On International Women’s Day this year I had the pleasure of joining local women in the Surf Coast Shire Council offices for the launch of a local exhibition titled ‘Resilience’. The exhibition is a series of black-and-white portraits taken by local Fairhaven-based photographer Rebecca Hosking celebrating the resilience and diversity of women living on the Surf Coast. The exhibition is showing at the Surf World Museum in Torquay until 20 March and will show at the Eagles Nest Fine Art Gallery in Aireys Inlet from 20 April until 1 May. It will also show at Qdos Arts in Lorne and the Globe Theatre in Winchelsea.
As women and men around Victoria celebrated International Women’s Day and the role of women in our society, one could not help but think of all the inequalities that still remain and the lack of vigour and desire that the state government has in this area. Under this government Victoria has seen the lowest number of women in cabinet since the Kennett era; the Office of Women’s Policy gutted; the abolition of a dedicated family violence team in the face of a significant increase in the reporting of family violence; community health and women’s health budgets slashed by $25 million; an attempt to abolish nurse-patient ratios; Take a Break funding slashed; a broken promise to teachers, the majority of whom are women, that they would be the highest paid in Australia; and a fight against the equal pay case. The list goes on and on. The coalition state government continues to make life harder for women in this state.