THE gathering of women – and three men - at the Port Lincoln Zonta Club’s International Women’s Day Breakfast on Saturday was a great opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary things ordinary and not-so-ordinary women do every day in our community and beyond.
Guest speaker Kelly Vincent MLC shared her experiences both as a person with a disability herself and an advocate for others with disabilities, highlighting just some of the trials and tribulations they face.
Her push for equality and her hope to one day make herself redundant shares similarities with the hopes of those who campaign for gender equality.
Apart from providing inspiration through visiting guest speakers, this annual breakfast is also an opportunity for the Port Lincoln Zonta Club to present its Women of Achievement Awards recognising local women who are doing great things in their community.
Many great local woman have been honoured in recent years and this year was no different, with awards going to two very deserving recipients – one quiet achiever and one more high profile achiever whose efforts have been felt not just on the Eyre Peninsula but statewide.
Avriel Barnett admitted she had to be “cajoled” into accepting her award, which recognised close to a lifetime of work as a carer and carer’s advocate, along with a long list of other community contributions, most of which went on behind the scenes with little fanfare.
On the other hand, many would be aware of Variety Bash veteran Sandra Lukin’s long list of achievements, not least of which includes leading the Runaway Brides Bash team to a 10-year fundraising total of $393,000.
Both women have made a huge contribution, each in their own way and each just as important as the other.
And both women were quick to mention the support they receive from family, friends, local businesses and the wider community. That support is there because, although it sounds like a cliche, they are inspiring and their efforts inspire others to play their part as well.
In her presentation, Ms Vincent highlighted the fact that people “cannot be what they cannot see” and International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity to showcase the work of women like Mrs Barnett and Mrs Lukin so girls and young women can aim high.