Hon. Kelly Vincent MLC ~ Dealing with Dignity

 

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Hon. Kelly Vincent MLC  ~ Photo by Jennie Groom ©2017

I first heard Kelly Vincent’s unique husky voice on ABC Radio Adelaide 8 years ago when she was interviewed about the degree of difficulty she had been encountering with the Government while trying to get a new wheelchair, having outgrown her child-sized wheelchair.  The radio community (including myself) found Kelly to be immediately likeable and rallied together to support her.  I wondered if Kelly’s new adult wheelchair was possibly fast tracked by the Government due to the high degree of media exposure and community support. This was the start of Kelly Vincent getting results from the Government and is now continuing her advocacy work as Member for the Legislative Council in the Parliament of South Australia.

Kelly’s background in playwriting and acting has given her the confidence and ability to articulate the problems facing people with disabilities, and their family carers. She supports radical change for the needs of people with disabilities and believes that the biggest thing that needs to shift is peoples attitudes towards disability. Kelly has ensured that universal design principles are considered in the state planning law.

Trailblazing into parliament as a fresh faced 21 year old, Kelly has grown into her role as a parliamentarian over the last 7 years with great respect from the community, her colleagues and also the media!  She’s the youngest woman elected to an Australian parliament, the first elected on a disability rights platform, she is Leader of the Dignity Party and I hope she gets elected again next year!

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International Women’s Day

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Ella Simpson by Jennie Groom © 2017

Today is International Women’s Day, a day that has been gaining more and more traction since 1975 when during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March the 8th.

The history of women’s groups, marches, protests, honouring and celebrating goes back to the 1800’s and one group that was significant back then and still to this day is the YWCA.  South Australia’s YWCA was founded in 1880.

This week the YWCA are launching a mural in Adelaide’s James Place painted by local artist Ella Simpson.

The vibrant laneway mural is designed to spark a conversation about women’s safety, gender equality and bystander intervention. The aim is to keep people thinking and talking about their role in contributing to safe public spaces for women.

YWCA Adelaide developed the Rise Above the Pack campaign in 2014 in response to Adelaide women avoiding the CBD because of safety issues.

Rise Above the Pack aims to engage men and women in a meaningful conversation about street harassment, gender equality and the role that we all play in calling out behaviours and attitudes that put women at risk of violence.

If you would like to help fund this campaign and mural, there are a few days left, so visit…..https://chuffed.org/project/rise-above-the-pack

Ella Simpson

YWCA Adelaide

Rise Above the Pack

 

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Mural by Ella Simpson for the YWCA ‘Rise Above the Pack’ campaign.

 

The Hon. Anne Levy AO – Presidential Power

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The Hon. Anne Levy AO       Photo by Jennie Groom ©

When I met and photographed Anne Levy a couple of years ago, just after her 80th birthday, I knew I was in the presence of a significant woman of parliament but doing some more research recently on Anne has really opened my eyes to how amazing and supremely significant she is and someone should write a book about her so school children can learn about her contribution to history, (just saying!).

Anne Levy is a trailblazer, and I don’t use that term lightly.  It’s rare to see these days politicians staying in the job for much longer than a term or two let alone 22 years and then choosing to retire, but this is what Anne Levy did which demonstrates her popularity in Government.

Anne was the first Labor woman in South Australia to be elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1975 where she continued serving the state until retiring in 1997.  During her tenure, Anne served as the first Labor President of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1986 to 1989.  Labor had not previously ever held the Legislative Council presidency. She was also the first woman to preside over any house of Parliament in Australia.  You may want to re-read those last two lines, I had to!

One of the first groups Anne joined as a founding member and later patron, was the Humanist Society of South Australia in 1960.  She was awarded the Humanist of the Year in 1986 for her work towards abortion law reform, voluntary euthanasia, family planning, decriminalisation of homosexuality, and other reforms.  Since then, Anne has been a member, life long member, board member, chair, patron and founder of many, many different groups and societies, not to forget, holding 6 different portfolios as a Minister whilst in Government.

