News

Opening up for all

By Cobram Courier

Moira Shire locals united to celebrate female resilience at a community breakfast recently, gathering for the 16 Days of Activism event as part of its Resilient Rural Women Forum series.
Hosted by Moira Shire Council at Cobram Civic Centre, the event featured an empowering address from keynote speaker Martine Harte from Engaging Women and was aimed generate conversations about gender equality.

‘‘It was pleasing to see a great mix of men and women, young and old, attend the breakfast and guest speaker Martine Harte was engaging and thought provoking,’’ Moira Shire Councillor Marie Martin said.

‘‘Martine shared strategies with us all to help build positive change, collaborative communities and improve business profits through increasing equality.

‘‘The panel discussion with guests Jacque Phillips (NCN Health chief executive), Renata Lucas (Moira Shire Council), Georgina Thomas (assistant principal Yarrawonga College P-12) and Sally Bate (manager Cobram Community House) as well as Martine gave the audience a chance to ask, ‘burning questions’ and to get advice on what has helped them succeed.’’

While gender equality is the end goal, gender equity is the means of opening up space for intelligent dialogue and healthy tension around the issue to further advance the closing the gap in the foreseeable future.

With such events aimed at achieving this, Cr Martin hopes the impact of the breakfast will not be lost of the public any time soon.

“It was wonderful to hear the positive conversations around the tables and I am confident Moira Shire will continue to grow as a resilient and equitable place to live and work,” she said.

“There is a need to challenge gender stereotypes and promote respect and more women and girls need to be encourage to step into public life.

“Gender equality and diversity is vital for our progress and change within society and equality is everyone’s business - we are more powerful when we work together.

“We need to elevate women’s voices - we can’t be what we can’t see.”