February 18 - 24, 2024: Issue 614


2024 International Women's Day Events: Four Local Organisations Working To Raise Funds To Help Women - Count Her In: Invest In Women - Accelerate Progress!

Northern Beaches Womens' Shelter - Zonta Club NB - The Women's Resilience Centre - Women Of Whale

Women’s economic empowerment is central to a gender equal world. When women are given equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead, entire communities thrive. 

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.

Based on the priority theme for the United Nations 68th Commission on the Status of Women, Count Her In will examine the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere. 

While important progress has been made, women face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy. Without equal access to education, employment pathways, financial services and literacy, how can we ever hope to reach gender equality?

We must ensure women and girls are given equal opportunity to build their capabilities and strengthen their capacity to learn, earn and lead.

One of the ways you can so is by getting involved with International Women’s Day. 

International Women’s Day is Friday 8 March 2024.  

On Wednesday February 7 2024 Australian government, political and defence force leaders came together at Parliament House to officially launch the Australian celebrations of International Women’s Day – ahead of the UN Global Day of Observance on 8 March.

Co-hosted by the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia, and the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, Leader of the Opposition, the annual UN Women Australia event brings together the leaders and decision makers of our nation to celebrate the progress made and the commitment required to achieving gender equality and SDG 5.

The Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Minister for Foreign Affairs each addressed the event, speaking to the importance of International Women’s Day, which this year centres on the need for economic inclusion and investment to accelerate progress for women and girls everywhere.

“The lead-up to International Women’s Day is an opportunity for all of us to recognise the progress that women are driving across our economy and our society”, said the Prime Minister.

“It’s a chance to re-affirm our commitment to true gender equality – in the community, the boardroom, on the sporting field, in our parliaments. Above all, this is a time when we must face-up to where we are falling short and look for new ways to do better.”

The Foreign Minister, The Hon. Penny Wong, said, “The aspirations we champion in our region – peace, stability and prosperity – can only be achieved if we continue to see progress on gender equality. When women and girls are empowered, and barriers to participation are removed, economies grow faster.”

UN Women Australia Chair, Georgina Williams, emphasised how when women are empowered to have their own voice, agency, and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels of society, everyone benefits.

“Women’s economic empowerment has such a large impact on an individual country’s enduring economic, health, education, and political and cultural stability success measures. It’s the basis of movement in almost every other gender statistic.”

Simone Clarke, CEO UN Women Australia, acknowledged the longstanding support and partnership of the Australian government, demonstrated through its continued investment for women and girls in the region.

“We’re able to provide access to education, training and financial literacy, enabling women to learn the vital skills necessary to lift themselves out of poverty, gain financial independence and build a sustainable future for themselves, their families and even their communities.”

UN Women Australia will be holding IWD events in, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, as well as a live virtual stream of all events on Friday, 8 March 2024. For more information and to secure tickets, please visit iwd.net.au.

Whether you’re an individual, an organisation, in Parliament, in the office, online, or at school – there are many ways to get involved and show your support for women and girls around the world on International Women’s Day.

This Issue we run information about four local organisations who are running International Women’s Day 2024 events that you can take part in and in doing so support their work this year to Count Women In.

Most of these will host Speakers who are leaders and changemakers working to re-shape systems and remove barriers so that all women and girls can realise their full potential and build better financial futures for us all.

The run in the sequence they will occur:

Northern Beaches Women's Shelter

What are the core values of your organisation?

The power and importance of community is the founding principle of the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter. NBWS was created by the community and exists for the community. We are a registered charity, and operating for lifelong outcomes – for the betterment of others less fortunate – is a core value as well. We believe every woman has worth in her own right and deserves our society’s protection and care as she strives to make her way through life’s challenges.

NBWS recognises that there is often a number of intersecting causes of a woman’s homelessness. In a majority of cases, long-term trauma underlies the presenting cause. We’re committed to supporting women through the four main reasons for presentation at the Shelter, which are the central crises of our society: domestic violence; drug and alcohol abuse; mental illness and financial hardship.

