3 min constituent statement - IWD Indi women making it happen
Posted March 04, 2015
CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (09:42): 'Make it happen' is the 2015 theme of International Women's Day on 8 March. All around my electorate there are many groups and organisations highlighting the achievements of women and furthering the cause of women's equality in society. The Country Fire Authority's District 24, based in Wodonga, are doing their bit to make it happen by organising a women's training and networking event celebrating IWD.
Two active firefighters will be honoured by the CFA at this event. These are Marelle Whitaker, a member of the Chiltern Fire Brigade and Tracey McVea, a member of the Beechworth Urban Fire Brigade. A special mention goes to Kimberley Taylor who is the CFA volunteerism coordinator for District 24. She is the driving force behind bringing people together to celebrate International Women's Day. Under Kimberley's watch, CFA districts in Indi have exceeded their objective of 35 per cent of new members being female. with 91 new female members recruited this year. That is 66 per cent of new members. Well done, Kimberley.
The Disability Advocacy and Information Service, DAIS, is hosting a breakfast in Wangaratta with a theme of 'Empowering women with disabilities through access, choice and respect'. The work of DAIS celebrates the achievements and contribution of women with disabilities. These are women like 22-year old Tegan Allen, an ex-Wangaratta High School student and now Everton resident, who is an amazing photographer and happens to be vision impaired. Tegan had to push hard to be allowed into photography classes as there were access issues around concerns with safety in the darkroom. These were resolved and Tegan graduated with honours from all her classes. The IWD breakfast kicks off a series of events DAIS is hosting to advocate for women with disabilities in rural areas who still face significant barriers in access and equity and around violence.
I would like to conclude by mentioning Arts Rutherglen. They celebrate their 10th anniversary of IWD events with a dinner featuring Lois Peeler, educator and member of the Indigenous group, the Sapphires. This event is made possible through the dedication and passion of women like Genevieve O'Reilly who is a founding member of IWD for Arts Rutherglen and who has been leading IWD celebrations for the last seven years.
Congratulations to all women and men in Indi who this year are making it happen for International Women's Day. On 8 March, get involved in existing events. Gather some friends together for a morning tea or a meal or even a phone call to celebrate the wonderful women in your life, your family, your community and your business.
IMAGE: Cathy McGowan with APH volunteer Cynthia Mahoney.