North Arm Cove celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day celebrated in style at North Arm Cove where Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington spoke about her passion to inspire young people.

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8 and the celebrations at North Arm Cove are getting bigger and better every year.

This year the local event celebrates 25 years of supporting women while creating awareness around issues which are vitally important to women around the globe.

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Jan Peeters is one of the wonderful volunteers who organises the annual International Women’s Day event at North Arm Cove.

This year 85 attendees got behind the event and the food was all prepared and donated by volunteers.

“We raised $3515 for UN Women Australia,” Jan Peeters told News Of The Area.

At the event, Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington spoke about her passion to inspire young people.

Two passionate local women also shared their stories.

Paula Lau spoke with conviction only someone who has walked in her and her family’s shoes can.

She feels that she has never done anything special, telling the crowd, “I have never rescued anyone from a burning building or been held hostage by the Taliban.”

However Paula shared an important story; the story of her life.

Arriving from Liverpool in England as a ten pound pom, Paula has three children, all who now live in Sydney.

Of her four grandchildren, one was tragically lost to pediatric cancer.

Statistically brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease, and claims the lives of more people under 40 than any other cancer.

Paula bluntly put that into perspective; stating the odds of someone winning the Oz Lotto jackpot as one in 45 million.

The odds of a child getting cancer is much lower – in 2022, 1000 were diagnosed, making the odds a shocking one in 285.

Also speaking at the event was the lively Annie Rutter, whose humorous and inspiring delivery of her life story was not only memorable but inspiring.

Annie is definitely a glass half full woman.

Her talk started on the positive note of, “I woke up this morning, so that was a win right there!”

In a talk that was full of energy, Annie challenged everyone to be their best and have fun everyday.

“Trust me, in 20 years you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did do – well said Mark Twain,” Annie quoted.

Among the one liners were, “Remember Ladies, if you think you are too small to make a difference…try sleeping in a room with a mosquito!” and “You only die once, but you live every day… make it count.”.

You can read Paula and Annie’s stories in a future issue of the NOTA.

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington said, “It’s so impressive that this small community has hosted its International Women’s Day event for 25 years now.

“I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve attended, but every year it’s been very special – and this year was no exception.

“The guest speakers, Paula Lau and Annie Rutter, were exceptional, leaving us all inspired and uplifted.

“Putting on an event of this size in a small community is an impressive achievement.

“For it to be going strong for 25 years is a testament to this close-knit community’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements and progressing equality.

“I thank the small and dedicated organising committee, headed up by Jan Peeters, for giving us all an opportunity to come together, hear from impressive local women and have a heap of fun,” she said.


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