News: IWD March a triumph for local women

More than 150 people braved the weather to march down the main street in celebration of International Women's Day on Thursday morning.

Posted: Thursday, 8 March 2018

Storm clouds threatened, but nothing was going to rain on the parade of participants on International Women’s Day in Tennant Creek today.
Waving purple and white balloons and holding beautiful banners up high local ladies, led by the NT Police and walking proudly alongside men and schoolchildren, showed true community spirit on Thursday morning. Patches of blue sky even peeked through the grey clouds as everyone arrived at Peko Park.
Hosted by Barkly Regional Council, there was a Welcome to Country by Rosemary Plummer followed by a welcoming address by the Mayor Steve Edgington.
“International Women’s Day is a great reminder of the fantastic contribution that women make to our community, their families and in the workplace,” Mayor Edgington told the crowd.
Highlighting findings from last year’s World Economic Forum about discrepancies in pay between men and women in the workforce, he said there has never been a more important time for women to keep motivated and press for progress, the theme for International Women’s Day in 2018.
“While we know that gender parity won’t happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women, including those living and working in Tennant Creek and the Barkly, are making positive gains day by day.
“I am honoured to be standing before you all to celebrate and praise our womenfolk, many of whom hold down full-time jobs, raise children, join committees, give their time most generously and act as mentors.”
There were also moving speeches from two strong local women – Sharen Lake, Regional Manager for Catholic Care in Tennant Creek, and Kathy Burns, Artistic Director of Barkly Regional Arts.
Sharen, who won the Northern Territory Mum of the Year in 2013, spoke of her passion for the town and Barkly region and her commitment to helping those in need.
Widely known for her tireless work and generosity of spirit, Sharen has over the years opened her front door, day and night, to kids escaping alcoholism and domestic violence. She is a mum to many, not just her own children, and an inspiration to all.
Kathy had many of the crowd in tears with her touching personal account of picking herself up and turning her life around after years of living rough as a young teenager.
She spoke of leadership, of passion and how holding on to a vision has helped her through the difficult times. Judging from the enthralled faces standing around, her words of encouragement and honesty will be stored away for a long time to come.  
With sponsorship and funding from the Northern Territory Government’s Office of Gender Equity and Diversity, Council organised two events – a Sunday breakfast at the swimming pool and the parade – to celebrate International Women’s Day. There was also a community BBQ, organised and provided by the Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit (CAAFLU), to round off the morning.