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Louise Pfeiffer


Louise is a proud South Australian who was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology major) in the 1990s from the University of Adelaide. On graduating, she furthered her career in the highly competitive financial services sector for 17 years in Sydney and Melbourne, completing a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and a Master of Business Administration through Melbourne Business School. She acquired extensive experience in account management and business development across retail banking, institutional stockbroking, funds management and superannuation, and consulted to some of Australia’s largest financial institutions. After returning to Adelaide, Louise ran her own financial planning business, while volunteering for a political party to influence legislative change to further animal rights. Louise joined The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) after being influenced by Founder Peter Singer’s work while at university, where she minored in philosophy and ethics, and read The Life You Can Save book. Louise loves cooking, bridge and golf, and lives in the Adelaide Hills with her partner, two gorgeous boys and rescue animals. BACK STORY Louise’s journey with Effective Altruism started when she was just a little girl. A memory that has long stayed with her is being in the backseat of her parent’s car on the freeway from Adelaide to the town of Murray Bridge on a hot, stinking summer’s day, Down Under. Alongside her on the highway was a truck being loaded with dozens – of what appeared to Louise – to be ‘unhappy’ sheep. All she can remember is thinking ‘The poor sheep – why doesn’t anyone care about the sheep?’ With a dad who was a math teacher and a mum who worked in mental health, Louise set her sights on becoming a psychologist…but she soon learned it wasn’t the role for her. Having excelled at debating in school, Louise had the option of becoming a Lawyer. With an inner knowing that she wanted to be an influencer for good, Louise also chose to study ethics and philosophy at university in the mid 1990s. One of the mandatory textbooks was Peter Singer’s Practical Ethics. Also on the reading list was Animal Liberation. Compelled by Peter’s arguments, after reading it, Louise decided to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. This was only the beginning. Moving to Sydney after completing her degree in 1998 Louise found herself in Financial Services. Living in Sydney and then Melbourne, Louise embarked on a second qualification in financial advising, and established a career in retail and institutional financial services, and funds management before embarking on an MBA through Melbourne Business School. Louise knew in her core, that for her, there was more to life than making money. The pull to be part of something bigger and do more good in the world remained strong. Having come across Peter’s latest book The Life You Can Save – initially she admits, she was reluctant to read it - because she knew once she did, there could be no turning back. Having children was a pivotal moment in Louise’s life, acutely connecting her to the suffering of mothers and their babies all around the world. Up until that point, the suffering of mother cows was something she could not relate to. When Louise’s first child was six months old, she experienced a big shift in her consciousness and decided the ethical thing to do was to become Vegan. At around the same time, she finally read Peter Singer's book, The Life You Can Save. As expected, this changed her worldview again, and feeling more empowered she embarked on the Effective Altruism route of pledging ten per cent of her income to charity. Following this Louise was asked to be included in an article on Effective Altruism in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. While she felt uncomfortable, one of the ideas in The Life You Can Save is that sharing what you do may influence your peers. For two years, Louise met up with a Chapter Group of The Life You Can Save once a month in Melbourne where they would talk about opportunities to share Peter’s book. It was then that Louise, along with director Chris Quin, spoke at high schools about the concepts within the book. She also undertook pro bono work as the social media and marketing manager at Giving 1 Percent - a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating a culture of giving in Australia. With two growing children, Louise wanted more flexibility and set up a business as a Financial Advisor but she soon realised it still wasn’t enough for her. While still in Melbourne, she attended a rally in 2011 about the live export trade. Suffering on live export ships had recently been exposed, and while thousands of people joined in the rally Louise struggled to understand why more people weren’t talking about it, and why the government had not yet banned live exports. It reminded her of the sheep when she was a little girl. Government inaction ultimately led her to join the Animal Justice Party, where she is now Vice President. Along the way, she followed the 80,000 hours website on how to use your financial and career capital for the greatest social impact. This made her think that perhaps it was time to step into the political ring. It was 2017, the Liberal Party and the Greens had no legislation on justice for animals, so she joined The Animal Justice Party, hoping she could create structural change at a bigger level. For Louise, the treatment of animals cannot be separated from the health of our environment and is linked to the wellbeing of our community. Big change requires bold thinking and in 2018, Louise ran in the South Australian State Election as a candidate…and then as a lead candidate in the Senate in 2019. In 2022, she ran for both the State and Federal election. She is now the Vice President of the party. ‘They may be a minor party but we can still have an impact. It gives us the ability to negotiate with bigger parties at a State and Federal level.” All roads for Louise have now led to this point where she can use her skills and exercise her passion for doing the most good… ‘The Life You Can Save is an organization very much aligned with amplifying my skills.” “When I saw a Career Guidance Counsellor, the facilitator looked at what I had on paper and said I should go into philanthropy…if only I had a crystal ball.”

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