On Monday 29 February 2016, students, guests and NCW Vic members came to the Legislative Council Committee Room, Parliament of Victoria, to present awards from the 2015 program and to talk about the 2016 My Vote My Voice theme.
Our host the Hon. Bruce Atkinson, President of Legislative Council, spoke to open the event and spoke about struggle for recognition of the right to vote and to stand for local government in Victoria. It was and it is challenging for women standing for local council. However, we can see now that there are more women elected to council and there will be even more in the future.
NCW Victoria Youth Adviser, Sarah Morgan, introduced students who were there to receive NCWV Civic and Citizenship Awards as individuals and school teams. Victoria Waid (Academy of Mary Immaculate), Diya John (St Monica’s College in 2015, now at MacRobertson Girls High School) and Rachel Rockman from Methodist Ladies College were individual awardees; and University High School, Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School and Ruyton Girls’ College were school awardees.
It was also exciting to hear from a young MP Joshua Bull, Member for Sunbury. He congratulated the 2015 Awardees and presented the Civic and Citizenship Awardcertificates and envelopes to the students and schools. Victoria Waid now a law student responded on behalf of the Award recipients.
After refreshments Diya John was part of the panel and talked about how she became a more confident speaker. Diya was a lead speaker at the 2015 ‘My Vote My Voice’ Beijing +20 event. She is now heading to New York for a week for this year’s meeting of the UN Commission on Status of Women thanks to the assistance of NCW.
Other speakers on the panel were Cr Coral Ross, President of Australia Local Government Women’s Association, Dr Deborah Towns, University of Melbourne, and Pam Hammond, NCW Victoria. The 2016 theme is Women in Local Government: Past, present, future.