Published on: March 2021
NSW Women's Week
Ms FELICITY WILSON (North Shore) (15:52:02):
For NSW Women's Week we recently celebrated the diverse contributions of women from all walks of life. NSW Women's Week featured a program of activities that ranged from promoting gender equality to increasing women's participation in sport. It also occurred during a time of heightened attention and focus across the community on the way in which we engage with, relate to and treat women with respect and equality. Throughout NSW Women's Week we were given the opportunity to acknowledge a local woman of the year. The North Shore Woman of the Year for 2021 is Colleen Godsell. Colleen was nominated for her decades of service to Scouts Australia and the North Shore community. I congratulate her on receiving this award for exemplifying community service and leadership. Locally in my electorate, as with every part of the State and country, we have many outstanding women from community organisations and sporting clubs.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit the UTS North Sydney District Cricket Club, which was successful in securing funding through the Government's NSW ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Cricket Legacy Fund to expand its women's cricket program. Club president Rob Lavery, head coach Michelle Goszko and the girls' teams recently welcomed me to a training session at Bon Andrews Oval at North Sydney Oval, St Leonards Park. Michelle Goszko is a former Australian cricketer who has been heavily involved in the New South Wales pathways program for junior girls and manages the women's cricket program at UTS North Sydney District Cricket Club.
The club has been working hard to develop women's cricket, and I have been an active supporter since its inaugural female cricket team received New South Wales Government funding to kick off its first season. We were excited to see the third grade team reach the grand finals, but not so excited to see that they were not successful. Investment and support through nurturing from people like Michelle will enable this club's development of its teams over time to make sure it is a club for more women to get involved in. The New South Wales Government is committed to delivering positive change for women's sport, including through the Her Sport Her Way grant program, which is a key part of the Women in Sport Strategy and is providing more than $2.5 million over four years to State sporting organisations. Its objectives include increasing the number of women and girls playing sport, improving the retention of adolescent girls, increasing the number of women in leadership positions on and off the field, and improving gender-inclusive sporting cultures and environments.
During NSW Women's Week I attended the 2021 NSW Woman of the Year Awards as well as many community events. On International Women's Day I attended a breakfast hosted by Mosman Council, which I attend most years. This year's guest speaker was Professor Marylouise McLaws, whom many members will have heard from in the past year. She is a professor of epidemiology, the deputy president of the University of New South Wales Academic Board and the water health leader of the UNSW Global Water Institute. At the breakfast Professor McLaws shared her experiences and led an interesting discussion about COVID-19. I spoke to female student leaders from a number of schools including Beauty Point Public School and Middle Harbour Public School. I also spoke to students from Redlands about the Chanel Contos campaign to understand the way that consent has been experienced by and taught to high school students. The conversation with female and male leaders of the school was very interesting.
I have already spoken in this place about the intense recent focus on the safety and autonomy of women in our community. In my local area Mosman House and Mary's House support and provide a safe and secure place for women who are at immediate risk of domestic and family violence or sexual assault. I attended an International Women's Day luncheon hosted by Mary's House with guest speakers Mater Hospital CEO Heidi Bayliss and Mary's House board chair Liz Mackinlay. The Daisy Centre is a Mary's House initiative that provides non‑residential domestic violence services. Based in Neutral Bay, the centre encourages women to disclose their experiences and seek support.
NSW Women's Week is a time to reflect on women in politics. We recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first woman to be elected to a Parliament in Australia when Edith Cowan was elected to the Parliament of Western Australia in 1921. In 1925 Millicent Preston-Stanley became the second woman to be elected to a Parliament in Australia when she became a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. The New South Wales Government is currently led by Gladys Berejiklian, who has always been a champion for women. I acknowledge her for her hard work and dedication to this great State. I also acknowledge and thank my fellow female parliamentary colleagues from all sides of politics for the work they do, including the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Helen Minnican, who recently opened up about her role in the Parliament as part of NSW Women's Week.