On Wednesday 8 March, Cape York Partnership celebrated our inspiring community of women with our second annual International Women's Day Luncheon, held at the Crystalbrook Riley in Cairns. The event brought together more than 180 women and men from local, Indigenous, government, corporate and community organisations to celebrate the theme of the year – Embrace Equity.
Presentations began with a heartfelt address from our CEO, Fiona Jose, who acknowledged the strong cohort of Indigenous women in the room and spoke about how Indigenous constitutional recognition, through a Voice to Parliament, will do nothing less than create a fairer and more equitable Australia for all.
“We all have a vital role in leading our country. I want it to be different for the next generation, which is why for 2023 I’m using my voice to say that my people matter," said Ms Jose.
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Guests also heard from Jordan Hobson Harding – a recent graduate of the Cape York Girl Academy – who shared her inspiring story of overcoming personal challenges to complete high school. Her emotional journey touched the audience. She was joined on stage by Cape York Institute CEO, Kirsty Davis, and Puuya Foundation Chair Dorothy Hobson, who both expressed their admiration for Jordan's achievements. Jordan was also one of ABC's Haywire competition winners for her audio clip submission, speaking on the challenges growing up in a remote community.
“There are so many kids my age just sitting around. They don’t care about their future and that’s because we don’t have many role models in the community. That’s why I’m here, to make a change,” said Jordan.
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To conclude the session keynote speaker Dr Catherine Ball, a scientific futurist, provided a captivating presentation on how we can use technology to bring about positive social change. She shared insightful ideas on how Cape York's remote communities could benefit from advanced technologies, such as augmented reality and AI.
Role-modelling female leadership and empowerment, students from our Girl Academy and Djarragun College campuses rose to the occasion, volunteering to greet guests and run our event gift stall. The proceeds raised from the gift stall will go towards Our Sisters to empower Cape York girls of all ages to follow their dreams through education, good health and leadership opportunities.