This week has seen the LRC embracing all things women – from International Women’s Day on the 8th to our very own Super Girl Week festivities, an initiative dreamed up by the Student Council. We started the week by unveiling an art installation celebrating a diverse cross section of influential women who have spoken up, spoken out and stood strong despite meeting adversities along the way. It has been wonderful to see the girls (and teachers) stop to admire the images of these women, read their bios and to listen to the conversations they have engendered! We dug a little deeper by inviting the school body to participate in a Super Woman Quiz to test just how well they know their super women. Our final question asked ‘Who is your ultimate Super Girl/Woman and why?’ The responses were so moving I thought I’d share a couple here:
Emmeline Pankhurst, because without her courage and ability to inspire women to fight for their rights, many women would not have the vote today.
Rosie Batty – being an amazing advocate for domestic violence despite incredibly difficult circumstances
My sister for raising a baby out of marriage and at a very young age when many people had told her she couldn’t do it or judged her for it.
My ultimate Super Woman has to be Princess Diana. She used her position in the spotlight to attempt to end the sale of land mines, to find a cure for aids, and to address the issues which plague victims of poverty. Also, Diana was an all-round amazing person, she was humble and kind and is definitely a Super Woman.
Malala Yousafzai – because she was faced with adversity and chose not to be the victim but a survivor – probably faced with the hardest and most destabilising aspects of gender inequality, and yet at such a young age, was able to rise to the task and promote parity between the genders – especially in education – one of the most fundamental variables in the fight for gender parity.
Ensuring that our Loreto girls continue to grow into Super Girls who are not afraid to speak their mind is firmly on the LRC’s agenda and to that end this week we also launched our very first Student Soapbox. It was a brilliant change of routine to have students enjoying their lunch in the LRC on Wednesday while listening to each other speak passionately about the issues that are important to them as young women. The girls spoke from the heart and they spoke organically. They were unscripted and unwavering about what needs to change and I have no doubt they will make those changes as they take their place in the wider world. Maddison Zahra in Year 12 spoke about the inequalities faced by women in sport, Sanjana Ramachandran in Year 10 spoke about the issue of domestic violence and Angelina Gu in Year 10 spoke about the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes in the media. We have decided to make Student Soapbox a termly event and look forward to many more opportunities to help the young people in our care find their voice
Finally, we’d like to celebrate one of our own, Mrs Ambreen Shah, who took part in the panel debate following the screening of He Named me Malala on Tuesday evening. Ambreen shared her story of coming to Australia when it was no longer safer for her or her family to remain in Pakistan. Our community is lucky to have such a courageous woman in it.
Ms Liz Green
Knowledge and Learning Strategist