Member Highlight August 2022

This month we meet Sharon Wake
(by Joy Davenport)

Sharon was born in Brisbane, Australia to a British father and Australian mother. She left Australia for the UK when she was 21, (1975) and began her career in accounting. She worked at Grosvenor House Park Lane in London for four years before making a change to an audio/visual company where she met her husband Roger, a recording engineer. They married in 1982, and have three daughters.

In 2002 on a holiday, their cruise landed them in Funchal, Madeira. Sharon and her husband were struck by the affable nature of the Portuguese people, especially in contrast to other places they’d travelled. The natural beauty of Funchal also reminded her a bit of her native Australia. It wasn’t long before they scheduled another holiday, this time to the mainland of Portugal which brought them to Cascais.

They purchased a vacation home in Parede, and several years later retired to the area. Shortly after her move here she began volunteering at Trash and Treasure, a charity organization where she met a group of women who introduced her to the International Women of Portugal organization.

Sharon’s face lights up when she talks about the IWP. From the beginning, she began to form amazing friendships, and when the IWP was seeking board members in September of 2010, she put her name forward for treasurer. She never served as the treasurer, but as fate would have it, Sharon actually became the IWP President.  She figured between her many years in accounting, and her success with running a translation company for eight years, she could do the job.

She loves coffee mornings, Arraiolos rug making and fondly recalls an IWP event that was called “International Day” where women would get together and bring a dish to share from their native countries.  She travels often to the UK to spend time with her daughters, extended family, and to tend her garden. When she is in Portugal, she loves to attend IWP functions and stresses the wonderful friendships that she established since joining.

She is still passionate about the IWP and stated that “Portugal wouldn’t be Portugal without the IWP.”  Sharon is still active in the organization as a member of the Financial Review Board, as well as admin of the IWP (public) Facebook page.