Women working in the for-purpose sector

March 8, 2024 BY

Joy Leggo has worked in the for purpose sector for the last 30 years, making a difference in the lives of a vulnerable part of the community.

Joy Leggois the chief executive officer of Cultura, a multi-faceted organisation covering service delivery from humanitarian support, immigration services, aged care services, home care, centre-based services, end-of-life care and more.

It also delivers a range of services through its family services and community development arm.

Joy has worked in the for-purpose sector for the past 30 years. She said she was a values-driven leader and that it was Cultura’s purpose, vision and values that drove her work.

“Cultura exists to provide innovative services to support, care for and celebrate culturally diverse individuals throughout their life journey.

Joy said there is no significant outcome or highlight of her time in the role, with her team making a difference in the lives of a vulnerable sector of the community.

“It’s not the big things it is the myriad of small things that staff do each and every day that connects them with our diverse communities and what their needs are.”

For Joy, International Women’s Day acknowledges the worth of women and her joy in celebrating with them at Cultura, where they sing and dance in language.

Joy’s advice for other women working in the for purpose sector is to find a mentor if you are just starting out in your career.

“I’ve had two amazing mentors in my career, one male, one female, both different in their approach, one nurturing, one challenging, create a relationship with them according to your journey,” she said.

“As women, we have a lot to offer our community from our emotional intelligence to our compassion, intellect and problem-solving skills.”

Jade Hamilton is the general manager at Lazarus Community Centre.

Jade Hamilton is the general manager at Lazarus Community Centre, where the team offer a sense of belonging and purpose.


Lazarus is a voluntary, drop-in centre that provides services including a cooked lunch, shower and laundry facilities, and access to clothing, bedding and toiletry items.

The centre provides shared indoor and outdoor spaces where individuals can rest, socialise, play pool, access computers, or watch TV.

Jade has been general manager at the centre for the past 18 months and believes that Lazarus is much more than just these practical services.

“It is a place that offers warmth, comfort, community, connection, and a sense of belonging and purpose,” she said.

“What is also very important to note is that Lazarus is run predominately by 60 of the most selfless and dedicated volunteers; without them, Lazarus would not exist.”

Jade oversees the day-to-day operations including management of staff and volunteers, meeting with external stakeholders, and working on programs within the centre that support its clients and the community.

“Our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming space for people to meet and be supported as valued members of our community,” she said.

“I believe connection is key. It’s about meeting a person where they are at, understanding their story, and offering and providing support that is individual to them and their needs.”

Jade said that every day at Lazarus is a highlight and it’s the small things that make such a big difference in people’s lives.

“Sometimes we might be the only person who addresses another person by their name for the entire day, or offers a smile, or asks how they are.”

For Jade, International Women’s Day is a time to stop and reflect on all the wonderful women who came before, the ones surrounding and those who are yet to come.

“My advice for any women in the for purpose sector is don’t be afraid to take risks, to have a voice and sand up for what you believe in. Be kind, compassionate, tenacious and positively influential.”