I met Aminata almost a decade ago now and have watched her grow into a strong, inspiring woman. Aminata is from Sierra Leone and became the first refugee from the west African country to be resettled in Australia, having  been held captive by rebels during the civil war and kept as a slave wife when she was just a teenager.


I met Aminata at a UNHCR function and we have been firm friends ever since. Today, Aminata and her husband Antoine have two young children Sarafina, 5 and Matisse, 3. It was due to complications during Sarafina’s birth that prompted Aminata to set up the Aminata Maternal Foundation (AMF). Both she and Sarafina nearly lost their lives, and had Aminata given birth in Sierra Leone both she and Sarafina would have likely died.

In September 2016, Aminata, AMF Chair Penny Gerstle and I visited Sierra Leone. With us was an SBS filmmaker/journalist Amos Roberts, whose dateline documentary is due to air on March 7th 2017. The story has also been picked up by Marie Claire and these are some of the images shot here in Australia for the article.

For further information on The Aminata Maternal Foundation and ways you can help please go to