Thursday 11 March 2021

International Women’s Day 2021

This year’s International Women’s day theme was Choose to Challenge and the School celebrated and supported the day by holding two events on Tuesday 9 March.

The Ridgeway Campus held a special online breakfast event for senior students with special guest speaker, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand CEO – Stella Avramopolous.  Stella was an inspiring speaker and best placed to talk about the challenges that woman face as the head of an organisation that provides care for women. Stella not only heads up this important organisation she is also a parent of two of our student’s including one of our school captains.

You can view the International Women’s Day Breakfast here

Student Reflection

Tuesday’s International Women’s Day Breakfast was inspiring to say the least. Stella presented an excellent overview of the history of Good Shepherd and the services it provides to women, such as financial counselling, interest-free loans and family violence support. As a young woman, the part that inspired me the most was Stella’s account of her personal experiences of ‘choosing to challenge’ gender norms. At the age of 23, Stella became a corrections officer in a maximum-security prison, which at the time was a male-dominated field. At 36, she became the CEO of Kildonan Uniting Care. At one of her first meetings, people assumed that her male colleague sitting next to her was the CEO. Overcoming community attitudes towards female leadership and establishing a reputation as an accomplished CEO is an inspiring story that I’m sure many students and parents found motivating. Alice

At Plenty Campus, a special event was held for senior students. Plenty Campus was honoured to welcome Donna Stolzenberg to speak at this special event. Donna is the founder and CEO of the National Homeless Collective, an Australian organisation that helps people affected by homelessness, domestic violence, and social disadvantage. Donna is also the Victorian state recipient of Australian of the year 2021.

Donna took the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day and applied it to her own personal story.  Donna’s National Homeless Collective is six years old this month and it was born out of Donna identifying gaps, needs and problems.  She said throughout her presentation that when she saw a problem, she chose to challenge herself to find a solution.  Donna encouraged students to know that doing their best is what is important, to play to their strengths and know that they can try things with confidence knowing that if the plan doesn’t work then they can change it.  Students were inspired by Donna’s stories of working with homeless people and her commitment and capacity to serve those in need. Plenty Campus hopes to connect with Donna’s collective particularly her Schools Project throughout the year through various fundraising activities.