Speakers Profile - Aminata Conteh-Biger


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Aminata Conteh-Biger is the Founder & CEO of the Aminata Maternal Foundation. A former refugee from Sierra Leone, she is a Special Representative for Australia United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Aminata is also an author; her debut book, Rising Heart, was published in 2020 by Pan Macmillan Australia.

Growing up in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Aminata enjoyed a charmed life alongside her siblings and beloved father, Pa Conteh. Her life changed irrevocably when, as a teenager, she was kidnapped by rebel forces and held captive for months, used as a weapon of the bloody, violent civil war. Granted refugee status in 2000, Aminata became one of the very first Sierra Leonean refugee women to settle in Australia.

Since then Aminata has forged an impressive life in Australia, living by the core values of benevolence, gratitude and ‘giving back’, instilled in her by her father during her formative years. She is on the Board of The Social Outfit and regularly speaks at corporates, organisations, universities, schools and community avenues to inspire the next generation to lead with purpose and implement change for good in their chosen path.

Aminata describes the Aminata Maternal Foundation as her life’s work. In 2016, Aminata travelled to Sierra Leone and cited the country’s maternal healthcare crisis with SBS Television Dateline’s award-winning documentary ‘Daughter of Sierra Leone’. Since forming the foundation in 2014, her organisation is striving to raise funds to provide a safe, affordable and high quality service for mothers and babies to experience safe delivery during childbirth with their partners such as the Aberdeen Women’s Centre.

In April 2021, Aminata was the recipient of the Women’s Agenda Agenda Setter of the Year Award for her arduous work with the AMF. She was invited to be a Keynote speaker at the momentous 2021 Women’s March 4 Justice in Canberra, where she captivated the audience with her discourse about equality, equity and telling real, unfiltered narratives to effect change. In December 2021, her dedication to her home country was recognised by the Celebration of African Australians NSW organisation with a Humanitarian Award. Also in 2021, Aminata’s talents as a CEO led to an invitation for a full scholarship in the prestigious McKinsey Leadership Development Program. In May 2022, Aminata was honoured to address The National Press Club in Canberra,, one of few African-Australians to ever do so. Her speech, “Restoring Dignity to Humanity, One Woman’s Ultimate Purpose” was held in partnership with Women in Media.

Aminata’s story has been featured in an array of media channels, including BBC World News, SBS Dateline, ABC Radio National Conversations, Channel 10’s The Project, and The Australian Women’s Weekly and Marie Claire magazines.

She resides in Sydney with her husband and two young children.