Anna Kemp

Women's advocate

2013 SA Local Hero

Anna Kemp has worked for 33 years to improve the lives of women in prison and through her persistence and vision has developed new approaches to bridge the gulf between prison and returning to society. In 2006 she established the Seeds of Affinity project bringing together a core group of women who have had direct experience with the South Australian criminal justice system. The approach is simple but effective – if offers women leaving prison a safe place to accomplish small tasks to rebuild self esteem and confidence. Under Anna’s guidance, small achievements like making soap and jam have become money making enterprises. And a vegetable garden has been established to supply the group’s weekly shared lunches. So far Seeds of Affinity has helped more than 100 women adjust to returning to community life. Some move on after a few weeks, others stay for years and two are now mentors and aspiring role models to new members. Anna’s contribution is reflected in the words of those she helps: ‘Anna’s compassion and unconditional support has inspired me to be a better person in my life.’