To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) – Monday 8 March – Cape York Partnership CEO Fiona Jose invited students Myar Booth Shepherd from Djarragun College/CapeYork Leaders Program and Aaliyah Brim from Cape York Girl Academy to shadow her for the day as Co-CEOs.
“We have a great representation of women at Cape York Partnership,” Fiona said. “More than 50 per cent of our senior leadership roles are filled by women. The vast majority of those are Indigenous women. Inviting these students to join me for the day gave them the opportunity to meet so many inspiring women – both indigenous and non-indigenous – and take that experience back to their peers at school.
The senior students spent the day experiencing what it is like to lead one of Australia’s forefront indigenous organisations. They went to meetings, had their say on important decisions, attended an IWD event and even went live on air with a radio interview.
Although exhausted from the busy schedule, the students reflected on their experience with enthusiasm.
“Our day with Aunty Fiona was a new and helpful experience,” Myar said. “After a nervous start, I got the hang of it, and it was comforting to go to the International Women’s Day events with Aaliyah. Although the event was a different experience for me, I found the speeches by the ladies inspiring. The meetings we attended with Fiona were also a new experience, and I found them kind of cool. At the end of our day, we did a radio interview (at ABC Far North). I loved this experience!”
“My experience as a CEO for the day was amazing,” Aaliyah said. “It gave me a clear picture of what it’s like, especially about being very organised. I liked the fact we went on the radio to talk about the day. Everyone made both Myar and I comfortable every step of the day.”
Fiona was impressed with the young women’s enthusiasm and got as much out of the day as the students.
“Myar and Alliyah really warmed to the experience,” Fiona said. “To have the confidence to go on live radio speaks volumes for their character and willingness to give anything a go. They were great representatives of their schools and have bright futures ahead.”
The school Principals of both Djarragun College and Cape York Girl Academy, Michael Barton and Baressa Frazer respectively, also jumped on board the initiative with different female students taking the reins of the college and school as Principal for a Day.