What are you goals as an organisation?

To shelter and support homeless women, equipping them with temporary and/or transition housing as well as the therapeutic, clinical and practical tools they need to regain their independence and well-being.

We also work to raise awareness about female homelessness and the issues behind its alarming growth rate, across the Northern Beaches specifically and Australia generally. 

We also work to harness the extraordinary goodwill, energy, generosity and skills of our local community for the benefit of our residents, and to secure the operation’s future, is a primary goal as well.

How would you like the society/the public to perceive your organisation?

We strive to be recognised as a flagship example of community engagement, grassroots change, specialist service delivery and human empathy that produces outstanding, permanent outcomes for its clients.

Would you say the values of Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter reflect elements of feminism?

Yes, absolutely. We believe that each woman has the right to self-determine and reclaim her future, that she has the right to education and training, plus access to health and social services. We recognise the terrible impact of domestic violence on women and know this to be overwhelmingly a gendered issue at well over 90% of perpetrators being male.

We believe social messaging around women’s bodies and behaviour remains damaging and sexist. There are long-term, pervasive injustices in financial terms too, and we believe in the need to agitate for change and equality: the gender pay gap, absences from work for child-bearing years and the paucity of women on boards all put women at a distinct financial disadvantage, not just for advancement and for their capacity to sustain themselves and their families, but in terms of their superannuation potential.

What activities do you partake in with your organisation reflect elements of social justice?

The establishment and operation of the Shelter is itself a material, eloquent expression of a non-legal response to multiple social justice issues. The funding of NBWS began with community activism. We continue to operate thanks to private philanthropy and the profound assistance of volunteers, including all of our Board members and President.

Management also volunteer untold hours beyond what they’re paid for, galvanised by our collective commitment to and passion for finding social justice for all.

We ensure we have a presence at days that raise awareness of the core issues driving female homelessness, including White Ribbon Day, International Women’s Day and more, and we make appearances at schools and clubs to speak about these issues to our community. We also welcome guest speakers to our fundraiser events, including 2015 Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.

We are also a sister shelter partner within the Women’s Community Shelters (WCS) network. Under CEO Annabelle Daniel, WCS makes representations to government and other peak bodies about the reality of female homelessness and the need for our service and others.

We actively participate in social media (FB: @NBWomensShelter; 'X' formerly Twitter: @NBWS_org; Instagram: nbws_org and LinkedIn: @nbws) to share articles, engage in public debate and share our expertise with the community.

How can people support your work?

It currently costs around $800,000 per annum to run the Shelter. NBWS is recognised as an essential service within our community, and as such we are fortunate to receive a Council grant that contributes around 10% of our annual operating costs. However, NBWS predominantly relies on financial donations from our wonderful community to make up the difference. Making a single donation to NBWS will help us continue the important work providing crisis accommodation to vulnerable women escaping domestic violence and homelessness.

Find out how you can make a tax deductible donation here: nbws.org.au/donate

Attending one of our annual fundraisers is also a way you can contribute. Coming up are: 

International Women’s Day Breakfast 2024

We’re raising our voices to echo the powerful message: “Women’s rights are human rights!” 

This year, the theme is Inspire Inclusion.

Date: Wednesday, 28th February 2024
Location: Long Reef Golf Club
Time: 7:30 am - 9:30 am

At Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter, we believe that #InspireInclusion is a cornerstone for a brighter future. Join us for a compelling panel discussion where we’ll explore how this theme is woven into the very fabric of our organisation.

RSVP now to secure your spot and be part of the conversation that sparks positive change.

Book tickets here: https://bit.ly/IWDBreakfast_2024

Annual Fundraising Gala Celebration 2024

Tickets are in high demand, so round up your family, friends, or work colleagues. Secure your table now for a night of live music, dancing, an exciting live and silent auction, a secret lock box raffle, community connection, and a whole lot of fun and laughter – all in support of an important local cause.

