Skip to main content
Deputy Mayors Message - 7 March 2023

Deputy Mayors Message - 7 March 2023

Tuesday 7 March 2023
Cr Rochelle Halstead

International Women’s Day is an opportunity for everyone to mark the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

It is also a day of inspiration and change because there is still a lot to do.

Here on Bass Coast we have a proud record of not only talking about gender equality, but making industry-leading changes which have had a significant impact on improving womens’ lives.

In the past two years Bass Coast Shire Council has introduced equal pay initiatives that are effectively closing the historic gender gap, including applying equal parental leave rights to both parents and continuing superannuation during periods of parental leave. We have also ordered equal prize money for all sporting events held in the shire.

This year I’m proud to be Master of Ceremonies for Council’s International Women’s Day event where the theme is embracing cultural diversity. This recognises the rich cultural diversity of women in our workplace and the community, and their journey to equality.

Gender inequality is not experienced in the same way by all women. All elements of identity - including race, geography, sexuality and disability - influence how we experience the world, personally and professionally. Yet we know that diverse teams are better at solving problems, which is vital as we tackle the climate emergency and reconnect post-pandemic.

Embracing cultural diversity is essential in challenging stereotypes and promoting societal change. Gender equality is a key pillar of this. Ending discrimination and bias – consciously and unconsciously – is a key priority for Council, as we end inequality across our entire community.

Our sold out International Women’s Day event will celebrate cultural diversity at a special lunch on Thursday 9 March. We will hear stories from women within our community and be inspired by our keynote speaker Div Pillay (CEO of MindTribes and Co-Founder of social enterprise, Culturally Diverse Women), plus Guest Speaker, Nicky Chung (CEO of Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association, President of Rotary Club Wonthaggi and Deputy Chair of Bass Coast Health).

This event underpins the Healthy and Inclusive Communities Community Aspiration of the Bass Coast Community Vision 2041 created with residents last year. It embodies our goal to be caring, connected and welcome all people, celebrating and supporting diversity plus uniqueness.

This event is not just for people who identify as women: everybody is welcome, and we are pleased to see over 20% of registrations for this event identify as male. International Women's Day is a time for us all, regardless of gender, to acknowledge the progress that women have made towards equality - while remembering there is still much to do. Achieving equality, building allyship and dismantling damaging stereotypes is as important for men as it is for women.