Each year one of the local politicians (for years Gay Thompson and now her replacement in the state seat of Reynell, Katrine Hildyard) has held a dinner for International Women’s Day. It is generally not held at the time in March, but later when the social calendar is a bit more peaceful. It was on this Thursday, and was held at Christies Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. It was a really lovely evening, with the main part of the night being devoted to awards for local women who have made a difference to the community. I went with a CHO table – there were 9 of us – and after some great music from a couple of local singers and musicians, and interspersed with food breaks, quizzes, and talk, were the presentations. CHO nominated two of our stalwart members, Kylie and Anne, who have been really supportive and active in our first year of existence. It was lovely to be able to thank them and acknowledge their contributions and creativity, not only to CHO but in other places in the community also; Anne is a volunteer at Southern Volunteers, and Kylie has kept Community Sisters going since Southern Women’s closed, and is a poet and all round creative dynamo.
It was fantastic to hear about so many great women, and their impact on our community – there was such a range of people recognised; different ages and stages, different interests and lengths of time. There was the woman who has coordinated for many years the making of breast support cushions for women who have cancer (I think they said 4000 cushions made and given away); the woman who drives for the Volunteer Transport service (with 29 male colleagues!); the organiser of the Southern Mothers Netball Association (oldest player 71); a woman who is part of a local theatre group; another couple involved in the women’s teams at the cricket club; one woman who was nominated by her neighbour for all the great work she did to support people impacted by the bushfire in the hills earlier in the year; another long-term powerhouse in the local Aboriginal Community (Auntie Daphne); Juli from Fleurieu Cancer Network (also a CHO member); Marg who worked in the DV Service for 30 years before her recent retirement; Monique, community person extrordinaire in Christie Downs; Tina Adams who has been a mainstay at Hackham West Community Centre for years and the list went on and on. Each award recipient was introduced by the person or people who nominated them, and this was really touching also. For me, the most astonishing part of the evening was the surprise (to me) nomination of myself! I had no idea that this little plot was being hatched, and it was a wonderful surprise. Many, many thanks to Shayne, Mandy and Robyn who did the organising I believe (with the latter two also speaking on the night). I felt incredibly honoured to be beside all these great women, and to really feel what a difference women make to the quality of life that we have. In so many unassuming ways, women take charge, see what needs to be done, and go ahead and do it – we do indeed hold up half the sky. It was a really inspiring and uplifting night. Thanks also to all those involved in the organising of the event, particularly the office staff, Katrine herself, Megan from SDVS, and Sandra from Zonta.
In honour of all of us I am attaching a link to the recent version of the old song I am Woman from Judith Lucy’s tv show – it’s a cracker!