AROUND THE WORLD
Nicole Kidman – UN WOMEN Goodwill Ambassador and Say NO Spokesperson
UN WOMEN Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman is the international spokesperson for UN WOMEN’s Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Since her appointment in January 2006, her efforts as UN WOMEN Goodwill Ambassador have been geared towards raising awareness on the infringement of women’s human rights around the world, with a particular focus on putting a spotlight on violence against women , probably the most pervasive human rights violation that affects as many as one in three women.
The Academy Award–winning actress, a dual citizen of the United States and Australia, has been actively involved in philanthropic endeavours, of international scope, in both countries.
Nicole Kidman has served as the UNICEF Ambassador for Australia. She is also an Ambassador of the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. Her commitment, contact with patients and their families, and financial contributions to the hospital have helped make a difference in the lives of thousands of young patients over the past years, with a direct impact upon the hospital’s Brain Tumor Service, Respiratory Service, the Nursing Practice Development Unit for Child and Adolescent Health, and the Chair of Nursing.
Kidman is Patron of the Australian Theatre for Young People, based in Sydney. She began her association with the theatre in 1982 as a workshop participant, and performed in various productions over the next several years. In 1993 she accepted ATYP’s request to serve as the company’s ambassador, and in 2000 became a principal sponsor, together with Fox Studios and the Nine Network, both relationships which she initiated on the company’s behalf. In 2002, mindful of ATYP’s importance in her early creative life, and of the creative outlet and opportunities it offers youth across Australia, she accepted the position of Patron.
While filming on location in Romania in 2002, Kidman witnessed first hand the plight of thousands of children currently orphaned and abandoned in that country, and she witnessed the remarkable work on their behalf of a UK-based organization called FARA. Since 1994, FARA has helped improve the quality of life, and provided alternative care, for hundreds of these children through Homes and Foster Care Programs that it directly funds and operates. Since 2003, Kidman has served as an Honorary Patron of FARA’s crucial, annual fundraising, including participation in the Royal Charity Premiere of “Cold Mountain” in London.
In the United States, Kidman has been an active and vocal advocate for women’s cancer research. Three years ago, she became the first Chair of The Women’s Health Fund at UCLA, at the David Geffen School of Medicine. In support of that title, she served as that year’s poster image for “Key to the Cure,” a women’s cancer initiative founded by the nationwide department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Her participation in the “Key to the Cure” campaign alone helped raise 400,000 dollars to directly support UCLA’s clinical research. Her participation in 2003 as honoree for the Los Angeles–based Women’s Cancer Research annual dinner, “Unforgettable Evening,” helped raise 9 million dollars for programs in Los Angeles (including UCLA’s) and 2.7 million dollars for similar programs around the country.
Nicole Kidman first came to the attention of American audiences with her critically acclaimed performance in the riveting 1989 Australian psychological thriller “Dead Calm.” Since then, she has become one of the most sought-after actresses in film the world over. Kidman has received both critical praise and awards for performances in a number of films (shot in countries ranging from Ireland to Spain to Romania to Finland to Australia and the United States), including “Far and Away,” “Portrait of a Lady,” “To Die For,” “The Others,” “Cold Mountain,” “Dogville,” and “Birth.” She received an Oscar nomination in 2002 for “Moulin Rouge” and won the Academy Award for “Best Actress” in 2003 for “The Hours.”