GOLD: Walkley Award-winner Joanne McCarthy will be guest speaker at the Soroptimists International Brisbane Water annual International Women's Day Breakfast on Sunday, March 11 as part of the Central Coast Festival of Women.
GOLD: Walkley Award-winner Joanne McCarthy will be guest speaker at the Soroptimists International Brisbane Water annual International Women's Day Breakfast on Sunday, March 11 as part of the Central Coast Festival of Women. COURTESY: THE WALKLEY FOUNDATION

Festival celebrates women across the Coast

THE inaugural Central Coast Festival of Women unites the many different events celebrating women's contribution to the community from February 23 to March 11.

Publicity officer Margaret Heathcote said it was very exciting to be able to unite all these events under one umbrella.

"There are a lot of women's groups on the Coast doing things and lots of events going on and this allows us all to come together and support each other," she said.

Major events begin with the Business and Professional Women's (BPW) Central Coast Woman of the Year Awards on Saturday, February 24, recognising women who have achieved outstanding outcomes in their own right, empowered others to do so, or been outstanding in their community.

Keynote speaker is Marcella Zemaneck who, at 71, is patron and fundraiser for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, having lost her husband Stan to brain cancer just over 10 years ago. It's at Gosford RSL and ticket cost is $65 until January 31, then $75 per head.

The free International Women's Day Expo on Saturday, March 3, in the Centre Court at Erina Fair Shopping Centre from 10am-3pm, is another major event which, now in its fourth year, highlights women's participation in all areas of the community and will address the theme Press for Progress.

Information stalls include BPW Central Coast, CWA of NSW, View Club, Soroptimists International Brisbane Water (SIBW), Central Coast Rotary Clubs, the Central Coast Community Women's Health Centre, University of Newcastle (UON), TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute and Zonta.

This year you also have the chance to see streamed coverage at UON's Ourimbah Campus library of the prestigious All About Women conference at Sydney Opera House on Sunday, March 4 from 12-5.30pm, which this year includes guests such as Fran Lebowitz, Tarana Burke and Tracey Spicer speaking, among other things, about Women in the Age of Trump and the #Metoo movement.

The festival finishes on Sunday, March 11 with the annual International Women's Day Breakfast, hosted by SIBW at Terrigal's Reef Restaurant, The Haven at 7.45am, featuring guest speaker and 2013 Gold Walkley Award-winner Joanne McCarthy, from the Newcastle Herald.

The Walkley Foundation acknowledges Joanne spearheaded the Herald's Shine the Light campaign for a Royal Commission into sexual abuse of children, interviewing about 200 victims of sexual abuse, primarily by Catholic clergy in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, many victims scarred by alcohol, drugs and depression, and uncovered 12 associated suicides or drug overdoses.

 

Other Festival of Women Events (with more to be announced)

March 6 - View Club Bateau Bay International Women's Day lunch at the Entrance Leagues Club from 10.30am; Open Day Peninsula Women's Health Centre, Woy Woy from 12pm.

March 7 - International Women's Day Forum at Central Coast Community Women's Health Centre 10am-12pm.

March 8 - Annual Women's Conference - Business in Heels Lower Central Coast at Central Coast Leagues Club from 9am; Wyong Neighbourhood Centre International Women's Day Breakfast at the Royal Hotel Wyong ($35) 7-9am; Northern Women's Health Centre Wyong Open Day from 12pm; and She Story International Women's Day Dinner at the Entertainment Grounds.


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