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.
Lisa Groom, like most of the descendants from Arthur Groom, (who co-founded Binna Burra Lodge, QLD) is creative, visionary and adventurous! To add to that, she also possess the qualities of a caring nature, the strength to survive a cancerous tumour in one of her fallopian tubes and the skills to run a successful business.
Lisa grew up living and breathing her parents business ‘interNATIONAL PARK tours’. As the name suggests, they run tours for small groups of people who like to ramble in nature, explore local food and culture in a sustainable way through National Parks and wild places around the world. Lisa’s first hurdle when she took over the business late in 2001, was the September 11 terrorist attack in New York, she had a group just about to travel there and it was a lesson in how to be flexible in the world of business and travel! Lisa is grateful for her 6 office staff and 17 tour guides, who helped to take over the running of the business and 29 tours while she was recovering from Cancer.
To keep her extra busy and connected to family history, Lisa has also been a Director on the Binna Burra Lodge Board for the past 8 years.
Lisa has always been an inspiration to me, especially when I visited in the school holidays as a child, she was fearless and grounded from growing up in the rainforest and I was too worried about snakes!
I find her life and world of tourism fascinating and visiting her this week was no expectation.
Lisa’s favourite quote is ….. Sometimes the path isn’t clear but it often leads to the best views!
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….
Imagine being a woman, being comfortable, confident and making your own informative choices!
That’s what I saw in Dr. Susan Carland when I met her recently at the YWCA SHE Leads conference. There have been many times when I have sat cross legged in a chair, it’s comfortable but you just don’t see people doing it so you can imagine my secret (silent) squeal of delight when I walked into a conference room and saw Susan sitting cross legged in a chair- ah, the comfort! She also wore jeans and flat shoes yet still looked beautifully feminine. I wondered if her air of confidence is real and deep seeded and my instincts tell me yes.
As a teenager, Susan questioned faith, not from any bad experience but to find out if what she had been brought up to believe and know about God was what she really believed. This lead to her researching many religions and resulted in her converting to Islam.
She is a woman who wants to be regarded for her mind rather than her body, proven by her being added to a number of ‘most influential people’ lists and receiving a doctorate for her thesis titled -“Fighting Hislam: an investigation into Australian and North American Muslim women fighting sexism within their own communities from a pro-faith perspective”.