Event Details:

Date: Saturday, 6th April 2024
Venue: Manly Pacific Grand Ball Room, Manly
Dress Code: Cocktail ‘Roll Out The Red Carpet’
Tickets: drct-nbws.prod.supporterhub.net/events/gala-2024

Zonta Club Of NB Womens' Day Breakfast 2024

Zonta exists to advance the status of women worldwide. "Zonta" is derived from a Lakhota word (Teton Dakota), a language of the Native-American Sioux peoples, meaning honest and trustworthy. It was adopted in 1919 to symbolise the combined qualities of honesty and trust, inspiration and ability to work together for service and world understanding. There are 30,000 members in 1200 Zonta clubs in 63 countries

Chartered in 1975 the Zonta Club of our Northern Beaches brings together the intelligence, energy and acumen of some of our great women. With members who are professionals in academia, nursing, accounting, the law, small business, book editing, information technology, music, optometry, economics, administration, medicine, art, fitness and real estate, the range of knowledge and experience represents the infrastructure of community itself. Pittwater ladies Dorothea Mackellar and her best friend and frequent visitor Ruth Bedford were among those to establish a Zonta Club in Sydney during the 1920's and although this had to be re-established a few decades later, women supporting women has long been part of the Australian ethos.

On Australia Day 2012 the ZCNB International Women’s Day Breakfast was awarded a ‘High Commendation’ award for the Pittwater Council Community Event of the Year. Also in 2012 the annual Zonta NB breakfast was the place where it was announced Cr. Patricia Giles was the Pittwater Woman of the Year, recognising decades of service to community. Cr. Giles expressed feeling overwhelmed in joining the ranks of women who have previously received this award but with service to others forming an integral part of all Zonta Club activities, Patricia represents a great example.

In 2019 Volunteer members of the Zonta Club of Northern Beaches were acknowledged as the first ever joint-recipients of the Pittwater Woman of the Year award.  

How many Zonta clubs are there worldwide ?

Zonta exists to advance the status of women worldwide. "Zonta" is derived from a Lakhota word (Teton Dakota), a language of the Native-American Sioux peoples, meaning honest and trustworthy. It was adopted in 1919 to symbolise the combined qualities of honesty and trust, inspiration and ability to work together for service and world understanding. There are 30,000 members in 1200 Zonta clubs in 63 countries

In May 2012 the WHO (World Health Organisation) has estimated that approximate 1000 women die each day from childbirth (HERE ). Zonta Birthing Kits -what is in these and how do they work?

Our main international hands on project is the birthing kits that are assembled in Australia and shipped to women in the developing countries under an education program with hospital support. Our club has a very strong record in making Zonta birthing kits. Each year, up to 8000 birthing kits are assembled with a great deal of community involvement and member fellowship.

A Birthing Kit works by providing the 7 cleans for a clean birth: Clean birth site - preventing delivery onto the floor, Clean hands - to prevent the birth attendant transmitting germs to mother and baby, Clean ties - to prevent bleeding from the umbilical cord for mother and baby, Clean razor - to reduce infection caused by other implements, Clean gauze - to wipe away birth canal secretions from the eyes, which decreases future eye infections, Clean umbilical cord - washing and drying the stumps prevents infection, Clean perineum. 

They contain a 1m x 1m plastic sheet for the mother to lie on, a piece of soap, 2 gloves, 3 gauze squares, 3 cord ties or 2 clamps and  a sterile scalpel blade. All of this is contained in a small press seal plastic bag.

Together with local high schools, we assemble birthing kits to be used in developing countries.

How do you support women in the local community?

Advancing the status of women in our local community (Northern Beaches) involves projects that assist women with further study (study grants and student support grants), health (breastcare cushions) and supporting women and children who have suffered domestic violence (supporting the refuge). 

