Soroptimist International Brisbane Water members with last year's International Women's Day Breakfast guest speaker, Professor of Criminology Eileen Baldry.
Soroptimist International Brisbane Water members with last year's International Women's Day Breakfast guest speaker, Professor of Criminology Eileen Baldry.

Women strengthen ties

THE word "Soroptimist" means "the best for women", and that's also the goal of the third Central Coast Festival of Women from March 1-22.

Soroptimist International Brisbane Water president Jill Godwin has been busily organising this year's sixth International Women's Day Expo at its new venue, Westfield Tuggerah Shopping Centre.

It's one of a full calendar of events which over the past three years has come under the festival umbrella as Coast women's groups unite to support each other in celebrating International Women's Day, this year on Sunday, March 8.

"The festival has grown immensely over the time we have been doing it, and really made women more aware of what is happening for them in today's world," Jill said. "We get a really good reaction to the expo.''

Jill expects there to be at least 20 stalls at the expo on Saturday, March 7. The move to a new venue is intended to give northern residents easier access after three years at Erina Fair.

Live entertainment will include the Central Coast Conservatorium and Gosford Musical Society to belly dancers and beyond.

This year's program will be launched with the Women in Art exhibition at The Entrance Gallery (full story, page 15.)

In keeping with this year's Women's Day theme of #EachforEqual, lawyer and proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman Teela Reid will be guest speaker at this year's 13th SIBW Breakfast at Terrigal's Reef Restaurant on Sunday, March 8.

Teela is passionate about human rights and a greater voice for Aboriginal people, and Jill said she would reflect the belief that an equal world is an enabled world.

A long-time teacher, Jill is a firm believer in the part education plays in enabling, and SIBW will this year run an Aspire Forum for girls in June focusing on well-being and career planning.

The forum will feature guest speakers and workshops by women who have achieved despite the odds stacked against them.

Proceeds from a White Violet Long Lunch from 11am-3pm on March 8 at the Entertainment Grounds will go to SheStarts, a program helping young women achieve their dreams.

To book for the SIBW breakfast ($47) phone 4332 9354 by February 21, and for more details on all events go to @ccfestivalwomen on Facebook or phone 0423 198 567.


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