MORE than 180 girls, mothers, grandmothers, staff and community members converged on Dominic College on Tuesday 8 March for a special International Women’s Day breakfast.
The event featured a number of guest speakers who shared their stories and explored this year’s theme of “parity for women”, including Dominic College old scholar Kate Talbot-Smith.
A health education and humanitarian aid worker, Ms Talbot-Smith works with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.
She has worked with communities in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Solomon Islands in villages, clinics and public health projects.
Dominic College principal Beth Gilligan said Ms Talbot-Smith reflected on the challenges faced by women locally and globally, as well as her own first-hand experience of the inequities girls and women faced based on their gender in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Lack of access to basic human rights such as education and issues of safety, such as domestic violence and inadequate income, were just part of the panorama Kate explored in giving insight into the contemporary position of girls and women,” she said.
Ms Talbot-Smith attributed her desire the help disadvantaged and marginalised communities to her home and school life.
“I was the president of the “Young Vinnies” group in year eight and we had many projects such as clothing drives, collection of furniture and household goods for local refugee families, and helping organise buddy days and camps with refugee children and other children at risk,” Ms Talbot-Smith said.
“I remember the joy of feeling useful and, most importantly, realising that as a child I did have power and I could affect change in the world.”
The breakfast raised more than $2,000 which will go towards scholarships for girls to attend Dominic College’s sister school, the Don Bosco Secondary School on Salelologa Island in Samoa.
Caption: The Dominic College community united at its International Women’s Day breakfast on Tuesday 8 March.