YOUNG Bendigo women were encouraged to continue to push for change during yesterday’s Women Showing the Way Forum.
The annual event was officially opened by Bendigo-based Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie who addressed student participants from schools around Bendigo.
“We’re lucky here in Bendigo that so many successful women are in business, education and politics,” she said.
“Many of you may already have grand plans for your adult lives and most of you is suspect, will still be considering your options.
“Hopefully none of you will see gender as an impediment to you achieving a positive future.
“Because as we know, every single one of us deserves the same opportunities, irrespective of our gender.”
Ms McKenzie said while more young women were now attending university than young men, female graduates could generally expect a lower wage than their male counterparts.
“So there’s still a lot of work to do,” she said.
“It’s changed a lot since my mum had to leave her job as a teacher when she had me, simply because she was a parent.
“And prior to that time you had to leave a job if you were a woman and you got married.
“You can’t imagine that now but that’s what’s been achieved in one generation so just think what we can achieve in the next generation.”
Guest speakers at the event included award-winning journalist and football commentary panellist Samantha Lane, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and 2013 City of Greater Bendigo Citizen of the Year Linda Beilharz, Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Federal Member for Higgins Kelly O’Dwyer.
The event was the brainchild of City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Lisa Ruffell and was designed to inspire young female students to get involved in the life of their community.