Jessie Cato has recently been employed by the Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit as a part-time coordinator for their Publish What You Pay (PWYP) campaign.
PWYP is an international campaign aimed at creating greater transparency in the extractives – mining, gas and oil – sector. To achieve this in Australia, Ms Cato advocates for the introduction of mandatory disclosure legislation and for Australia to commit to implementing the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).
“As we move within 12 months of the next federal election, advocating for the major political parties to commit to the introduction of mandatory disclosure regulations will be the focus of the campaign,” Ms Cato said.
“It is a big task, but one that PWYP Australia believes is achievable. For the campaign, funding is a huge challenge; the role is currently funded as a part time position for 12 months, though the aim is to raise funds to be able to continue past that and hopefully in a full time capacity.”
Before joining the JIM unit, Ms Cato was based in Dili, Timor Leste, as a gender officer with agricultural organisation Seeds of Life. She is currently studying for a masters in developmental studies with a specialisation in gender. She feels her passion for social justice and change is an important part of her work with the JIM unit.
“I really enjoy working within the Uniting Church, it’s wonderful to be amongst people who share my commitment to social justice and advocate for that in their daily work,” she said.