Wednesday, August 20, 2008

celebrating 100 years of the vote

Today I had a spot on the “Shire Show”, a regular show on Yarra Valley FM (99.1). As a councillor I’ve done many things, but this was the first time I’ve taken part in a guest spot on community radio.

I was there promoting a fantastic upcoming event that myself and the other Yarra Ranges women councillors, Jeanette McRae and Monika Keane, are hosting.

Come and celebrate

100 YEARS of women’s right

to vote in Victoria

When: Saturday 20th September, 2008, 7pm till late
Where: Coldstream Community Centre, Kelso Street, Coldstream (Melways Ref: 281 B10).
Tix: $70 / $50 concession – includes dinner, live music and entertainment East Timorese style, drinks at bar prices.

Bookings Essential: Contact Kelly 9294 6106

The night features the Tracey Roberts Trio, Ego Lemos (one of East Timor’s leading musicians), Art display and sales as well as a silent auction. All proceeds from the night will go to ETWA’s (East Timor Women Australia) Gimme Shelter Campaign.

Gimme Shelter aims to raise funds for weaving centres for women in remote communities in East Timor.

The women live in difficult environments far from hospitals, supermarkets, public transport and all the services we take for granted. Life is often hard and it’s really difficult for most women to live healthy lives but even more difficult for the two in five women who lost their husbands during the 24 year Indonesian occupation.

While women lack material wealth, they have amazing weaving skills. By utilising these skills, they have opportunities to earn the cash needed to pay for simple things like a bus ride to a hospital and school fees for their children’s education. Recently, women in three remote villages in the south-east of the island mobilised and together they weave traditional cloth for international markets. They’re hopeful and confident but they need help to create sustainable work environments.

Gimme Shelter is about helping women in these groups. Gimme Shelter will raise funds for solar panels to light up the women’s lives, buildings to protect them from the wind, sun and rain, equipment to make life easier and training to help them develop sustainable enterprises.

Working collectively is also important for East Timorese women. Solar panels will enable the groups to weave in the evening. A space to work together will help them support each other. Equipment will simplify the weaving process and training will help them manage their cooperatives more effectively and sustainably.

Gimme Shelter is helping East Timorese women weave a positive and sustainable future for their families and communities.

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