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SSTUWA Women's Conference: Women At The Heart

sstuwa-womens-conference-2010Women At The Heart: Friday 11th June saw the SSTUWA host women from all over the state, as well as a special guest speaker from Timor Leste.

The sold-out event was the biggest Women’s Conference yet, with attendees hearing from 2 wonderful speakers, attending relevant workshops and enjoying networking over a delicious lunch.

Guests included Simone McGurk (UnionsWA) and Catherine Davis, AEU Women’s Officer.

SPEAKERS

HE Kirsty Sword Gusmao

Kirsty Sword Gusmao is married to Xanana Gusmao, former President and current Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste.  Her passion for all spheres of education has seen Ms Sword Gusmao invest in the education of women and children, through the programs of the ALOLA Foundation (http://www.alolafoundation.org/).  She has a commitment to empowering women and advocating for the needs of women, children and their communities.

The serene and eloquent Kirsty captivated the audience, who heard tales of her adopted home country’s issues since becoming a country in its own right. Harrowing stories of girls and women, trying to survive, and the importance of education to them.

The SSTUWA fully backs the ALOLA foundation and has been collecting furniture from many schools for some time now, amongst other projects. Thanks to Kirsty’s visit and the encouragement, altruism and warm spirit of our female members, we are extending that help in a myriad of ways, including an exciting scholarship prospect to help Timor Leste teachers learn how better to teach. And, for some, see what a built school actually looks like

Monica Main

Monica Main is an award winning performer. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, she has worked extensively as an Actor, Improviser, voice-over artist (think: “start the car… START THE CAR…” of IKEA fame), Corporate Performer, MC, Director and Writer. She has been an active member of her union, the MEAA, for over 20years.

Monica closed the conference on a light note, entertaining all with her (alter)-ego.

Workshops

Delegates were able to choose 2 workshops on the day, from the below:

SurfAid International Schools Program (http://schools.surfaidinternational.org) where speaker Kirsten Gomes spoke about  the Schools’ Program resources which use SurfAid International as a case-study for teaching and learning, amongst other areas. The SurfAid International Schools’ Program, supported by Billabong, is a global education program for students in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe.

Mental Health & Wellbeing where Tasha Broomhall, representing Green Apple Mental Health Services, provided an overview of why mental health and mental illness is relevant to every individual, family and workplace (http://www.workpower.asn.au/domains/greenapple/).

Looking backwards, thinking forwards.... This workshop looked backwards on the life story of Pat Giles, trade union activist, Senator and tireless women's campaigner, and encouraged participants to “...think forwards into ways to imagine and create feminist futures to make the heart sing.”
Dr Lekkie Hopkins (ECU), who took this workshop, co-authored ‘Among the Chosen: the life story of Pat Giles.’

Advocating for Public Education

Jennifer Broz, Principal Curtin PS,  was part of an Australian Education Union (AEU) delegation to the second National Public Education Forum in Canberra, March this year.

The focus of the forum was on funding for public education, and issues around league tables and the ‘My School’ website. These two issues are currently the most powerful issues to impact on the future of public education in this country and were discussed in the workshop..

Stepping up to Leadership with your Head and your Heart

The DoE in WA has developed the Women in Leadership Strategy 2009-2010. This Strategy specifically targets the development of leadership capabilities for women employees of the Department (http://www.det.wa.edu.au/womeninleadership/detcms/portal/ ).
The Strategy is a specific commitment within the Department’s Equity and Diversity Management Plan 2009-2010 to increase the representation of women at senior levels.

This workshop looked at various aspects of the initiative, as well as issues blocking women in the workplace.

Welcome to Women in Leadership

The Department of Education and Training in Western Australia has developed the Women in Leadership Strategy 2009-2010. This Strategy specifically targets the development of leadership capabilities for women employees of the Department.

The Strategy is a specific commitment within the Department’s Equity and Diversity Management Plan 2009-2010 to increase the representation of women at senior levels. The Strategy will guide, influence and support this commitment.

Authorised by Tony Mullen, General Secretary SSTUWA

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