OPINION: International Women's Day a chance to acknowledge community-minded women in Port Stephens

International Women's Day, marked on March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women everywhere. 

First acknowledged in Europe over 100 years ago – the inaugural gathering was supported by more than one million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

PLEASED: Former councillor Sally Dover.

PLEASED: Former councillor Sally Dover.

I was delighted last year to have the opportunity, while on Port Stephens Council, to support the establishment of an International Women’s Day scholarship.

After attending the wonderful luncheon at the Soldiers Point Bowling Club in 2017 –  where so many outstanding women in our community were acknowledged – I recognised the opportunity for council to offer scholarships to women in our community, to encourage them to fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams, in the spirit of the day. 

A lot of women sew their lives into their families and this scholarship is an opportunity for them to step out while doing something important to them. With this, we’ll have the opportunity in years to come to highlight the work of women, especially those who has been working tirelessly in the community with passion and dedication.

Invitations to submit applications were invited during past year and an independent panel was organised to assess the applications.

The three winners for 2018 will be announced Thursday at the International Women’s Day Rotary Luncheon, at Soldiers Point Bowling Club, 11.30 am.

Applications from a wide spectrum of our society were all so excellent that the judging panel had great difficulty in selecting the three winners.

We were encouraged to have received applications from such a diverse range of women, from very different backgrounds, and interests, which certainly confirms the amazing talents evident in the women of our Port Stephens area.

Each applicant has been offered a complimentary ticket to the luncheon on Thursday and we look forward to meeting them in person on that day.

Congratulations to all who were involved. We look forward to repeating the initiative next year.

Sally Dover was an east ward councillor for 13 years, which included six years as deputy mayor. When re-elected in 2012 she was the only female of the 12 councillors.

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