International Women’s Day

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — As part of International Women’s Day I had the pleasure of attending a special event held at Dandenong Uniting Church. It was the result of a collaborative effort between the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition, the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network and the Women’s Interfaith Network
Foundation. The theme for the event was inspiring change. Organisers of the event issued the following statement:

Together we can change the world by inspiring the old, the young and each other, drawing on the wisdom of faith, community and culture. We can share the stories that make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, motivate us and inspire us to be better mothers, daughters, sisters, workers, friends, carers, partners, people.

Women from different cultural and faith backgrounds came together to celebrate this auspicious day in the spirit of sisterhood. Women offered prayers in their own native custom, tradition and language.

Joy Murphy, known to all of us as Aunty Di, from the Wurundjeri Aboriginal community spoke of the endurance and passion of her female ancestors and the struggles they had to overcome to protect future generations. All women were encouraged to participate in gentle breathing and relaxation exercises with a qualified instructor, and we all felt better for the experience.

Participants were engaged in constructive discussions and explored in groups their hopes and aspirations for the future of Australia and our multicultural community. The passion and energy exhibited by the women was palpable, and for many participants the event proved to be highly motivational and inspiring.

The main organisers of the event were Jessiee K. Singh, Fatima Haidari and Nga Hosking.

The event was extraordinarily well done. It was a truly, wonderfully creative and beneficial experience for all of us on International Women’s Day. We were inspired to take up the challenge to change the world.