In the lead up to International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March), St Margaret’s girls spent the week celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women in many different ways throughout the whole school.
At the whole school assembly on Tuesday 5 March, guest speaker Tanya Meessmann, founder of Girl Shaped Flames, encouraged the girls to take time to think about their passions and ambitions for the future and to seek guidance and mentorship from women and girls around them. Tanya reminded them that, as young women, they are embarking on a journey into adulthood and, with the support of other women, they can fan their spark into flames that will fuel them toward living a purposeful life along the way.
On Wednesday 6 March, secondary teacher Kate Montgomery accompanied a group of Year 10 students to an International Women’s Day breakfast held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Students heard from an inspiring lineup of guest speakers including Mele Maualaivao, Country Program Coordinator (Samoa) for UN Women, Julieanne Alroe, Chair of Infrastructure Australia, and Todd Battley, Chief Executive of AECOM Australia New Zealand.
The primary students took part in dedicated ‘careers’ sessions throughout the week where they were inspired by guest talks from women who have pursued a range of diverse career paths including author Sarah Brennan, engineer and St Margaret’s parent Pam White, architect and St Margaret’s parent Kristi Simpson, project manager and Old Girl Emily Wilks (’12), and pilot Megan Thompson from Virgin Australia. Each of these women delivered inspiring talks to the girls and contributed to breaking down gender bias by bringing their real-life success stories to the students.
The focus for International Women’s Day included the themes #balanceforbetter and ‘More powerful together’, the latter which resonates with this year’s Year 12 theme ‘Unite for Flight’. Students were encouraged to celebrate and reflect throughout the week with small reminders around the school including wearing purple ribbons, International Women’s Day posters, empowering messages displayed on each secondary girl’s locker, a sausage sizzle, inspiring chalk messages displayed on Circular Drive and purple, green and white decorations on the school gates.
Each day at St Margaret’s, our community unites to deliver on the guiding vision of our founders, the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, who believed that one of the best gifts that we as a society can give young women for an empowered future is an education. It is our stalwart mission to deliver on this and continue empowering our young women through a St Margaret’s education so they can continue to pave the way for a more gender balanced future, just as many St Margaret’s Old Girls have before them.