This is relative in terms of Zonta’s working for the health status of women. We are great supporters of the Zonta breast care cushion project and also the birthing kits, which are both District 24 endorsed Service Projects. The breast care cushions – silk cushions which are a great comfort to women who have undergone breast surgery -- are made by members and also by women in the local community, and are given free of charge to hospitals in the area, such as Mona Vale Hospital, North Shore Private, Manly Hospital and the San (Sydney Adventist Hospital). Since 2005, our club has made and distributed approximately 1100 cushions.

Encouraging Education

In advancing the educational status of women, our club administers and finances a number of projects that support women in the local community.  We award study grants worth several thousands of dollars, and pay for textbooks and computer equipment. Study grants enable local women to access tertiary education and improve not only their own lives but those of their children. We also make student support grants to young women in Years 11 and 12 at local schools who are having difficulties at home.

Supporting victims of domestic violence

Our club has formed a strong and close relationship with the Northern Beaches Women’s Resource Centre (often called the ‘Women’s Refuge’) and through this, we help women and their children who have been affected by domestic violence. We improve their economic status by donating new household items and paying for the children’s swimming lessons, after-school care, support tuition and ‘back to school’ kits.

Kitchen starter kits for families leaving the refuge

Breast Care Cushions

Zonta Breast Care Cushions are a great comfort to women who have undergone breast surgery. The cushions are made by members and women in the local community, and are given free of charge to local hospitals. Since 2005, our club provided approximately 1300 cushions.

What fundraising assists the work of Zonta here on the Northern Beaches?

To support our projects, our club needs to raise money. This money is in the form of grants and fundraising. Dee Why RSL have been very generous in providing money that we have used to support our study grant and student support recipients. Fundraising is through our annual Trivia night at the Mona Vale Memorial Hall, the annual IWD breakfast, Australia Day Breakfasts (in conjunction with other service clubs) and other fun activities. 

You have a dinner every 4th Monday. What happens at these?

We have a monthly meeting at the Dee Why Master Builders Club, on the 4th Monday of each month. We generally have a guest speaker except for some meetings such as the AGM. The meeting has a formal agenda and minutes, each committee reports on their activities, members make decisions such as how funds will be spent and we discuss projects and  progress. 

What is the Club’s ‘motto’ or a phrase they aim to work by?

The club's motto is Advancing the Status of Women - this is our mission statement.

How do people become Members or help?

We are always looking for the next generation of community-minded, professional women to continue the service and advocacy work of Zonta in our area and beyond. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have an interest in becoming a Zonta member or just want to help support our work.

You don’t need to be a member of a Zonta club to contribute to Zonta’s efforts to improve the lives of women and girls. Service projects always need money – your donation to Zonta’s work in general or to a specified local or internal project is welcomed.

Visit: zontadistrict24.org/d24-clubs/area-1/northern-beaches

Zonta NB supported by Avalon Quilters contribution

2024 Zonta NB International Women's Day Breakfast
The Zonta Club of Northern Beaches  welcome you to join them for their International Women’s Day Breakfast on 6th March 2024. Come and enjoy great company and food, hear from our very special guest speaker, Dr Grace Sharkey, and Rory Amon, MP for Pittwater, who will present the Pittwater Woman of the Year. 

The Women's Resilience Centre

Phone: 1300 737 983
Email: contact@wresilience.com.au
Website: womensresiliencecentre.com.au
Level 1, Suite 1, 1761 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/womensresiliencecentre 

The Women’s Resilience Centre's building, a new centre at Mona Vale that will provide support for women who have experienced domestic abuse and  trauma, was officially opened on Friday November 4th 2022 by The Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Northern Beaches Mayor, Cr Michael Regan, the Labor Federal Representative for Mackellar, Paula Goodman, and Dr Maree Gosper, Chair of the Women’s Resilience Centre.

Dr Maree Gosper, Chair of Women’s Resilience Centre and Simone Allan, Director and Founder, Women’s Resilience Centre with Patron, with The Hon. Rob Stokes, former MP for Pittwater

“Our aim is to provide a community for women where they can feel safe, heal and reset their lives,” said Simone Allan, founder, Women’s Resilience Centre.  “We know there are many women in the community who are suffering trauma and the Centre will be available for all women who need support around them.  