Prior to politics, Anne was already a trailblazing woman for studying science and was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1957.  In-between Honours and her Master of Science in 1963, she had 2 children and worked as a Tutor and Senior Tutor in Genetics from 1960-1975 at the University of Adelaide.

Currently, Anne is happy still serving on Boards including the State Theatre of South Australia and The Botanic Gardens and supporting artists by adding to her personal collection.

Taryn Brumfit ~ Entirely Embraced

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Photo By Jennie Groom © 2016

I thought on the last Wednesday of the year we would revisit one of this year’s most influential woman with the bonus being its her birthday today!  Plus, it’s nice to have a bit of holiday poetry!

Reintroducing Taryn Brumfitt…….
Women around the world take comfort
From the epiphany presented to Taryn Brumfitt

Finding her post baby body hard to face
Taryn resolved it to be a surgery case
She booked in for a tummy tuck
Then, the epiphany struck….
“How can I teach my daughter to love her body
When it’s mine, I need to embody?”

A Body Image Movement started
Her previous life departed
A before and after photo went viral
The movement caught in a spiral
A book launch
A happy body stood staunch

A documentary to be made
Women embracing their bodies portrayed
Well, get ready to stare
At the films premiere
Be proud of your body, dress up in lace
Taryn’s film is called ‘Embrace’
https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace-the-documentary/

Women Leaders – Talking the Talk

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Photo by Jennie Groom © 2016                            L-R Rebekha Sharkie, Nick Xenophon Team, Kerrynne Liddle, Liberal Party of Australia, Hon. Kate Ellis MP, Australian Labor Party and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Australian Greens

Last night I attended the 2016 Election Q+A hosted by Women in Media at the Advertiser and listen to the above women speak on politics and being a woman in politics. You may know that this topic is close to my heart and my recent work so I just had to feature them as today’s Wednesday’s Women.

The panel of women was diverse with two women running for the Senate and two for the House of Representatives and across the two major and the two (major) minor parties.

My recent exhibition “let us be up and doing” showcased women from South Australia who are former politicians but had achieved a major milestone, like first or longest. Last nights panel, if all elected, would still be ground breaking; Rebekha Sharkie would be the first woman to win the seat of Mayo; Kerrynne Liddle would be the first Aboriginal woman from South Australia to enter the Senate; Kate Ellis will continue as an MP, her 13th year and Sarah Hanson-Young will continue on as a Senator, her 9th year.

I chose last night as a good night to start my petition, “A Plead to Lead by example, Respect from the top down. Politicians quit bully behaviour.” In the footsteps of Mary Lee who travelled the colony (SA) in 1894 gaining 11,600 signatures for her petition to give women the right to vote, I plan to do the same with the above petition as I travel my exhibition around SA in the coming months. I was very pleased our leaders last night started off the handwritten petition with many of the media women signing on too. If you would like to sign the petition which will be presented to State and Federal Parliament, you can either catch me on the road or sign the digital petition here….

 
I wish all the women all the best in the election, be up and doing!

Taryn Brumfitt – Entirely Embraced

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Photo By Jennie Groom © 2016
Women around the world take comfort
From the epiphany presented to Taryn Brumfitt
Finding her post baby body hard to face
Taryn resolved it to be a  surgery case
She booked in for a tummy tuck
Then, the epiphany struck….
“How can I teach my daughter to love her body
When it’s mine, I need to embody?”
A Body Image Movement started
Her previous life departed
A before and after photo went viral
The movement caught in a spiral
A book launch
A happy body stood staunch
A documentary to be made
Women embracing their bodies portrayed
Well, get ready to stare
At the films premiere
Be proud of your body, dress up in lace
Taryn’s film is called ‘Embrace’

‘Embrace’ premiering at Sydney Film Festival on June the 12th, in Cinemas from August

Ronni Kahn ~ Waste Warrior

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Photo by Jennie Groom 2011, thanks to MoAD for Permission.

If you believe good food shouldn’t go to waste, then you will appreciate Ronni Kahn’s mission.

