.

We took five minutes with Kasey DragisicHere’s what we learned.

1) Describe yourself in 30 words or less.

I am a proud, culturally diverse, young, woman. I would say I’m naturally outgoing, compassionate and very driven when it comes to achieving my goals.

2) Tell us about a moment in your life that defined your leadership style.

At the age of 12, I captained my first state touch football team. The experience drove me to lead by example. I wouldn’t ask anything of my teammates that I wasn’t prepared to do myself. I asked for hard work and respect by showing them the same.

3) What’s the question you are most tired of hearing on women’s leadership, and what would you like to say about it, so you never have to answer it again?

This question doesn’t personally resonate with me. I do appreciate that many women struggle with discriminatory questions regarding their leadership however I have never experienced this directly. My organisation is male-dominated however the recruitment and promotion processes are the exact same for all applicants. One’s merit is based on their operational and leadership, skills and knowledge. It’s incredibly positive and empowering to work within an organisation that fosters equality.

4) What were you like as a 16-year-old? Would you give her any advice? If so, what?

As a 16-year-old I was extremely self-critical. I compared myself a lot to others in terms of success, grades, appearance, personal development, and so on. I would tell her to do her best to learn compassion and gratitude for herself.

 5) What is something that has been challenging you lately?

The Black Lives Matter movement has motivated me to discuss my culture and Indigenous affairs with family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. It has been challenging to find a way to makes these chats not just a current movement, but a common occurrence. I’m exploring ways of engraining my culture more deeply into my life and conversation to help spread awareness and educate those around me.

If you know or are a student in year 9 and 10 who would like to learn more about Kasey, be sure to join us at She Leads High on 30 October!

To register, visit our ticketing page.

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