The NRWC will next month host an Economic Prosperity Round-table in Canberra. The event, to be held on May 9 and 10, will bring together twenty women from across rural, regional and remote Australia to answer a key question :
What is needed to ensure rural, remote and regional women have financial security and economic safety?
The NRWC will use the findings to influence decision-makers and to inform policy in the future, especially, in the lead up to the 2016 Australian Government election.
Genuine, substantive and ongoing consultation with women is a key mechanism to ensure that rural women’s voices are heard in all aspects of policy-making and implementation.
Over many years the NRWC has consulted rural, remote and regional women to identify issues of importance to them, via our many face-to-face sessions, round-table discussions, a conference and summit, forums, our 'A Cuppa With' webinars and our e-leaders programs. Time and time again one issue keeps emerging — women want to be in control of their financial security and economic safety. Access to employment, managing small business, Paid Parental Leave and childcare funding, pay equity and Superannuation are also key concerns consistently raised by women across rural, regional and remote Australia.
"The economic empowerment of women is absolutely critical to business innovation and productivity, poverty eradication, the formation of progressive social policies and the creation of a world that is richer in every sense." Laura Liswood, Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders
Ensuring women achieve economic independence requires strategies across their lifespan and requires all women to answer a number of critical questions :
How do we ensure our future?
Do we follow a ‘top-down’ approach, which focuses on developing policy, procedures, regulations and guidelines to aid decision-makers?
Do we choose a ‘bottom-up’ approach, which begins with those who are most affected by the issues and attempts to inductively develop consensus recommendations and policy?
The NRWC believes that being financially literate helps women to make the most of their resources and strengthens resilience to adverse life events. There are many resources available online and a good place to start is the Federal Government's MoneySmart website.
I'm looking forward reporting back to our members the outcomes of the Canberra round-table event in future newsletters.
In the meantime, remember '... a dream is not a dream without a goal, and a goal cannot be achieved without the will to focus on the steps to achieve that dream..."
Warm regards, Pat Hamilton
NRWC secures funding
The Federal Government has extended funding for the NRWC for another twelve months.
While the extension of the contract provides some security for the short term, the Board has identified the need to seek funding opportunities for a more sustainable future.
NRWC Directors met in Melbourne 15-17 April to review the Board’s achievements of the last three years and undertook a comprehensive review of the Strategic Plan to incorporate a new operational structure.
Over the next few weeks the Board will be calling for Expression of Interest for three positions:
Financial Officer; and
We believe that this model will enable the NRWC to deliver a productive and valued service to all rural, remote and regional women and their communities.
NRWC Board Update
E-Leaders Advocate and Influence Project was launched on 5April. Twenty women have been selected to complete their projects over the next few months. Participation in the course is free through funding provided by the National Office for Women in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Our monthly A Cuppa Withseries continues to deliver an amazing range of topics. This month's session with Bev Ryan was about The Power of Publishing and we've received plenty of positive feedback following the webinar.
The NRWC has commissioned author Robin Adolphs to write a picture book for children to give them tools to make them more resilient when dealing with family violence.
The National Women’s Alliance Forum, Voices of Representation & Advocacy, will be held 4-5 May in Canberra.
NRWC President, Dr Pat Hamilton (left) attended the National Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) event in Melbourne on 6 April. Here she is with the Assistant Secretary, Office for Women, Louise McSorley (middle) & the Chair of Economic Security 4 Women, Sandra Triulzi (right).
In case you missed it...
Update: The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
The Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (the National Plan) is currently under development and due for release in mid-2016. It will be informed by experts and will set out Australia’s policy priorities, actions and direction to help reduce violence against women and their children for the next three years.
Safe phones for domestic violence victims
On 17 March, the Commonwealth Government announced it is providing $2.5 million to the Women’s Services Network (WESNET) to distribute 20,000 smartphones donated by Telstra. The funding will also help WESNET train front-line service providers.
National sporting organisations initiative
The Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL), Netball Australia, and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have utilised a $250,000 Commonwealth Government grant to help prevent violence against women in their sporting code.
Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety
In February 2016 Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) held its inaugural national research conference on violence against women and their children. Held in Melbourne, the conference gathered Australia’s leading researchers together to present new evidence on domestic violence to government policy-makers and practitioners.
Women's economic empowerment in South Australia
On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2016, the South Australian Government released a new blueprint for women’s economic empowerment, Investing in Women’s Futures. The blueprint contains a number of initiatives, including an audit to identify where pay gaps exist within State Government departments and the levels, roles or agencies where the gap is more prevalent. Analysis of the data will inform the development of a strategy to address any gender pay gaps within the public service.
Queensland Women's Strategy
The Queensland Women’s Strategy (QWS) was released during the inaugural Queensland Women’s Week on 9 March 2016. The QWS outlines the government’s vision for women and girls in the state. It aims to achieve gender equality by supporting women and girls in areas which restrict their full participation in the social, economic and cultural opportunities that Queensland offers.
Australian Government’s Drought and Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Schemes: For Queensland Producers
QRAA is providing loans of up to $1 million to help producers manage drought and recovery. The Drought and Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Schemes are only available until 30 June 2016. Read more...
Take 5 ...
We have a couple of quick, easy questions we'd like you to answer to help us work with you better. Click here to take part.
Ellecha Thorp is the Western Australian winner of the 2015 Country to Canberra Essay Competition and is in Year 12 at Cape Naturaliste College in Busselton. She is passionate about gender equality and could definitely see herself in politics in the future.
Read Ellecha’s Prime Minister’s address to journalists here.