“I believe that everybody has something they can make a difference in. They just have to find it. I’m turning 50 this year and, in a sense, SoundSpell is my thing. But if I hadn’t met Global Sisters, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

My family fled civil war in Pakistan before arriving in Australia in 1974. We always had exposure to literature at home and a lot of encouragement to read. We grew up valuing education and language.

I’m developing a system for decoding English to help students to read and spell, it’s basically learning to read through spelling. I have 20 years of experience in the school system and I felt I wasn’t equipped to teach English properly. I was looking for the best way to teach reading, attending different courses, talking to different people and I saw the same thing again and again: most teachers aren’t really equipped to teach reading. I feel that kids are being short-changed, we really should be doing better for the students out there.

I registered the business five years ago and went through other advice channels, but when it came to the crunch, I would just stop. I lacked confidence in myself and anything unknown stopped me. I needed a lot of pushing and nudging from people around. It’s taken a lot of work to believe in myself and if I was left to myself, I wouldn’t get off the ground at all. Things are different now, I’m part of something that has given me not only support but some kind of recognition and belief in myself. I feel as though I have some footing, I have some backing.

There’s a sense of belonging within the Sister tribe, a strength through numbers rather than going solo and persevering on my own. There’s a sense of accountability – other people are watching me and everybody believes in each other. They are all doing different things and making a success of it. It’s not just a business course, a year on, Global Sisters is still behind me, following things up. They keep on putting more and more opportunities in front of me.

My kids are grown up, I could be earning much better money, but I have chosen something more enduring, above and beyond me. This is me leaving my mark, my legacy. I didn’t want to work just for money anymore. I believe in what I’m doing, I’ve come this far and Global Sisters has given me a voice.”

Click here to find out more about Sufia’s business.

Global Sisters is all about making business possible for women who face barriers to mainstream employment due to their circumstances … women who are seeking financial independence. Sister School is a real world business education program that aims to equip women with the practical knowledge, skills and support needed to start a business or grow an early stage business.  Click Here to find out more