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Alison (aged 69) was born in Australia. She established Dirty Girls on Lesbos, Greece 2015-2019 which is now based in the UK.
Having trained as a psychiatric nurse, Alison emigrated from Australia to San Francisco where she worked as a hotel manager and event planner for 20 years, spent 6 years as a digital nomad before setting up Dirty Girls upcycling programme in Lesbos in 2015 after which she moved the NGO to London in 2019.
Alison set up Dirty Girls to provide refugee women with an opportunity to learn, develop useful skills and earn their own money which allowed refugee women to try to avoid being a victim and reliant on charity. Dirty Girls helped thousands of women on the move to become more empowered. (impact of migration on her life and the lives of others)
For Alison, the object that best represents her migration experience is the ‘one small bag’ that was the showcase of what could be created from upcycling used life jackets. It was called ‘one small bag’ because it is a similar size to what women were allowed to take on the boat from Turkey to Lesvos.
Interview conducted by Elaine Moriarty on 12/2/22 virtually
To cite this interview, Moriarty, Elaine (29/9/2022). Interview of Alison (from Australia – San Francisco – Lesvos – London). London, UK (length: 3.25mn).