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The inaugural International Women's Week event by Jeanette and her team was held in Pomona last year and since then the two-day program has exploded into a week-long celebration of all things women. The working group formed as the Women Initiating New Directions Organisation (WINDO) Inc and are now a hub of collaboration.


This year, WINDO is hosting a variety of events that kicked off on Monday night (5 March) with the opening of the Window to a Woman’s Soul photographic exhibition at The J. The month-long exhibition features 24 photographs of an array of local women who are achieving great things or just getting through the day.

At the official opening, exhibition sponsor, koala crusader and real estate principal Alex Harris gave a rousing speech calling on the women of today to do something that will make life better for the women of tomorrow.

“In celebrating International Women’s Week we want to bring attention to the achievements of women to inspire the next generation, to reaffirm the existence of inequality and to say thank you to our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, colleagues, neighbours and friends,” she said.

“Thank you for your achievements and contributions to our community. Thank you for believing in gender equality and thank you for making a difference.”

Ms Harris recalled her initial foray in the workplace where she was limited in what she could choose to do professionally because she was a woman.

“Do you remember something you couldn’t do just a decade or two decades ago that you can do today because of the women who came before you?” she asked.

“More importantly, what are you going to do today to make a difference to all our tomorrows. Perhaps you will find inspiration in this exhibition.”

The photographic exhibition is an insight into the lives of Noosa and Sunshine Coast women and Ms Harris said the celebrations were in no way an attempt to diminish men.

“Good men help us to establish an environment in which all women and all genders can flourish and we thank them too,” she said.

Mayor Tony Wellington also spoke at the opening and said he remembers the 70s and the time of the second wave feminism.

“It was a heavy period, that’s for sure, and while bra-burnings and sit-ins might seem quaint today that was a significant achievement at the time,” he said.

Cr Wellington quoted Betty Friedan who said “what used to be the feminist agenda is now an everyday reality. The way women look at themselves and the way other people look at women is so completely different than it was 30-years-ago. Our daughters grow up with the same possibilities as our sons”, but questioned her accuracy.

“That (gender equality) is a lovely thought but according to Australian Government figures from their own workplace gender equality agency, women comprise 46 per cent off all employees in Australia yet the fulltime average weekly earnings for women is 16 per cent less than men and up to 30 per cent for executive women,” he said.

Cr Wellington said that 40 per cent of the executive leadership team at Noosa Council were women (3 out of 7 members) but said “Betty, we still have a way to go”.

“Steps have to be taken to remove the effects of unconscious bias in the workplace, particularly in regard to recruitment and decision making. That can only happen if men are continually reminded of their communal responsibilities,” he said.

The Window to a Woman’s Soul exhibition will be on show at The J until 30 March with the centre open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with free admission. For the full list of event and further details on WINDO, visit www.windowomen.org.

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It started with a coffee chat at a small café in Tewantin almost 2-years-ago. Jeanette Del Santo and a small group of determined women wanted to create female-focused events that celebrated and inspired the women of Noosa throughout International Women’s Week and every day that followed.

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Jolene has worked in the local media industry for more than five years.\nShe is now a small business owner, mother to one sassy toddler and\nloves to share stories about Noosa from its glorious food scene to the\n inspiring people.

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Through the looking glass

It started with a coffee chat at a small café in Tewantin almost 2-years-ago. Jeanette Del Santo and a small group of determined women wanted to create female-focused events that celebrated and inspired the women of Noosa throughout International Women’s Week and every day that followed.

The inaugural International Women's Week event by Jeanette and her team was held in Pomona last year and since then the two-day program has exploded into a week-long celebration of all things women. The working group formed as the Women Initiating New Directions Organisation (WINDO) Inc and are now a hub of collaboration.


This year, WINDO is hosting a variety of events that kicked off on Monday night (5 March) with the opening of the Window to a Woman’s Soul photographic exhibition at The J. The month-long exhibition features 24 photographs of an array of local women who are achieving great things or just getting through the day.

At the official opening, exhibition sponsor, koala crusader and real estate principal Alex Harris gave a rousing speech calling on the women of today to do something that will make life better for the women of tomorrow.

“In celebrating International Women’s Week we want to bring attention to the achievements of women to inspire the next generation, to reaffirm the existence of inequality and to say thank you to our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, colleagues, neighbours and friends,” she said.

“Thank you for your achievements and contributions to our community. Thank you for believing in gender equality and thank you for making a difference.”

Ms Harris recalled her initial foray in the workplace where she was limited in what she could choose to do professionally because she was a woman.

“Do you remember something you couldn’t do just a decade or two decades ago that you can do today because of the women who came before you?” she asked.

“More importantly, what are you going to do today to make a difference to all our tomorrows. Perhaps you will find inspiration in this exhibition.”

The photographic exhibition is an insight into the lives of Noosa and Sunshine Coast women and Ms Harris said the celebrations were in no way an attempt to diminish men.

“Good men help us to establish an environment in which all women and all genders can flourish and we thank them too,” she said.

Mayor Tony Wellington also spoke at the opening and said he remembers the 70s and the time of the second wave feminism.

“It was a heavy period, that’s for sure, and while bra-burnings and sit-ins might seem quaint today that was a significant achievement at the time,” he said.

Cr Wellington quoted Betty Friedan who said “what used to be the feminist agenda is now an everyday reality. The way women look at themselves and the way other people look at women is so completely different than it was 30-years-ago. Our daughters grow up with the same possibilities as our sons”, but questioned her accuracy.

“That (gender equality) is a lovely thought but according to Australian Government figures from their own workplace gender equality agency, women comprise 46 per cent off all employees in Australia yet the fulltime average weekly earnings for women is 16 per cent less than men and up to 30 per cent for executive women,” he said.

Cr Wellington said that 40 per cent of the executive leadership team at Noosa Council were women (3 out of 7 members) but said “Betty, we still have a way to go”.

“Steps have to be taken to remove the effects of unconscious bias in the workplace, particularly in regard to recruitment and decision making. That can only happen if men are continually reminded of their communal responsibilities,” he said.

The Window to a Woman’s Soul exhibition will be on show at The J until 30 March with the centre open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with free admission. For the full list of event and further details on WINDO, visit www.windowomen.org.

Read more articles by @joleneogle

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