I had the privilege of meeting and photographing Ronni for an exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) in Canberra in 2011.  Ronni and the whole crew were moved to ‘feel good’ tears as she told us her story.

In the process of questioning the purpose of her life, Ronni visited a friend and mentor in South Africa, and went to visit an aids clinic in Soweto her friend had set-up.  As they travelled through the city her friend mentioned she was responsible for electricity in Soweto.  To this news, Ronni thought “Wow, what must it feel like to know you have made an impact to over 1 million people?”  Once she saw the Aids Clinic, Ronni knew her life would never be the same, she knew she wanted to make a significant contribution to society.

Ronni had been in the event industry and experienced first hand the food wastage from events.  On occasions, she would hand deliver her left over food to charities and always felt good about doing so but with the concern about food wastage and people going hungry in  Australia she thought there must be a better way.   She then set-up the food rescue charity OzHarvest and had food legislation changed throughout the country enabling her to do this.

Food rescue is not the half eaten sandwich, it’s the food that has never touched the plate!  The food which is left over in the kitchen or on the shelves that wasn’t sold before closing time or the excess food left over from an event, meeting in a boardroom or catering on a film shoot for example.

“Food is so much more than just filling our tummies, it’s about nutrition, it’s about nourishment, it’s about caring, it’s about support”

The second impact of OzHarvest’s contribution to Australia and the world, Ronni could never have imagined is for every kilogram of food OzHarvest rescues, saves 2kg in methane gas and 143 litres of water.  To date they have saved over 15 million kilograms of food that was destined for landfill.

OzHarvest collects good quality food from over 2000 commercial outlets and delivers it to over 800 charities with their fleet of 30+ highly visible yellow vans and has fed more than 45 million meals to people in need across most of Australia.

“In our society and our wonderful democracy of Australia, I think that individuals have the opportunity every single day to find a way in their lives to make a difference” stresses Ronni.  This week is National Volunteer Week and Ronni knows only too well the value of volunteers in our society and the unlimited personal rewards volunteers receive when they volunteer.

“Not a day goes by where I don’t feel moved or blessed by the impact OzHarvest has had.”

It’s no surprise Ronni Kahn was named ‘Australian Local Hero’ in the 2010 Australian Of The Year Awards.

Silvia Hart – Super Seasonal

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Photo by Jennie Groom © 2016

At the age of 15, I remember horse riding with Silvia around Basket Range and eating fresh apples from the trees. In fact, most of my memories of Silvia involve food and the things she’s made from them like ‘sugar’ for removing leg hair, an awesome honey facial scrub and even just this morning, drinking the ‘Winter Green’ raw honey mixed with lemon to help my sore throat (and it did!).

I think it’s fair enough to say Silvia has always being into fresh produce and concocting all sorts of wonders from them. It’s not hard to believe she’s where she’s at today…..opening the supremely updated ‘Seasonal Garden Café’ at the, to be envied address, No.100 Mt Barker Rd, Hahndorf!

Silvia originally opened the Seasonal Garden Cafe in 2012 after selling her successful Honey Lady business, she quickly out grew her first café and moved next door to bigger premises which she has once again out grown.

Silvia is dedicated to good seasonal produce, supporting local farmers and food producers as a Premium Food and Wine Ambassador for South Australian and a keen advocate for Ozharvest. She is in the perfect spot to elevate this platform and I’m sure there is a cooking show and a book in her yet!

Rosie Batty – White Ribbon Woman

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Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015
With Australian Domestic Violence at breaking point,

It was a stroke of genius to appoint,
Rosie Batty the 2015 Australian of the year.

So many women shed a tear.
Not just women, but their children and families too

In the hope that Rosie’s story and campaigning can break through.

Rosie came to Adelaide this morning
Domestic Violence she was scorning

at the white ribbon breakfast.

Premier Jay Weatherill puts forward a prospectus
familiar with the appalling statistics

He announces new logistics

For women to access the criminal records of their partners
to see if they are hiding any potential darkness.
The world needs people to speak out and make change
Just like Rosie Batty has done at close range.