To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.
Katie Dalton, 32, is the Interim Director, Cymorth Cymru
I’m currently Interim Director of Cymorth Cymru, representing organisations that provide homelessness and housing-related support services to the most vulnerable people in Wales. Prior to that, I was Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the mental health charity Gofal, influencing mental health, housing and criminal justice policy, legislation and practice. I’ve also been President of NUS Wales, where I secured an increase in student support and protection from higher tuition fees, as well as leading the Students Say Yes referendum campaign in 2011.
I’ve never really had a life plan or career ambitions, but I want to make a difference. I didn’t come from a political background but instinctively got involved in campaigns for women’s rights and education when I was an art student at Swansea Met. I’m now lucky to be in a position where I can influence decision makers – and I feel a responsibility to do everything I can to have a positive impact on the lives of people less fortunate and privileged than me.
I don’t think I’d be where I am now without all of the women who encouraged, supported and inspired me to stand up, speak out and believe in myself. Role models are crucial and we need to do more to improve women’s representation in leadership positions across Wales. In thirty years I want Wales to be a fairer, more equal place than it is now. I want our leaders to reflect the diversity of our communities and for vulnerable people to face fewer health and economic inequalities. I want those of us with mental health problems to be valued, not discriminated against, and I want us to be proud of what devolution has delivered.
Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.