Women join forces at leadership conference

The panelists at the WINDO Community Leadership Conference holding hands.

By Abbey Cannan

A community leadership conference in Noosa brought women of diverse backgrounds together to catalyse new ideas around gender equality.

The conference was held at The J by the Women Initiating New Directions Organisation (WINDO) as part of the International Women’s Week Festival on Wednesday 6 March.

The conference theme of ‘When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move’ featured expert speakers from across the region discussing the topics of leadership, education, social enterprise, financial empowerment, inclusivity, health, arts and culture.

Artist and Gubbi-Gubbi/ Wakka-Wakka woman Hope O’Chin talked about her life and the inequalities she faced being forced to grow up in a mission.

“When people would compare growing up in a boarding school to my experience growing up in a mission I would tell them ‘The difference is you are free, we have no rights’,” she said.

“We learnt to make-do with what we had and what was expected of us.”

“The most important part of being a woman is knowing that we are a point of existence on the continuum of life.”

Other guest speakers at the event included Dr. Ali Black, Academic and internationally recognised Researcher of women’s lived experiences at University of the Sunshine Coast, Dr Nova Evans and Sonia Goodwin, Co-Founders of Sunny Street healthcare for the homeless, Paula Tura, Writer, Artist and Educator, Jazmyn Smith, Filmmaker and Photographer, and Alicia Sharples, Artist and Filmmaker.

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