Report from new Women’s Central West group
The newly formed Central West Women’s Forum held its inaugural canape evening event on Saturday 15th June at Kate Jones Café @ One Nineteen and it was a major success with over 50 participants. The fabulous guest speaker was the Hon. Bronwyn Taylor MLC, NSW Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women.
The Minister and guests were welcomed by Mayor Reg Kidd who said he was looking forward to hearing about what actions the Central West Women’s Forum decides to take after this inaugural gathering.
Mary Brell OAM, a member of the organising team said ‘the Central West Women’s Forum has clearly captured the imagination of local women and men. This inaugural event was over-subscribed as we had a limit of 50 for the venue and had to turn some 30 people away’.
Minister Bronnie described her leadership journey including going from being a nurse where 96% of the workforce was women to ending up in politics where 96% are men, and she feels that performance is improved with diversity and balance. She talked about the support she had received from family and male and female colleagues on her journey.
Amanda Spalding introduced the Minister and facilitated the question and answer session and Gerri Colless thanked the Minister.
There were questions and comments from participants particularly about issues that concerned people like encouraging women from all walks of life to be involved in the Forum by making sure events are affordable; what can we do keep girls in education and how can we help women with financial literacy so they can be independent?
In response the Minister talked about the importance of early childhood education and the importance of a child’s first1,000 days at school.
Councillor Joanne McRae asked Bronnie to talk about her skills and those she was still working on and the reply was that thinking before you speak is something she was working on and skills included being confident in public speaking and choosing a great support crew.
There was very lively networking and participants and those unable to attend were asked to complete a survey to shape the future of the Central West Women’s Forum.
The evening ended with proposals for the next steps led by Cheryl Pope to develop the Central West Women’s Forum into an influential advocacy group that will give voice to women of the Central West who want to make a difference, achieve results and influence the choices available across the region. The Minister encouraged the Forum to approach her with ideas and to visit the NSW Parliament.
Members of the Forum are linked by their desire to have a strong region known for its commitment to excellence in leadership. The survey responses will be collated and all interested parties will be contacted to take the Central West Women’s Forum forward with future events and projects.
The main message from the evening was ‘don’t delay – act now’!
For more information about the group, contact - Amanda Spalding 0417 288 246 or firstname.lastname@example.org