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International Women’s Day celebrated in style

Day for women: Marie-Louise Stolberg, Carolyn Duffy, Lisa Westerdale, Margie Best, Jenny Grace, Christine Nash, guest speaker Jan Whiteway, Carlie Neighbour and Kim Fehervary enjoyed St William’s IWD breakfast.

Day for women: Marie-Louise Stolberg, Carolyn Duffy, Lisa Westerdale, Margie Best, Jenny Grace, Christine Nash, guest speaker Jan Whiteway, Carlie Neighbour and Kim Fehervary enjoyed St William’s IWD breakfast.

WOMEN who “Make it Happen” were honoured at celebrations to mark International Women’s Day in Brisbane archdiocese’s community of schools.

IWD celebrates the global economic, political and social developments of women past, present and future, and for the past four years, St Francis College, Crestmead, has used the occasion to bring mothers, grandmothers, aunts and girls in Years 10-12 together.

Organised by the college’s Head of Technology Christine Rolfe, speakers at this year’s event included paediatric advanced trainee Dr Melanie Jansen, Body Transformation Sanctuary owner Chloe Brown, landscaper Emily Hayden and electrician Courtney Warren.

St Francis College students made an impressive contribution to organising the event, acting as gracious hosts and bringing smiles to all those in attendance, including special guests from Trinder Park Retirement Village.

Throughout her career as a teacher, Ms Rolfe has recognised the importance of capitalising on opportunities to empower students and build their self-esteem.

She said guests took part in a delicious brunch while enjoying the company of one another.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to forge closer friendships and make new friends,” she said.

At St William’s School, Grovely, celebrations began early with the second annual IWD Breakfast, which helped participants prepare for the day ahead.

Guests received a gift bag full of goodies, donated by stores and companies from the local community, while each staff member was presented with homemade rocky road, made by a teacher and her mother, for their tireless work at St William’s.

Guest speaker Jan Whiteway also spoke to staff, guided by the school’s motto, “Open Minds and Listening Hearts” which related well to this year’s IWD theme “Make it Happen”.

Ms Whiteway’s experiences as a former St William’s parent, and now grandparent and parish worker demonstrated how one person can “make it happen” but, with help and guidance from others, so much more can be achieved and celebrated.

IWD committee member Marie-Louise Stolberg said the room was abuzz with laughter and conversations and the colour purple, synonymous with IWD, was splashed everywhere – on tableware, glassware and decorations.

Ms Stolberg said the opportunity to come together and enjoy each other’s company and ideas was important in empowering women.

“It is lovely to take time to enjoy the wonderful ladies we work with and hear from Jan who has dedicated so much of her life to St William’s,” she said.

“Celebrating women’s strength is what IWD is all about.

“Everyone is looking forward to what next year’s celebrations will be.”

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