Blue Mountains News

Celebrating the ‘Whole Woman’ for International Women’s Day

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 10 Mar 2020
Council employees Storm Kavanagh, Melissa Murray, Michaela Durston, Sabrina Roesner and Sandy Benson spoke about their life and work journeys at Council’s International Women’s Day event.
Blue Mountains City Council staff gathered on 5 March 2020 to celebrate International Women’s Day, acknowledge their achievements, and support each other in making the world a more equitable place.

Council CEO, Dr Rosemary Dillon, opened the event with an Acknowledgement of Country and  observed a minute of silence in honour of Hannah Clarke, her three children, and all who have been impacted by family and domestic violence.

“Everyone can help create a gender equal world that is caring, compassionate and non-violent,” Dr Dillon said. “We are responsible for our own thoughts, our own speech and our own actions. When we think, speak and act in ways that show respect, care and kindness we help make the world more equal and a better place.

“Council is committed to progressive policies that support all those in the workplace. We have recently reviewed our Family and Domestic Violence Workplace Support Policy, which provides support options including access to leave, changes to work locations and conditions, and safety support plans for those who may be managing difficult situations in their personal lives.”

At the International Women’s Day event, guest speaker Kelly Heylen addressed staff. Ms. Heylen is the founder and curator of Platform Gallery, a feminist art gallery in Katoomba. She was Australia’s first Creative Industries Cluster Manager, working at BMEE, where she commissioned MTNS MADE. She is also a burlesque performer and is currently undertaking a Master of Research in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University.

Ms. Heylen’s talk, Living a Feminist Life, covered topics including living true to your values, representation and diversity in the Arts, paid domestic violence leave and depictions of consent in culture.

For their own stories, Council staff chose to explore the concept of the ‘Whole Woman’ as the inspiration. To do this, five diverse women from Council’s staff shared personal and powerful stories about their lived experiences as both women in, and away from, the workplace.  

On Sunday 8 March, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre live streamed three headline sessions from Sydney Opera House’s All About Women, a vibrant festival that asks questions about gender, justice and equality. Popular local dance troupe, Hearts Hands and Feet, also perform in the break between talks.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender equality. International Women’s Day has been continuously observed on 8 March since 1913. The theme for 2020 is An Equal World is an Enabled World. For more information on International Women’s Day visit internationalwomensday.com.

Council staff will celebrate International Men’s Day on 19 November.

 
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