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Everyday women recognised at the launch of a new women’s community group, writes PREETI DAGA
A new initiative, known as Women of Wyndham (WOW), has launched in Melbourne’s western suburbs, aiming to provide a networking platform for local women to engage on community matters, promote gender equality, social and cultural inclusion and create awareness toward the prevention of domestic violence.
To mark the launch of WOW, 26 women from varying cultural backgrounds and age groups that are making a positive difference in the local community were recognised and presented with certificates of appreciation in the presence of over 100 attendees, including members of the local community and distinguished guests.
Those recognised at the launch are workers who are working silently and tirelessly to assist the most vulnerable in the community including youth, those affected by domestic violence, Aboriginal women in prison and senior citizens.
A number of the recipients are actively involved in cross cultural affairs and promoting general health and wellbeing in the community.
The idea for WOW came about when a highly active group of women undertook a building blocks leadership training focused on women from new and emerging communities.
This successful training program led to the formation of WOW with Monica Raizada as the President and Rozae as the Secretary.
The core team comprises of five locally active women from different walks of life and cultures including Australian, Indian, English, Burmese and Samoan backgrounds.
They will be working towards creating awareness of issues faced by the local community – particularly women.
Besides the support of Wyndham Council, WOW is also connected with Ramon Helps Inc – a not-for-profit organisation where Monica Raizada is the Chairperson for Family and Wellbeing.
The President of Ramon Helps, Rakesh Raizada was the event coordinator and, with the support of Ramon Helps volunteers and Sharon Brown from Wyndham City Council, steered the preparation and launch of WOW successfully.
According to Monica Raizada, “WOW aims to provide a voice for women living in and around Wyndham. It is the need of the hour to think beyond ‘I’ and to become ‘we’ to make this world a better place for our future generations.
The WOW team is determined to work towards zero deaths due to violence against women, leading to happier and safer lives for women living in Wyndham.”
Wyndham City Council is highly supportive of the WOW initiative. The VIP guest list at the launch included Joanne Ryan MP, Mayor Peter Maynard, Cr Gautam Gupta and Cr Bob Fairclough.
The event also included an unveiling of a new WOW logo along with its mission and vision statement.
Cr Gautam Gupta applauded the initiative and said, “Wyndham City Council is proud of its gender diversity and is one of the few councils that encourages women leadership at all levels. For this we have also named our Tarneit Library after the former local member for Lalor and the first woman Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard. We recognise the significant contribution women make towards the betterment of the society. And so are delighted to support this wonderful initiative for the Women of Wyndham.”
While extending vote of thanks Rakesh Raizada expressed his wish that WOW should gradually grow into “Women Of Victoria” to “Women of Australia” and ultimately to “Women of the World”.
Under the leadership of Di Missenn, the WOW team requested those present at the launch to highlight local issues in relation to domestic violence and gender inequality on feedback forms which were to be collated and provided to appropriate policy making bodies for consideration.
The full list of those honoured included: Mitzi Abiera, Shama Bhangu, Nancy Brennan, Sharon Brown, Anne Farrar, Angelika (Angi) Hinz, Say Htoo Eh Moero, Suli Iheakor, Harneet Karan, Lynne Killeen, Lisi Lai, Ravy Leang-Slattery, Marg Markovic, E”mer Paw Saw Shwe, Poni Joyce Peter, Prem Prem, Rowena Price, Gull Rana, Helen Rodd, Annie Scicluna, Sunita Sethi, Pearl Towe, June Van Boven, Reeta Verma Lesley Watson, Jasmine Wong.
Membership to WOW is open to all members of the community.
WOW team meetings are scheduled for first Tuesday of every month at 6pm at Wyndham Council.
Visit ‘Women Of Wyndham’ on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org