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Passion, commitment and faith rewarded.


Jacqueline Pascarl is an experienced CEO in the NGO/NFP sector who consults widely in the sphere of media relations and digital communications. She has worked in radio, television, marketing and as a documentary filmmaker. Her productions include the award-winning documentary Empty Arms: Broken Hearts.

Current work

Jacqueline conceived Operation Angel to champion the needs of women and children in war and disaster zones. She continues this relief work in Australia and internationally during times of natural disaster and emergency, alongside her scores of volunteers. For her efforts in the aftermath of Queensland's recent cyclones and floods, she was given that State's Disaster Hero Medal.

Previous experience

Operation Book Power: In 1995, Jacqueline established Operation Book Power in Kenya, a child literacy initiative that builds community libraries and schools throughout Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. The organisation later expanded into South Africa (where Jacqueline was a special advisor to President Nelson Mandela on the structuring of his READ Educational Trust). In 1998, she was appointed Special Ambassador for CARE International and worked as an emergency aid worker in the war zones of Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor. Jacqueline is recognised internationally as an expert on the Hague Convention and International Parental Child Abduction. She has lectured at the US State Department, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the European Union and the International Congress on Family Law and the Rights of Children, which was chaired by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Awards: Jacqueline was awarded the United Nations Special Commendation for the International Year of the Family, and two recognition awards from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, USA, and sits on several charitable boards. She has been a high-profile international lobbyist on human rights, women's rights and refugee issues. In recognition of her humanitarian work, Jacqueline was appointed a patron of CARE International in January 2007. She has been a regular columnist for the London Times and Fairfax newspapers, and her best-selling books have been published in 28 languages.

Nominations: Nominated four times for Australian of the Year, she was awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal in 2012 by the Governor General of Australia for her work in conflict zones, becoming the first female recipient. In 2015 Jacqueline was appointed the first woman National Vice Chair, Australian Defence Force Reserves Support Council.

Personal: In another life, Jacqueline was better known as Princess Yasmin of Malaysia. She rose to international prominence when her two eldest children became victims of parental abduction; they were held hostage for over fourteen years, during which time she battled tirelessly for their return. She is a proud feminist and mother of four children, aged between 32 and 12 years of age, and a grandmother of one. She writes daily, bakes and tries to dance just for the hell of it.

Talking Points

It Only Takes One Person

A single spark of an idea and a tenacious woman is all it takes to change the world and make a difference. Jacqueline Pascal turned the personal tragedy of her children's abduction into the catalyst to become a human rights advocate and humanitarian aid worker, and over the past 20 years has raised $38 million dollars in humanitarian aid and relief, along the way establishing a child literacy project in Kenya and assisting Nelson Mandela to do the same in South Africa. She has worked in war zones around the globe caring for the vulnerable and is an award winning documentary producer and author. Appointed as an ambassador to His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Jacqueline is the recipient of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal and has been nominated for Australian of the Year three times. She reactivated Operation Angel in 2009 in response to the devastating Black Saturday Bushfires, driving truck convoys across the state to deliver relief and assistance, and in 2011 responded to the Queensland Floods and Cyclone with 96 semi-trailers converging on devastated areas packed with donated humanitarian supplies valued at $9 million. A mother of four, she has three rules to live by: always live in hope, never give up, and don't take no for an answer.


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On behalf of the staff and volunteers of Make-A-Wish Australia, I would like to sincerely thank you for being the keynote speaker at our AGM and National Volunteers Conference. Hearing about your life, work and voluntary experiences really was truly amazing. Your life story is inspiring and you touched the hearts of so many people in attendance. We are greatly appreciative that you took the time out to share your story with us. All indications are that the conference was a huge success and I contribute this to the inspiring speakers who were in attendance. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours and hope that we can continue to work together in the future. Make-A-Wish
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