Geelong women have shown incredible support for the many International Women’s Day events held recently. The City of Greater Geelong’s Women in Community Life Advisory Committee is to be congratulated on organising the inaugural Women in Community Life Award to recognise and highlight the achievements of women in the Geelong region. This award was the initiative of several organisations, including Women in Local Democracy and Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West.
The 10 women who were short-listed were all worthy contenders as they have devoted countless hours to serving their local community and advocating for women’s issues. Their contributions were celebrated at an International Women’s Day event on 27 February at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Congratulations to the winner, Monica Hayes, who has been very active in her local community, serving on a number of local committees and currently serving as president of the Portarlington Community Association.
Geelong West Neighbourhood House members have also been very supportive. Their screening on 4 March of the incredible DVD Utopia Girls — How Women Won the Vote highlighted the courage of the trailblazing women who led the struggle for women’s suffrage in Australia. This event incorporated a forum at which former mayor and councillor Barbara Abley, AM, former council candidate Sophia Shen, Cr Kylie Fisher, former councillor Rosemary Kiss and I spoke passionately about closing the gender gap in local government.
The Business and Professional Women Geelong’s annual International Women’s Day luncheon held on 5 March was also a very successful and well-supported event, demonstrating the importance that Geelong women place on promoting women’s issues in our community and in their business and professional lives.