Community comes together to celebrate International Women's Day

Published on 16 March 2017

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Media Release

Community members gathered together in Cohuna last Wednesday morning to hear inspirational stories from local leaders in celebration of International Women’s Day and this year’s theme, ‘Be Bold for Change’.

The captive audience was treated to personal reflections and encouraging words from all four speakers, including Dr Shabnam Amiri, owner of Kerang Dental Surgery, who spoke of the courage it took for her to move to Australia from Iran and effectively “start all over again.”

CFA District 20 Operations Manager Peter Taylor said that the Be Bold Breakfast is one of many initiatives that the community will see happening across the area.

“We are promoting diversity and creating inclusive environments for all members of our community,” Mr Taylor said.

Bamawm Extension CFA Captain George Calleja’s pride in his Brigade’s young women shone through from the very start, by sharing the initiatives Bamawm Extension have implemented to encourage females to volunteer with CFA.

Girgarre CFA Captain Maree Gadzinski, one of only 36 female Captains Statewide, paid homage to the inclusive environment she experienced at Girgarre, after transferring to an operational role 16 years ago.

“At no time then or now did I feel like I was trailblazing or knocking down doors,” said Ms Gadzinski.

“There were none to knock down. I see a big future for women in CFA.”

Cohuna Neighbourhood House Coordinator Cathy Donehue said the event is a significant action in encouraging meaningful celebration to create a more gender inclusive world.

“Cohuna Neighbourhood house is pleased to be part of the worldwide movement to help forge a better world for women,” Mrs Donehue said.

Council’s Director Community Wellbeing Mandy Hutchinson stated that over 70% of Gannawarra Shire Council’s workforce is made up of women, and the current term of Councillors sees three elected representatives that are women.

“Council is pleased to be a local leader in gender equality in our workforce and leadership across the local government sector,” Ms Hutchinson said.

“This year’s theme ‘Be Bold for Change’ resonates with Council, as we are currently developing our new four year Council Plan and our new Council group is aiming for an aspirational, positive and bold new Plan,” Ms Hutchinson said.

The event was an initiative of CFA, in partnership with Cohuna Neighbourhood House and Gannawarra Shire Council. The event was kindly hosted at Factory and Field in Cohuna, with the delicious breakfast cooked by local Cohuna’s Men Shed members.

For more information contact Bec McDonald (CFA) on 1800  820 118 or Katrina Thorne (Gannawarra Shire Council) on 03 5450 9333


Date: 16 March 2017