In 2019 the Australian Financial Review recognised Marionne as one of 100 Women of Influence for her inspirational work for the Emerge Foundation in empowering women in education and health.
Marionne was also a recipient of the Women in Financial Services pro bono award in 2016.
The judges’ comments were:
“Marionne co-founded the Emerge Foundation
which has significantly advanced the cause of women in East Timor. Her networking within the financial services industry has created a huge awareness of the importance of this cause and through her efforts 60 financial organisations now support the work of the Emerge Foundation. The work done by Marionne is inspirational.”
Marionne was recently awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of the ACU. The university’s award of this title “acknowledges her extensive experience and moral and strategic leadership in the finance area of the corporate sector”. The appointment is pro-bono and she will work with the Faculty of Law and Business.
Marionne grew up in Wagga Wagga and joined the financial services industry 23 years ago. Her can-do attitude led her to be the Director of Administration and Client Services in a well-respected financial planning group which is now part of the Stanford Brown Group.
Marionne was introduced to a group of Australian academics working to re-build East Timor’s education and health services. She became aware of the acute lack of education in the country meant that 60 per cent of the women and 44 per cent of the men were illiterate and none of the teachers had any formal training.
The Foundation’s major fundraising to date:
• Teachers for Timor project – 350 women and 38 men have graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching degree after receiving Emerge Foundation scholarships. These young women and men are empowered by their education. Five of the recent graduates were employed by the World Bank to implement the new educational syllabus in Timor.
• Barefoot Nurses program was embarked upon as 1 in 4 women die in childbirth. Infant and maternal mortality rates are unacceptably high. The program trains local nurses, pharmacists and health care workers to be more adequately informed and equipped when caring for people in isolated regions of Baucau, Timor-Leste. 400 nurses trained in general nursing and basic midwifery.
• Future in Youth is an innovative sports-based program teaching East Timorese young people about leadership, respect, fairness, and fun. The program includes 32 schools, 48 coaches and 5000 children participating.
Panel Session Synopsis: Celebrating Women Giving Back
Have you ever thought about how you could give back to mankind but don't know exactly where to start? In this panel session, you will hear the insights from Licia Heath, CEO of Women for Election Australia, Marionne MacRitchie, Co-Chair of the Emerge Foundation and Suzie Riddell, CEO of Social Ventures Australia on how they came to the realisation that the time was now and the decision to set up their respective organisation. They will delve into what aspects they'd approach differently if they had to do it all over again, the help they received along the way, any regrets they have and advice that they would give to anyone wanting to give back. Find out what triggered these women to want to give back.