Parliament celebrates International Women’s Day
8 March 2023
Female leaders from across Victoria have been celebrated at Parliament House for their community contributions and leadership.
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Maree Edwards told the audience that we should celebrate women everyday.
‘However today is International Women’s Day and a fitting time to bring all of you fabulous women together,’ she said.
For the event, members of parliament invited community members from their electorates and regions to celebrate women’s achievements throughout the state.
Keynote speaker Belinda Young, Victoria’s Local Hero in the 2023 Australian of the Year Awards, told of her journey to create the Mums of the Hills group.
After falling of a ladder while at home with her two young children in 2015 Ms Young realised that she was disconnected from her local community and, had she been hurt, would have had few people to call on for help.
The realisation led her to establish a Facebook group to connect local mothers and families to each other as well as to services and support in and around the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges.
The group has gone on to support local families through catastrophic events like the 2019-20 bushfires and the 2021 storms that felled dozens of trees and cut off road access, electricity and the internet.
The group has supported women affected by domestic violence and post-natal depression, as well as provided workshops on everything from accessing insurance claims to chainsaw use for post-storm clean up.
'At this time when climate change is an ever present threat, we need communities to be stronger and better connected that ever before. MotHs is an extraordinary example of how a simple community, an ordinary community can do just that,' she said.