Last Friday was International Women’s Day and the College was extremely pleased to host two wonderful women who spoke to the girls. Firstly, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington who is Professor of History at Australian National University Canberra and secondly, Liz Scully who is the Board Chair of the Parramatta Women’s Shelter and currently campaigning for the ALP for the State Seat of Parramatta. Both these woman spoke of the challenges they face in their current roles and the barriers they themselves have faced as leaders in their respective fields. Did you know that only 1 in 5 Professors at Australian universities are women?
I also had the opportunity, together with Sr Mary-Louise Petro our Congregation Leader and Mrs Marie Wood our Deputy, to attend a luncheon where the Right Honourable Ms Julie Bishop MP spoke of her leadership experiences and the challenges she faced, especially in the political arena but, in particular, her achievements and learnings as Australia’s first female Minister for Foreign Affairs and significantly the work she undertook internationally to repatriate the Australian victims of MH17 and her pressure to hold Russia accountable for the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17.
All these three women were outstanding speakers and wonderful role models for our girls. One big take away from the three women was that they all strongly believed that women must stand up and support other women and for us all, both men and women, to work in collaboration to break down the gender barriers that still exist in our society today.