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WOMAN OF THE WEEK
22 April Louisa Wall
Advocacy in the community
International Women’s Day 2012
Gemma, Shaez and Rosie were among hundreds of women who took to the streets for the IWD march in Adelaide, starting at UniSA City West and stopping at Parliament House to gather with more women and hear inspiring speakers. It was then on to the State Library Lawns where Minister for the Status of Women Gail Gago launched the 2012 Gladys Elphick Award Nominations and the large crowd enjoyed the soulful tunes of the Ngarrindjeri Miminar Kaiklun Choir. In Adelaide the 2012 IWD march theme was Learning from Each Other, Demanding our Share of the Future.
Reclaim the Night Adelaide 2011
In recent years a different organisation has been invited to coordinate RtN in Adelaide. In 2011 it was the YWCA’s turn and in response to community consultation, organisers departed from tradition and held a twilight picnic in the city’s central square and men and boys were welcome to attend. After a day of heavy rain, still more than 200 people came along and in her Welcome to Country Aunty Josie said: “I have never seen so many young women.” Federal Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis addressed the crowd as did Fiona Mort from SA’s Office for Women (representing Minister Gail Gago), and three young women spoke about youth programs working in our communities to encourage respectful relationships: Natalya Giffney from SHine SA, Abbie Sayers from Parks Youth, and Gemma Beale from Marion Youth. All-girl band Juno opened the night and DJ Nonchalant Sally ended the night with Ellie Lovegrove wowing the crowd in between before GKR karate put on a self defence demonstration. YWCA of Adelaide respects that some women chose not to attend the event due to the changed format, and looks forward to the conversations that will certainly follow about whether the changed format worked, and how Reclaim the Night will be marked in 2012 and beyond.
Check out the photo-story from Adelaide’s Reclaim the Night here
SlutWalk Adelaide 2011
YWCA of Adelaide staff joined more than 300 people marching from Victoria Square to Parliament House for the first Adelaide SlutWalk on Saturday 11 June 2011. Following a comment from a representative of the Toronto Police Force in Canada in January 2011: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”, people all over the world have been taking to the streets for SlutWalks - an international women's movement which condemns victim-blaming, slut-shaming and judgements based purely on attire. The event preaches respect for sexuality, safety for women everywhere (regardless of how they should choose to dress) and understanding for victims of sexual abuse. The mission of the Adelaide SlutWalk organisers included: Adelaide SlutWalk is a peaceful protest to end victim blaming and shaming and reclaim the right to express your sexuality. We are not reclaiming the word ‘slut’ but reclaiming the right to be who we are without being attacked, to bring greater awareness to the fact that 'No means no' and we shouldn’t have to fight for respect and justice.
World YWCA Day Round the World Breakfast
More than 50 people enjoyed a relaxing bbq breakfast and two inspiring guest speakers to celebrate YWCA of Adelaide’s World YWCA Day Round the World Breakfast on Wednesday 20 April 2011. With the theme ‘Violence/Women Creating Safe Communities’ Catriona Standfield, the UN Women youth representative to the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2011 spoke about the stories of violence she heard from young SA women during her consultation before attending the CSW, and the commitments made at the CSW that will help reduce violence. Rochelle Craker, Project Officer with YWCA of Adelaide’s Northern Services program spoke passionately about the impact of bullying on young women and the work being done with young women to increase self confidence, self esteem, build resilience skills, and promote respectful relationships.
100 years of International Women’s Day
YWCA of Adelaide staff were delighted to host two Members and two young women program participants at the UN Women Centenary IWD Breakfast at the Convention Centre on Tuesday 8 March 2011. Joining with more than 2000 others it was inspiring to reflect on women’s achievements so far and sobering to acknowledge the work that remains to achieve gender equality.
Left to right: Joan, Jessica, Samantha, Claire.
On Thursday 10 March YWCA of Adelaide staff, Members, friends and families joined hundreds in the annual IWD rally and march. After stirring speeches on the steps of Parliament House the crowd headed down North Tce to the State Library lawns to celebrate the launch of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance IWD poster and hear the Ngarrindjeri Miminar Kaiklun Choir.
