7 May 2015
World YWCA Day is recognised every year across 120 countries. The Round the World Breakfast provides an opportunity for YWCAs to come together to honour the contributions of women leaders in their communities.
Over 120 of our members and friends braved the beautiful but brisk autumnal morning to arrive for breakfast at about 7am. Many friends greeted each other, and new friendships and connections were made, with the room humming with excitement.
Our Executive Director, Frances Crimmins, welcomed guests and gave an inspiring and empowering speech about the work of YWCA’s around the world, and here in Canberra.
Ms Crimmins took the opportunity to urge the ACT Government to take real action to prevent violence against women, saying, “The need to address gender inequality and change the current paradigms of power and control in intimate relationships is critical if we as a community want to stop counting dead women”.
She encouraged guests to join our RespectNOW campaign, seeking funding for respectful relationships education in ACT primary schools, by signing the petition.
Ms Crimmins also urged guests to give generously towards the Global Power to Change Fund.
Former ACT Senator, the Honourable Kate Lundy, gave the keynote address, impressing guests with her relaxed and down-to-earth delivery.
She related her earliest, hesitant ventures into the union movement, motivated by the dangerous and uncomfortable work she was doing on a construction site at the tender age of 16 – scraping asbestos off the National Library!
Ms Lundy emphasised her leadership pathway had been made possible thanks to the strong and stubborn women who had gone before her, advocating for equal opportunity. Thanks to the influence of women, the ad she replied to for that first job specified ‘men and women may apply’. She said she would not have applied if it hadn’t specified women were welcome to apply – and the whole course of her life would have been different.
She also paid homage to the people along the way who had given her access to leadership, saying, “I owe my whole life experience to people who gave me a push – the rest is almost history.”
Each year, YWCA Canberra also announces our Great Ydeas recipients at our Round The World Breakfast. This year YWCA Canberra President Kate Chipperfield announced six amazing young women who were successful in attaining grants, out of a field of 21.
Read more about the Great Ydeas recipients and their inspiring projects.
It was a wonderful way to celebrate World YWCA Day. Best of all, the event raised $3,500 for the Global Power to Change Fund – over $1,000 more than last year. An incredible result!
We would like to acknowledge all the businesses and individuals who donated the great prizes this year:
• Kate Luke from Kate Luke Photography
• Simon Le, from Simon Le Coaching
• Julie Okely from Dilkara Essence of Australia
• Janine Yokom – YWCA Canberra Member
• Erin-Claire Barrow from Erin-Claire Illustrations
• University of Canberra Capitals
• Betty Ferguson – YWCA Canberra member