“It is a warm welcoming environment where women can stop by, enjoy a cup of tea, talk with one of our trauma informed professionals and find the resources and support that they need.”

The services available at the centre will help women build capability and resilience, assisting with job search and working collegially with real estate agents and housing providers to step ahead in a positive direction. The Centre’s programs will have a trauma-sensitive lens and counselling, group therapy and mentors will be available. 

The Women’s Resilience Centre is the bridge between short-term support and longer-term recovery pathways. The Centre will help provide women with the support and capability they need to move on when the crisis housing is no longer available, or they simply need a place to drop in and breathe.

The Centre currently offers online and now face-to-face financial management programs, legal support, a trauma-sensitive and supportive community plus mentoring to assist with job seeking, housing, parenting and trauma support. 

Simone Allan continued: “The relationships and skills developed at the Centre will help to open new positive pathways for women and their families  to move forward with their lives.”

More in the Women’s Resilience Centre Profile.

High Tea Fundraiser 2024

Please join us for a high-spirited High Tea Party for Women's International Day celebrating with powerful stories about Resilience. 

Friday 8 March, 
ICMS Manly, 12 -3pm 
Tickets: https://https://lnkd.in/gcAcZYvK

Please get in fast and order your tickets. Plenty of parking is available. Both men and women are invited. Bring your team or your community and help support a much-needed service. 

This will truly help women in Australia! 

The Women's Resilience Centre has operated since 2020 with online programs of support and has had a Centre open for one year. Last year we helped over 229 women across Australia. Being a new long-term recovery initiative we rely completely on the community to support our funding. By attending this event you will directly help us to support women stepping out of DFV, loss, and trauma.

Simone Allan
Women's Resilience Centre

Women Of Whale

Our committee is a passionate group of individuals committed to fostering a vibrant and inclusive community for women within the Whale Beach surf club. Whale Beach has a proud history of women contributing at the highest level to surf lifesaving in the water as well as within the community. We seek to respect this past, fiercely support our present and dream even bigger for our future together.

Our Mission:

At the heart of our mission is the belief that everyone should have equal opportunities to enjoy and contribute to the surf club experience. The Women of Whale Team is dedicated to creating an environment that empowers, supports, and celebrates the diverse talents and interests of women in our surf lifesaving community. With this focus, our hope is to make the next 10 years the best 10 years ever for Women at Whale Beach.

What We Do:

Promoting Inclusivity: We actively work to ensure that all women across all age groups, ethnicities and orientations feel welcome, valued, and included in every aspect of the surf club, from training sessions to social events.

Encouraging Participation: Increasing community engagement is a core focus. Our committee organizes and promotes events and activities specifically designed to engage women in surf sports, fitness and other club initiatives. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a beginner, there's a place for you to thrive in our community.

Education and Skill Development: We provide opportunities for skill development, education, and mentorship to empower women in their surf lifesaving community journey. This includes workshops, training sessions, and access to resources that support personal and athletic growth.

Advocacy and Representation: The committee serves as advocates for the interests and needs of women in the club. We aim to ensure that women's voices are heard in decision-making processes and that their achievements are recognized and celebrated. We are currently focused on electing our first ever female life members and aspirationally increase female club membership to 50% for active patrol members as well as overall club membership.

Get Involved:

We welcome all women in the surf club to join us in shaping a more inclusive and dynamic community. Whether you're interested in surf lifesaving sports, beach safety, training, first aid, social events, or contributing to our advocacy efforts, there's a place for you in the Women of Whale Team.

Contact Us:

Have questions or ideas? We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out to us at: womenofwhale@whalebeachslsc.com

Follow us @whalebeach_slsc for updates on events, initiatives, and ways to get involved.

Join us as we ride the waves of empowerment and camaraderie together at Whale Beach SLSC!

