Lawyer hailed for humanitarian work
Melanie Book. Picture: Robert McKechnie

Since quitting her job as a lawyer four years ago to pursue humanitarian work, Perth woman Melanie Book has witnessed firsthand the devastation of war, extreme poverty and natural disasters.

After stints responding to emergencies in Somalia, Thailand, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan, the 33-year-old's latest challenge is in Tacloban in the Philippines, devastated by typhoon Haiyan in November.

Before International Women's Day on Saturday, Ms Book has been recognised by Save the Children for her "remarkable" work for the organisation.

A lifelong interest in international and social justice issues prompted Ms Book to swap corporate law for an internship with Save the Children's humanitarian team.

She said the plight of people in the communities she visited remained with her, particularly after working at a Syrian refugee camp in Iraq.

"Spending time there on a cold and rainy day, watching people trying to make the most of limited resources, desperate parents and children trying to make a life for themselves, it never fails to make you grateful for what we have at home," Ms Book said.

The West Australian

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