Today we celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, a day of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
It’s a day of motivating and uniting, a day for us all to act and be gender inclusive. It’s a day to #PressforProgress, to acknowledge those who have challenged stereo types and bias. Those who’ve come before us and those taking up today’s fight. Its a day to stop and pay particular attention to the women in our community who are doing it tough and struggling for survival, as well all those fighting for of gender equity.
The Give Where You Live Foundation pays particular homage today to the women who have shaped our organisation. Our Life Members; Dorothy Trezise, Barbara Abley AM, Hilary Blakiston, Ruth Cooper and Elspeth Hallowes and those who have dedicated their time to lead our annual fundraising campaign, including Kylie Warne, Launa Inman. Patricia Heath, Sue Marshman, Anne Fuller and Sue Hunt, as well as our current Board Members Deb Furlan, Bronwen Charleson and Daleene Kroger. Of course we also acknowledge and thank the thousands of women who support our work through their volunteering and donations.
Today, we want to celebrate the thousands of women across our region who are helping to build a better community. Those who are educating their daughters to strive for success and create an inclusive society, the women who are breaking through generations of inequality, and those women who are so often supporting and caring for others. We want to acknowledge the women who are volunteering their expertise, knowledge and time with local charities and schools, and participating on committees and boards.
Like these women, the Give Where You Live Foundation, takes our role in supporting our community very seriously. We have traditionally been the funding safety net of the region’s charities, however today we are so much more. We are working to be a catalyst of real change, to create a community where all people are included and connected, and not limited by the effects of disadvantage.
The Foundation is supporting our region’s women in many ways and helping to increase their social and economic participation. From our Feed Geelong campaign that provides support to the region’s emergency food relief system to our GROW initiative that endeavours to create opportunities for work for long-term jobseekers, to the many grants supporting women in our community. We are working every day to increase equity and equality in our region. Some of those grants are:
Bethany Community Services with a two year Innovation Grant of $140,000 to alter the experience for children attending court as a direct result of their experience with family violence. This aims to ensure that women who seek legal protection from family violence are supported at the court through the implementation of the ‘Court Support 4Children’ program.
Bluebird Foundation with a grant of $30,000 to improve school readiness of children aged up to 5 years living in the 3214 postcode through arts-based parent/child sessions and support.
Geelong Mums with a grant of $29,849 to improve safety and reduce isolation for disadvantaged babies, children and their families through the provision of material aid including cots/mattresses, car restraints, prams, clothing and other essentials.
So, today, on International Women’s Day we acknowledge the indisputable contribution, success, determination and expertise of our region’s women, but also recognise that there is a long way to go to achieve true gender equality.