A few weeks back, when I was bashing away at the keyboard and working on my Confirmation paper, my good friend reminded me that WOW was coming up and they were looking for volunteers. I came across the conference several weeks prior to this reminder, but stupidly, I looked at the price and told myself that putting fuel in my car was more important. It didn’t even cross my mind to volunteer and get in through the side door!
So my friend and I put our names down on the list, crossed our fingers, eyes and toes that we could volunteer, which would mean we could both assist the conference and see a session or two. Luckily for us, we were both selected! In no particular order I’m looking forward to rubbing shoulders with Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, Dame Quentin Bryce, Minister Shannon Fentiman, Kathy Lette, Joan Sheldon, Dale Spender, Jane Turner & Larissa Waters.
You might have noticed a theme of politics and culture in my long list of women whom I’m hoping to ‘bump into’ and that’s because I’m a bit of a political nerd at heart. Did you know Joan Sheldon was the first female Treasurer in Queensland? Or that The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO was the second women to hold the role of Governor for Queensland (Leneen Forde, the current Chancellor of Griffith University, was the first woman in the role.) and Dame Quentin was the first woman to hold the role of Governor General for Australia? This also makes her the first woman to hold the position at state and federal level.
Dale Spender and Elizabeth Broderick are two women whom I admire on a professional level. I look at their careers and achievements and think, wow! Maybe one day I can be that smart! If you’re looking to strengthen your feminist methodology, because who isn’t writing a thesis these days, them familiarise yourself with Ms. Dale Spender. Her work is fantastic and I’m always referring to her work in my references. You can also listen to Commissioner Broderick talk about her programme Champions of Change. Gender equality cannot solely rely on placarding or awareness raising. We need a plan which engages everyone, including men and works from the top down, as well as bottom up.
I’m also pretty darn stoked to see Jane Turner in the flesh. You might remember her from Kath and Kim, Fast Forward or Big Girls Blouse. Jane Turner, is usually in cahoots with Gina Riley and Magda Szubanski and they are three talented and funny ladies who forged a path in Australian comedy. Their humour is timeless and while it talks of place, the running narratives of class and gender create a sense of universal experience which anyone can relate to. Do yourself a favour and get familiar with these ladies if you’re not already onto of it all.
So I hope to see all of these talented, intelligent and funny women at WOW, and if you see me there, say hello!