Whale Beach SLSC on the Northern Beaches is a pioneer when it comes to women in the surf and on the sand. Proudly this club and community have a strong and large group of patrolling members, of which one third are women. Furthermore 5 out of 11 positions on the Management Committee are held by women. In recognition of these recent advancements in female participation in surf lifesaving, last Saturday, October 29th, 200 guests attended the ‘Women of Whale’ event at Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club to celebrate women in Surf Life Saving - past, present and future.

In the late 1970s discussions in the boardroom became heated as the Surf Life Saving movement decided whether or not to allow women to sit their Bronze Medallion exam as their male counterparts had been able to since 1903. Bryan Webster, a third generation Whale Beach SLSC member, showed unwavering support for the inclusion of women as active members in the club. Having been freshly anointed Club Captain, and facing a dwindling membership base, for him it was a ‘no brainer.’ For a full year Bryan trained four young women in the absence of the Chief Training Officer: sisters Jill and Sara Peters, and their friends Marion Robb and Tina Gowing. The girls trained through all surf and weather conditions and in August 1980 they passed as the first female surf lifesavers in New South Wales.

“I took female membership very seriously. I needed the members and I recognised that 3 of the 4 girls in the group were terrific swimmers, in fact were better than half of the blokes in club.” (Bryan Webster- as quoted from Whale Beach SLSC publication ‘In Conversation- Women of Whale Beach’).

To this day Whale Beach SLSC continues to lead the nation when it comes to women in Surf Life Saving, providing a pioneering mentoring program in which female members of the club are provided with training by the esteemed Milan Partners, a professional firm who has provided communication and presentation workshops to many high-profile athletes such as Kieren Perkins and the Matildas. These women are then ‘buddied’ with some of the younger women in the club to provide guidance and support in their lifesaving journey. 

By Ellie Keft
Whale Beach SLSC, 2016

First Iron Woman Champion Whale Beach SLSC

When I joined the Club, around age 13, there was only one other female member, the mother of one of my classmates at High School, Helen Shilkin (may she Rest In Peace). She set an amazing role model for an ultra fit middle aged woman. There was no sign of the original women who were the first in NSW to be trained for their Bronze Medallion and it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to have met some of them last Saturday.  It was interesting to hear that our paths hadn't crossed because they all moved overseas! 

Along with my friend Halle Purcell, we were the only two girls in the Club at the time.  It was around 1984. It did feel like we were breaking social norms by joining the Club but we just wanted to have as much fun as the boys we knew at High School who were in the Club. We were very grateful too for the support we received to do our Bronze Medallion. Soon after, my friend Anja Colby joined too, then some girls from the lower north shore like my respected competitor Kai Look. I'd like to think that our daring, well before there were even enough women to hold female competitions, paved the way somewhat for other girls to feel comfortable enough to join too. 

I'm delighted to hear that now 50% of all SLSC members are female. I would encourage any girl or woman to be involved in SLSA. It was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community, to look out for people who weren't as proficient in the ocean as we were and to stay fit and healthy. 

Once a lifesaver, always a lifesaver: whenever I am at a beach anywhere in the world, I am always watching out for people in the water, sometimes mentally calculating what I'd do if they got into any more trouble. I'm looking for the closest tube or board. Mostly, now I'm not as fit as I was, I'm looking for the closest lifesaver who could help if need be.
Danielle James

Women of Whale 2024

Saturday March 10
The Dunes, Palm Beach

This year, we’re aligning our Women of Whale (WoW) fundraiser with the U.N.’s International Women’s Day theme: ‘Investing in Women - Accelerating Progress.’ To accommodate more members, we’ve moved the event to the evening.

Who’s Invited? Everyone!

How You Can Make a Difference:

  • Attend the event
  • Sponsor a member
  • Donate a gift voucher or experience
  • Make a direct donation to our WoW Fund

Contribute a prize - be it a product, service, or unique experience, your support is crucial! Contact us at womenofwhale@whalebeachslsc.com to contribute or learn more.

Let’s make it an inspiring evening for the incredible Women of Whale Beach!

Get your tickets here: www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1181143