International Women’s Day highlights the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, past and present, and focuses on today's women supporting and encouraging each other for the next generation to progress even further.
On Wednesday morning, 165 Year 5-10 girls and their mothers, guardians, grandmothers, staff members and special guests of Dominic College, gathered to celebrate and share breakfast in the Savio Centre.
Many recent old scholars, now at GYC, returned to join our community, as well as a number of guests and community representatives. But the number of mothers with their Dominic College daughters attending makes this annual tradition a very special occasion.
We had some lovely prayers and speeches, and Deb Gray's traditional blessing and lighting of the candle for women, during our community standing and joining hands. Patricia di Carlo, mother of College captain Felicia di Carlo, along with ex-students Frances and Anna, joined Felicia on stage to speak about the ideas behind the day.
Felicia asked "What if the world really stepped up to take bold action?"
All of us women & men, can be a leader within our own circles and by taking bold action to promote gender equality we can help women advance.
If we all committed to helping women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenged all forms of bias; called for gender-balanced leadership; valued women and men's contributions equally; and created inclusive flexible cultures.
We would be influential in driving this change.
Felicia's mum, Patricia, spoke of the old days
I reflect upon the women in my life, My 84 year old mother, who was forced to quit her job when she married, in the 1950's it was the company's policy not to employ married women, she stayed home and raised 5 daughters before returning to the workforce.
My three daughters who are here with me this morning, Anna, Frances and Felicia, have all passed through the doors of Dominic College.
Through access to excellent teachers, role models and programs like the "Right Journey" they are developing into well educated, articulate, independent and strong young women who have learnt to combine study, work, sport, volunteering, friends and family into every day.
As their mother, I am continually in awe of their determination and work ethic, they have learnt that with resilience and persistence anything can be achieved.
I am lucky to have been raised in a supportive environment for women, at home and at Dominic College I have been encouraged to dream, to strive for greatness, to make the most of every opportunity and not to be afraid of failure.
The highlight of the morning was the message delivered by our guest speaker, Dr Naomi Tomlinson, a paediatrician, a mother of two, and an old scholar of the College graduating from Year 10 in 1995.
Naomi was beautifully introduced by our College Vice-Captain, Julia Narracott. Julia told us how that, although Naomi's friends won the awards, Naomi was successful through persistent and consistent effort.
She began her pathway to medicine at Dominic, continuing with science at Guilford Young College, and then studied at the University of Tasmania where she completed her Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. Naomi has since completed a Graduate Certificate in Medical Education at Flinders University, Adelaide, a Diploma in Child Health at the University of Otago, New Zealand and after a further six years of study qualified as a paediatrician.
Dr Tomlinson’s message to the audience was that all of us could make a difference to the lives of others. She said she was an ordinary person, not anyone special. That she enjoyed the simple things in life - Hobart, family, lifestyle. But she loves what she does and strives to make a difference. We first must find our interest area and then pursue it with vigour. In order to appreciate what we have we sometimes need to travel and witness the plight of others then we truly realise how fortunate we are to have opportunities for education that provide our path in adult life.
Dr Tomlinson is certainly an outstanding woman; as a paediatrician, she has walked the tough journey with many families who have trouble with their babies. Thank you so much Naomi for gracing us with your presence at our breakfast.
In all, from Wednesday morning’s tickets, raffle and donations the College raised $1,977.50 for scholarships for disadvantaged girls in our Salesian school in Samoa. You can see more photos on our gallery: IWD 2017.