Storytelling; a window into other people’s worlds.
Today, 3 March 2019, arts Rutherglen celebrated International Women’s Day with a Brunch at Tuileries Restaurant, our 15th IWD Event. The 2019 theme is “Balance for Better”and we were privileged to hear from three generations of local women, sharing their personal stories and differing perspectives.
Our first speaker, young Maeve Seymour (i Gen), offered some stimulating insights into her own life, her opinion of what we’ve achieved for gender balance, here in Australia so far, and what we might do to make things even better. As a sportswoman and returned Rotary exchange student she highlighted a diversity of issues about female participation and representation, expressing hope that stereotypes can be broken down and a better environment for balance and equity can emerge.
Belinda Chambers (Gen X), our second speaker, has recently completed the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Program, sponsored by Wine Australia. Belinda encouraged us to see that “Balance for Better” is much more than just gender related matters. Her strongest source of strength is love of family and she acknowledged her debt to inspiring earlier generations of her own and her husband, Michael’s family. Life in rural Australia brings unique demands and challenges and Belinda captured her complex, busy role in the family business with: “Balance sheets don’t record courage and passion”.
Elizabeth Seirer (the “silent” Gen), our final speaker, told her compellingly different story of growing up in Hungary. At 16, she escaped from an unhappy, sometimes violent home and an arranged marriage, during the 1956 revolution. She reached Austria where the work was hard but she was free. After emigrating to Australia, she first experienced life at Bonegilla. Later, whilst working, Elizabeth met her husband . She loves her “adopted” country. Still operating a small farm and helping her now ailing husband… perhaps Elizabeth is a living example of “Balance for Better”
Thank you to these wonderful women for sharing with all of us. Our minds are stimulated and our hearts are touched. Storytelling magically brings us all together!