Once again the Women’s Conference was well attended.
The conference was a chance for women to attend valuable workshops including “That’s so Gay” … is not ok! Creating Safe Schools for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students and teachers; Teachers, placements & transfers; Cyber Safety for women and girls and much more.
Lisa Heap, shared her feminist personal and political journey. Lisa is a lawyer, educator, feminist, unionist, human rights and social change advocate and mum.
“A quality public education has been my passport to the world,” says Lisa.
Once a legal advocate for the SSTUWA, Lisa now works as the Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Employment Rights.
Lisa talked about living a “considered life”. She told the audience, it’s important for women to look at their narrative inquiry in maintaining the balance in their lives. Look at yourself in the dimensions of place, past, present, future, personal and social and work out your personal and inner feelings.
Dr Ann O’Neill has survived what many would say is the unsurvivable. In 1994, her estranged husband broke into her home, shooting Ann, then her two children, before turning the gun on himself. Ann was the only survivor.
Ann spoke about her incredible journey at this years’ Women’s Conference, to 140 women.
After realizing the lack of support for women in domestic violence relationships, she went on to study at University and become a social worker to help make real change.
“There are 75 people a day who have a crime committed against them,” said Ann. Her foundation Angel Hands, works to help women overcome violence. She sees community education around this topic as a most important factor.
She equipped women with the knowledge that they can find the strength within, especially when it’s needed to overcome hardship and thrive personally and professionally.
“If a picture paints a thousand words, then role modeling is worth a thousand words,” she said. Ann thinks hero’s lead, each and every one of us is a hero, she says. Ann is certainly a hero.
It was guest speaker Sharni Graham that said she learnt everything she needed to know from working in schools.
Sharni shared her story about how together with her partner they made major life changes to make their lives more sustainable. Some of her more salient tips included the practice of thinking of three things to be grateful each day.
“Skills you learn in schools include working with everyone; having to be creative with the resources that you have”. Shani has incorporated these into her sustainable life style which is best articulated by the Hullbert Street Fiesta which is being held in September this year.
“You can’t sustain a fulfilled or happy life without maintaining the balance,” said SSTUWA President Anne Gisborne.