IWD Breakfast Sold Out Again As Coffs Coast Women Celebrate International Women’s Day

Coffs Coast International Woman of the Year, Emma Apsden.

 

‘CHOOSE to Challenge’ was the theme of the International Women’s Day (IWD) breakfast in Coffs Harbour which, this year, was held on International Women’s Day.

The breakfast is organised each year by the three major women’s organisations in Coffs Harbour; Zonta, Business & Professional Women (BPW) and the Business Women’s Network (BWN).

Last year’s IWD Woman of the Year, Lily Isobella, compèred the breakfast.

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Ms Isobella is a speaker, activist and educator and the head instructor at ‘Get Up Girl’, a program for women that combines self-defence, self-esteem and self-confidence skills.

She introduced the morning by talking to the audience of 350 women about the need for women to use the voice that they have in society and ensure they stand up for themselves to achieve their aspirations.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr Rosie Ross, who shared her inspiring journey to become a doctor in her late 50s.

She stressed that everyone has the power to choose and shared some of the choices she has made to get to where she is today.

“Let go of the unhelpful thoughts to be what we have the potential to be,” Dr Ross said.

“It’s never too late to follow your dreams,” she said.

Southern Cross University scholarships were awarded to Sally Morrigan who is studying for a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education and Jade Fredricks who is studying a Master of Marine Science and Management.

Zonta also named Emma Serisier as its International Young Woman in Public Affairs and Leah Bell as its International Women’s Day Young Performer of the Year.

This year’s Coffs Coast Woman of the Year is Emma Aspden who is the coordinator of ‘3Es to Freedom’, a program that provides assistance to refugee and migrant women, particularly in the early days of their settlement.

Ms Aspen spoke about the importance of connection and believing in others.

She said that the women with whom she works come with no English language but many stories to tell and limited education but a wealth of knowledge.

Ms Aspen told the audience that because family has always been important to her, she considers the women she works with as family.

This year, both of the other finalists, Angelika Aurelich and Lisa Nicholls were declared joint runners up.

At the end of the breakfast all those present were encouraged to show their support for the March4Justice, next Monday 15 March.

 

By Andrew VIVIAN

 

Coffs Coast women show their solidarity.

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