International Women's Day means different things to different people, but the global focus on equality and celebration is clear.
The day started with an Acknowledgment of Country by Astro Stewart followed by a reflection on the powerful process of collaboration between women throughout history.
Throughout ancient and modern history, women have collaborated and led purposeful action to redress inequality in the hope of a better future for their communities, children and themselves. This has resulted in a celebration of hope and action – in the form of International Women’s Day.
Equality means ensuring all people have equal opportunities to make the most of their lives and talents, and that no one has poorer life chances due to their background or status – the very core of International Women's Day.
Equality can only be achieved if the diversity, differences and qualities of all peoples, regardless of gender, race or creed, are truly valued.
Keynote speaker for the day was Leah Gabolinscy, CEO of Lake Macquarie Private Hospital. She shared her journey from her school days to her current position, highlighting the qualities of tenacity, courage and being kind to yourself. She also challenged students to “be kind to each other”.
Leah faced significant challenges on in journey but shared with all her belief in the power of hard work, focus and surrounding oneself with positive people.
The powerful presentation had a significant impact an all present and the community is deeply grateful to Leah for sharing her inspirational story.
Following Leah’s speech, the Year 12 community and family studies class gave a short presentation on the nominated charity for the day – Share the Dignity. This highlighted the need for awareness of the position some women find themselves in – with little or no money for personal hygiene items, which sometimes keeps young women out of school due to what is known as “period poverty”.
From decorations, to an IWD soundtrack, flowers and food, the morning offered all members of the community a chance to see the power of women in action.
It was a wonderful celebration of community and creativity with all who attended coming away feeling changed by the experience.
The day also raised in excess of $300.