White Ribbon Day
On 25 November 2010 White Ribbon Day Ambassadors held a stall in Rundle Mall raising awareness about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Several well known media and sports personalities spoke passionately about not being violent, and not being silent when it comes to violence against women, encouraging the public to sign a pledge with these statements and placing the signed statement in a Swear Jar. Minister for the Status of Women Gail Gago also announced $30,000 funding for the Coalition for Men Supporting Non Violence.
YWCA of Adelaide staff attended the Body of Knowledge exhibition presented by HIV Women’s Project (Women’s Health Statewide) and Gallery M (Marion Cultural Centre) in the lead up to World Aids Day 2010. Developed by Positive Women Victoria, the powerful compilation of photographs was created by world renowned photographer Michael Coyne. The images document the experiences of women living with HIV/AIDS and Pam Price and Katherine Leane from the HIV Women’s Project, through their information and stories, helped bring the images to life. HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention is a policy priority of World YWCA.
Passing the Baton
On 3 November 2010 the Don Dunstan Foundation hosted Passing the Baton to celebrate 35 years since SA was the first Australian state to pass a Sex Discrimination Act. The evening featured a keynote address from Dr Anne Summers and speeches from Minister Gago, Minister Ellis and Michelle Lensink. All acknowledged the incredible achievements of the last 35 years and were clear about all the work that remains to be done for women’s rights. Among the 600 strong audience were the first women elected to South Australia’s Parliament, the state’s first Sex Discrimination Commissioners and Equal Opportunity Commissioners, and hundreds of influential and inspiring women who have and will continue to address equality in this state. A fun debate adjudicated by the Hon Robyn Layton saw Lindy Powell QC and Dorinda Hafner Vs Tory Shepherd and Chelsea Lewis on the topic For a Woman to Succeed in Business She has to be a Man. The younger women were arguing against the proposition and they won the night, and the baton (corn cobs!) was graciously passed.
Reclaim the Night
On the last Friday of October millions of women around the world rallied and marched for Reclaim the Night – an annual march allowing women to come together to speak out against violence and to celebrate strength. The Central Domestic Violence Service coordinated the 2010 Adelaide event and YWCA of Adelaide staff, Board members and Members braved the rain and chilly wind to join the calls for an end to domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Vigils
YWCA of Adelaide attends domestic violence vigils which are held, tragically too regularly, on the steps of Parliament House in the wake of domestic violence deaths in South Australia.
Remembrance Quilt Project
On Tuesday 19 October 2010 the Remembrance Quilt entitled ‘Not One More’ was unveiled at South Australia’s Parliament House. The national project engaged women and supporters in the community to work together in the creation of a Remembrance Quilt to honour and remember the women and children who have been killed in domestic violence in their community. The quilt is displayed in the foyer of Old Parliament House, and is publicly accessible.
Equal Work Equal Pay Rally
YWCA of Adelaide staff and members joined hundreds in Adelaide, and thousands around the country, who all rallied on 10 June 2010 calling for better pay for working women in the community sector. With rallies held in 17 locations across the country, it was the biggest Australia-wide rally since the 1970s fight for equal pay for women. Women in full time paid work in Australia still earn 18 per cent less on average than men, which equates to $1 million less over a lifetime. This rally supports the Australian Services Union equal pay test case to address lower pay among female-dominated community sector workers; the professionals that all Australians rely on in times of individual and community crisis. In Adelaide, a petition of thousands of signatures was handed to Minister for the Status of Women, Gail Gago, who will table the petition in Parliament.
Fringe Opening Night Parade
YWCA of Adelaide program participants, members and staff make a noise at the Fringe Opening Night Parade!
Apology Anniversary Brunch
Geoffrey Cooper was a special guest at YWCA of Adelaide's Apology Anniversary Brunch, where we gathered in the shade alongside Tandanya on Friday 13 February.
'Coops' - who is a member of the Stolen Generation - shared his story about being taken from his school class, without any warning, and removed from his family at age 9. He also spoke about his placement at Glandore Boys Home, living with a foster family, and reconnecting with his family and community as an older man.
He talked about the impact of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generation in 2008, and in particular, the powerful response he had when two school children approached him at the Elder Park event, shook his hand, and said 'Sorry'. Coops said there is still much work to be done to achieve reconciliation in Australia, and to close the 17 year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.