March 8th marked International Women’s Day, celebrating women all over the world for their economic, political, and social achievements, as well as showing appreciation, love and respect for women from different cultures, religions and political environments. The day is celebrated across the world with thousands of events such as charity functions, luncheons, forums and more. Events are held to inspire and encourage women, to celebrate achievements past present and future, to come together and unite.
On March 5th the Yarra Valley celebrated International Women’s Day with a special luncheon at the Upper Yarra Art Centre where our own UYCH Corporate Services Manager Robynne Mauger was a guest speaker. Many women from the Yarra Valley and surrounds came along to be inspired and empowered by women from our own area and share a meal. Our Yarra Valley Community School female students from the Yarra Junction campus also came along for the event; which for these teenagers is a great platform for building self-esteem, self-confidence and to learn to overcome negativity in order to achieve their goals.
The theme for the day was challenging prejudice and discussing life’s moments where prejudice was experienced. Robynne shared her stories on how she dealt with prejudice through the eyes of a woman. In all her life examples it was evident that Robynne built a strong backbone dealing with situations where judgement and prejudice arose. Her day-to-day work and life experiences focussed, and continues to this day, on providing opportunities for people to enhance their lives. She is well placed to open our eyes to ingrained prejudice, to educate the uneducated and empower others to overcome barriers to fulfil their own goals, as prejudice is invisible to the perpetrator; ignorance can lead to judgemental comments and behaviour.
“There are so many interesting people to meet in the community. I came along today to be inspired and to have conversations with interesting and inspiring women, and that was achieved” – Diane
She left us all with a strong message, especially for our YVCS female students, that to overcome prejudice and to be where you want to be in life and to succeed, you need to ‘Believe in yourself, be true to yourself, don’t take no for an answer and make your own choices.’
Robynne was followed by Tiani Zia-Kane, another prominent and strong woman residing in the Yarra Valley. Tiani also provided inspiration, hope and guidance for all listeners through her own experiences with overcoming prejudice. Tiani believes that prejudice is judging someone negatively before knowing them and that it’s about inequality. Tiani is also well placed to open our eyes and to educate against the prevailing prejudice we still see in society today.
If you would like to learn more about International women’s day head to: