Cr Jen Bray

Today is International Women’s Day.

It’s a day when we recognise the incredible role women play in all our lives, reflect on the achievements women have made in the past, and acknowledge the work ahead of us to achieve equity and justice for women all over the world.

It was an honour to be able to MC the International Women’s Day Celebration in the Daylesford Town Hall yesterday along with Cr Tessa Halliday.

Professor Paula Gerber was the guest speaker at the IWD event. (Photo: Maria Abate)

Peta Hudson performed a Welcome to Country and our guest speaker, Professor Paula Gerber, addressed the challenges of working in a male-dominated work environment in Construction Law. We heard inspiring stories from Daylesford College students, Indigo, Maddison, Violet and Katie about significant women in their lives, and enjoyed performances from Lily, Zara, Stevie and Indigo.

It was exciting to announce the new inductees onto the Heather Mutimer Honor Roll for 2024. The Honour Roll was established in 2005 to pay tribute to the women in the Hepburn Shire whose contributions, courage and examples have led to significant social change for women and act as inspiring role models and leaders in our community.

So often the work that women do is invisible, and goes unrecognised in official realms, but the impact is always keenly felt by those in our community who benefit from their work and presence.

This is a chance to make public what many of us already know, about the incredible difference these women make in our community.

The Heather Mutimer Honour Roll inductees for 2024 are:

Anne Bremner for her leadership roles in community events and fundraising including  volunteering on local groups such as Daylesford Bowling Club, Lyonville Hall, the Healthy Lunches program and Meals on Wheels.

Nikki Marshall, a dedicated community leader, fostering relationships and skill sharing through many projects including, action on climate change, the Repair Café, Localising Leanganook, Yandoit milking co-op, Words in Winter and Yandoit Cultural.

Marj Green for her dedication over 30 years to the Daylesford Girl Guides, 60 years involvement with Daylesford Ladies Benevolent Society promoting women’s welfare and housing security, her active membership of Christ Church parish, and Captain of the Newstead Croquet Club.

Michelle Clifford, a local champion who has worked tirelessly for our community through her involvement with Daylesford Community Op Shop, Hepburn Regional Cheer, Hepburn Blue Light Committee, the Daylesford Community Childcare Committee, the Bullarto Primary School and Daylesford College councils and committees.

Yvonne Sillett as a trailblazer breaking barriers by becoming the first female corporal in the Australian Army. However, her career was abruptly halted due to discrimination based on her sexuality. Yvonne spoke out against the treatment of LGBTIQA+ individuals in the Australian Defence Force, gave testimony at the Government Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and her story is recognised at the Victorian Shrine of Remembrance and in the book “Serving in Silence”.

We are proud to add these names to the list of courageous and inspiring women on the Heather Mutimer Honor Roll.

So today, wear your Suffragette colours with pride – Purple for dignity and loyalty, White for purity and Green for Hope – as we strive to make a world where all women are included, feel safe, have equal access to opportunity, financial security, and can fully express their creative talents.

It will be a better world for all of us.

Cr Jen Bray is an elected councillor for Birch Ward.

Councillor Columns are a regular feature in The Wombat Post. We offer these spaces as an information channel from Council to the community. Councillor Columns are not subject to editorial review by our editorial committee but are published as we receive them from our elected Councillors.