Port Stephens’ Councillors and Local Parliamentarians Celebrate International Women’s Day with Local Women at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens

Attending the International Women’s Day Breakfast, Kevin Stores (Chairman of the Botanic Gardens), Meryl Swanson, MP, Kate Washington, MP, Deb Dibley (Principal, Hunter River High), and Colleen Whittle (Manager, Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services)
Attending the International Women’s Day Breakfast, Kevin Stores (Chairman of the Botanic Gardens), Meryl Swanson, MP, Kate Washington, MP, Deb Dibley (Principal, Hunter River High), and Colleen Whittle (Manager, Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services)

 

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day, a day for the community to come together and celebrate the achievements of women and women’s groups, was celebrated at a BBQ breakfast at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens.

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Press for Progress is the theme for the Women’s Day in 2018 and reflects current international issues associated with harassment of women.

Organised by local Parliamentarians, Ms Kate Washington MP and Ms Meryl Swanson MP, the event was attended by many in the community, including representatives from local schools, Port Stephens Councillors, and community members.

Speaking at the breakfast, Ms Washington said, “Having spent the last week in Parliament House and today to see such friendly faces for the International Women’s Day is a good thing.”

“Our intent is to highlight and celebrate this special day and to support young women in our community to become leaders.”

“When women support women we win and when women and men support women we all win.”

A fundraising raffle was held, with all proceeds directed towards the Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services.

Prizes for an online auction were donated by local artist Ms Jenny Crozier to support the community group.

Ms Swanson also spoke at the breakfast, saying, “We do have terrific people from a terrific part of the world.”

But, she also reminded those in attendance of the serious side to the need for an International Women’s Day, saying, “We have a responsibility to make our area a safe one for women.”

“The fastest rate of homelessness is women aged over 55.”

“In a country like Australia, that is unacceptable.”

Speaking at the event, Principal of Hunter River High School, Mrs Debbie Dibley gave a powerful personal testimony of her experiences as a young woman and overcoming adversity to become an educational leader.

Mrs Dibley told the school student leaders and others in attendance, “My message to my students is, education provides focus and education truly changes lives.”

 

By Heather SHARP

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