Alumni in Focus: Abla Benhammouche
What are your hobbies?
Reading, baking, calligraphy (though I'm not good at it yet).
Favourite place to eat in Adelaide?
House of Chow.
If I could go back to my university days I would…
Study medicine and history
Most prized possession?
A small mirror given to me by my late mother.
I can’t get enough of…
Laughter, joy, health and happiness.
Something you are grateful for?
Being provided with an opportunity to work in rural Africa and support agricultural and social development in developing countries.
If I could pursue a different career, I would…
Still be involved in the field of international work with the United Nations, perhaps in the health and medicine.
The most valuable lesson I have learned?
Never forgetting the privilege, I have been given (for about 30 years) to serve economically struggling communities in rural Africa with the outmost respect and dignity.
I cannot get through the day without…
Being grateful and thankful
Three words your closest friends would use to describe you?
Reliable, committed and funny.
Your definition of success?
Achieving my life goal to supporting developing countries to reduce poverty through provision of targeted economic and social opportunities that enable people to take charge of their own economic and social development.
My mother taught me…
Education, integrity and respect.
Your career path in two sentences or less?
My vocation was to work with those “being left behind” - the poor in developing countries. I came to Australia to further my education in 1983. Working with CSIRO while studying for a Master’s of Agriculture at the University (Waite Campus), I was given an opportunity to further learn and to confirm my life longing to join the ranks of the international development circles. Since 1990, I have worked with the United Nations and supported more than 16 countries in Africa in rural poverty reduction.
Biggest career highlight?
Being able to provide timely support and resources to fight poverty in 16 countries. Over 26 years, I designed and implemented rural and agricultural development projects/programmes that resulted in: (i) substantial development assistance; and (ii) funding in many hundreds of millions of (US) Dollars. Supporting the lifting of people out of poverty, inequality and discrimination has been my biggest career highlight.
2021 is the year I will…
Continue my work and endeavour to share my knowledge and my passion for “leaving no one behind”.
How I relax?
By listening to music and watching comedy.
When I get home the first thing I do is…
I get into my comfy clothes.
The biggest risk I have taken?
To leave my comfortable life in Algeria in 1983 to study as a private student in South Australia.
A misconception about you?
That I'm a tough girl.
Abla has just returned to Rome to undertake a contract with an agricultural risk management platform (PARM) and is designing an “Agricultural Risk Management Capacity Development Project” in Ethiopia.