Amy Reggers: “I am inspired by the committed staff at UN Women who want to see positive change for their country and are prepared to do the hard work to make this change happen.”

Amy Reggers is the International Consultant on Gender and Climate Change Program Development and Research at UN Women based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

UN Women -a United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women – advocates gender equality for women and girls, and strives to realise the vision to enable women’s equal participation in all aspects of life through cooperation with governments and communities to work on policies and services that benefit women and girls worldwide.

Moving to Phnom Penh in 2017, Amy is a PhD researcher with extensive experience and knowledge in topics including gender equality, climate change and women’s economic empowerment.

Interview by Tammy Lee, Marketing & Communications & Digital Manager, Advance.  

What made you move to Phnom Penh?

Actually, I moved to Phnom Penh looking for work. After working in Dhaka for two years, and returning to Australia to have my daughter, I was keen to get back into the workforce and back to Asia. After looking online and trying to network and secure a contract, I figured the most efficient way was to get on the ground. So, we moved to Cambodia and I began the search.

What does your role at UN Women entail?

I spend my days working closely with the UN Women national staff, designing and managing activities under our gender and climate change programme. I support UN Women research initiatives, liaise with government counterparts and civil society partners on our projects and work facilitate training and workshops to build skills, knowledge and capacities on gender equality issues in the environment sector.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I really enjoy working with my national colleagues. I am inspired by the committed staff at UN Women who want to see positive change for their country and are prepared to do the hard work to make this change happen.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

I think with all jobs, there are more boring parts (which are what I find most challenging!) and also more exciting parts. Of course, working for the UN one can expect that bureaucracy and paperwork is burdensome. But in reality, I work in a dynamic office and all individuals do their best to get over these hurdles and focus on getting the job done and achieving results.

Having worked in various cities, what’s your favourite city to live and work and why?

Actually, I really like living and working in Phnom Penh. I think this city is a great combination for an expat – with lots of services and access to things, we expats, like (such as good coffee!) but also the city is also dotted with history and pagodas which make it an interesting place to be. If you think of Bangkok as a city, and say, Vientiane as a small village, Phnom Penh is like the perfect mid size town!

What do you miss most about Australia?

The beach! I think, realistically, I miss the coastal lifestyle you can have in Australia. Being outdoors a lot and by the sea is something I consider very Australian. Of course I also miss my family, and I will probably return one day so my daughter can create some of those great iconic Australian memories too!