Published: 18 March 2019

International Women's Day 2019

Our International Women’s Day Luncheon was a great success. It was so very uplifting and encouraging, with lots of inspiration from our guest speakers – thank you to Yvonne O’Neill, Anne Crittall and Captain Mariam Ajang.

Mariam spoke of her challenges in going between two worlds and the expectations around traditional female and male roles.

Yvonne talked of her indigenous background and how she fought against stereotypical racist barriers in her education, coming from “the riverbank’ community from her country in NSW. Yvonne was chosen in the first National Women’s Rugby League Team, which encountered great inequity compared to men’s teams.Yvonne also developed her gifted art work with her paintings being exhibited in the Vatican museum – very big achievements, with her current position being with the University of Southern Qld.

Anne is a young lawyer who achieved first class honours and is now with a leading law firm proudly asserting her presence in a new career.

Their messages of resilience, breaking down barriers, dreaming big, making a positive out of a negative, and the belief in self to achieve, were truly motivating! All spoke of working together and as mentioned in the recent newsletter we still have a world where many people and particularly women are in poverty, and only 23.8% of representatives in parliaments across the world are women. Gender equality means gender liberation for men and women, which sees a better society where people are not restricted by any stereotypes, which can be very crippling for many.

An outstanding performance by the eight girls in the SAUTI VOICES group led by Dr Shannon O’Gorman – they were fantastic and they brought a tear to many eyes.

Australia’s first International Women’s Day was held in 1928 in Sydney. Organised by the Militant Women’s Movement, women called for equal pay for equal work, an 8 hour working day for shop girls and paid leave. The next year the event spread to Brisbane. In 1931, annual marches were launched in both Sydney and Melbourne and both marches continue to be held today.

Thank you to all who made the day special.