On March 8th across the world people celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). They will #BeBoldForChange and join the worldwide movement to promote equality and parity. As Lord Mayor I will attend Breakfasts, High Teas, Dinners, a film night and lead the IWD March through the city on Saturday.
I am particularly proud to be the President of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, NT Branch and until recently we boasted the highest percentage of women elected members. This was recently overtaken by Victoria in their 2016 Local Government elections.
Inspirational Women in My Life
Through out this period of International Women’s Day Celebrations, I take the time to reflect on how lucky I am to have been surrounded by strong, independent women who have nurtured me.
My paternal grandmother Lorna Lim was such a woman. While very much a woman of her generation, a stay at home Mum, she still helped instil in me an understanding that being a woman was not a limitation. It was an advantage.
My mother Norma Fong Lim came to motherhood later than some of her generation, she had already tasted the independence of earning a wage.
Mum always emphasised to myself and my sisters the importance of being financially independent, of always having our “mad money” and maintaining a separate bank account.
Of course my 5 sisters continue to be an inspiration to me. They are clever, loving, articulate and independent. They are women who have succeeded in their chosen fields, and have been role models for the younger women in their workplaces. As siblings we are very close and with 5 of us living in Darwin, we are also physically close. I know I can depend on my sisters to support my decisions and to tell me when I’m wrong. It is a bond that allows me to be bold.
Dr Ella Stack
Finally, while we have not spent a lot of time together, one of the women who I admire the most is Darwin’s first Lord Mayor, Dr Ella Stack.
Ella is an inspiration in that she broke the ceiling in local government when she became not only Darwin’s first female Mayor and then Lord Mayor, but also became Australia’s first female Lord Mayor.
Ella was a medical Doctor who practiced, had children, became the Lord Mayor, wrote a book on bush medicines, helped found the Family Planning Association, and many other achievements.
Ella became the Mayor in March 1975 and as she is fond of saying, became the Mayor of a pile of rubble. She fought the bureaucracy and helped rebuild our beautiful city.
These are just some of the wonderful women in my life, who I choose to celebrate on International Women’s Day. They inspire me to do my best every day and they are the reason why it never occurred to me that my gender might be an issue when I ran for Lord Mayor.
Who are your inspirations? Please feel free to share them below in the comments.
PS – in honour of IWD, I’ve traded my green for purple.