I am so pleased to be able to talk on International Women’s Day, and I am so sorry that I am not in my electorate attending some of the amazing events that are being held in the community today.
There are so many women in my community who contribute every day.
In fact I believe all of them do, but I have only got time to talk about two women who are really significant contributors.
I would like to highlight them because they have already been acknowledged.
Firstly, Aunty Pam Pedersen is a Yorta Yorta woman who is on the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll. She has been involved with a long list of social justice and community organisations, including the Aborigines Advancement League and the Victorian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Prevention Service. She has been working in the Koori Court since 2004 and really makes great efforts to support young people throughout our communities to value their community and a law-abiding lifestyle. She, like me, took an unexpected career turn later in life and has represented Victoria and Australia at the World Masters Games in swimming, running, cycling and sailing. She has also beaten breast cancer just recently.
The second woman I would like to celebrate is Rien Silverstein, a member of the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, a water advocate and a champion of women’s role in agriculture who was, in her own words, never content to be a ‘farmer’s wife’. She has raised a family and battled disability, and in the drought she set up a women in horticulture group to celebrate and support women in the ag industry.