To view my speech on YouTube, click here:

“Thank you, Chair. I rise to talk about two International Women’s Day events in my ward. On Sunday morning, first of all, St John Fisher and St Patrick’s College combined to raise awareness for breast cancer and funds for the McGrath Foundation. The walk was organised by the school captains together and we walked from the Shorncliffe pier to Sandgate pool and back to the pier again. It was a fantastic turnout of students, families, teachers, residents and also many fur friends with pink bows on and pink leads. Fortunately the rain held off and there was great spirit and conversations as we made our way along the foreshore. It was wonderful to see this beautiful sea of pink. I want to thank the captains from both schools and congratulate them on this great event and wish them the best for their future combined projects in 2023.

I also have the wonderful Bracken Ridge Plaza in my ward, Chair and they are a great community focused shopping centre. Again this year the centre celebrated International Women’s Day by running the Bracken Ridge Woman of the Year. Locals could nominate who they thought should be the Woman of the Year and as somebody who they felt made our community even better. I want to congratulate Kylie Loof, who is president of the Ridgettes Netball Club. Kylie actually was the winner in the Bracken Ridge Woman of the Year. This role that Kylie has as president isn’t just about coaching netball and organising the club, she mentors and nurtures our young women. She offers assistance to help young girls navigate through life, including personal development, training in how to make better decisions at school and in their personal life.

I also want to congratulate the two runners up. Cate Brickell, who is the president of two school P&Cs and has volunteered in those schools for many years, Norris Road State School and Bracken Ridge High School. In fact she’s also joined with me and the Lions Club in driving trains every fourth Sunday in our community and the funds raised from those trains go to many projects, so Cate is always willing to get in there and help. She is helping make two of our schools in our community thrive.

I also congratulate Louise Gordon, who is the president of the Bracken Ridge Central Lions Club, who was the other runner up. Louise works tirelessly with her fellow Lions to make our community better. She helps organise train day, as I said, every fourth Sunday and will drive the trains. If there’s somebody in need in the community she will round up assistance. She runs food drives; we’re having an Easter drive and people can drop their donations into my ward office. But Louise was particularly wonderful during the flood even last year.

Obviously there were a lot of people affected in my ward that I was getting around to and in many cases where there were single women who were unable to—that their insurers said yes, rip up the carpet, but they couldn’t do it and I physically struggled to do it too. So I could just pick up the phone and call Louise as the president of the Lions Club and she would organise the wonderful Lions community to come together and go around and help do that job for our residents. So it was fantastic to have her there.

We have many incredible women who give to our community in many different ways. These women inspire us and demonstrate to young women and others that nothing is unachievable. I also want to thank Setty from the Bracken Ridge Plaza for giving our community the opportunity to recognise these wonderful women.”

14 March 2023