Choose to challenge

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9 March 2021

‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’ is the 2021 theme for International Women’s Day.

The theme calls all of us to choose to challenge gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping, and to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Melbourne have accepted the challenge.

Schools invited back former students to share their words of strength and inspiration. Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak, hosted Professor Catherine Bennett who presented a talk on women in leadership and achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world. Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, welcomed back Dr Madeleine Warrillow to share her experience as a doctor in the Austin COVID ward. Kilbreda College, Mentone, welcomed back Nine News journalist Eliza Rugg to share her experiences with the current students.

Some schools recognised International Women’s Day in a more visual way. The students at Mater Christi College, Belgrave, dressed in purple to raise money for social causes, while the students at Our Lady of Sion College, Box Hill, collaborated on a large art piece in the college’s piazza. Our Lady of Sion College also invited students from Whitefriars College, Donvale, to take part in a ‘Conversation Cafe’ and discuss issues of gender and equality.

Two Catholic schools in Geelong celebrated International Women’s Day in competition on the football field. The inaugural Respect Cup at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium saw St Joseph’s College, Newtown, take on St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, before Sacred Heart College, Newtown, faced the challenge from Loreto College, Ballarat.

For more information about International Women’s Day, visit