At 4EB we celebrate women all year round with our annual series of ‘Women’s Luncheon’ events! Led by one of our most valuable treasures, Irene Tavutavu. To kick off the year, its always a special one celebrating International Women’s Day marked by an exceptional gathering at the first Women’s Luncheon of the year, which saw over 50 attendees come together for an event that was as delightful as it was significant. The luncheon provided a platform to celebrate achievements, discuss challenges, and inspire action towards gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

One of the distinguished guest speakers, Irene Cayas OAM, a respected member of the Order of Australia Association, delivered a powerful message on the importance of recognising and celebrating the contributions of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Irene, who has dedicated her life to supporting the most vulnerable in society, shared her invaluable insights and experiences in advocating for those who need it most. Her call to action encouraged attendees to nominate deserving women for the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) Awards, highlighting the significance of acknowledging women’s contributions to the community and the world.

The luncheon’s atmosphere deepened as Suzanne Dang took the stage, sharing her moving personal journey through mental health challenges and her experiences with racism, discrimination, and abuse. Suzanne’s story of resilience and determination in the face of adversity inspired everyone present. Her candid account of overcoming obstacles and emerging as a strong, independent, and ambitious woman resonated with many, offering hope and encouragement to others who may have faced similar challenges. Suzanne’s courage in sharing her story underscored the importance of dialogue around mental health and the impacts of discrimination and abuse.

Adding to the wealth of inspiration was Pushpa Vaghela, whose career spans over 25 years as an internationally recognised leadership development expert, author, and founder of the Women’s Mentoring Foundation. Pushpa’s workshops, including “Leaders by Design” and the WMF’s “Hurting to Heal,” focus on empowerment, recognition, and the importance of seeking support. Her message about not being afraid to ask for help and striving for acknowledgment in all areas of life was a powerful reminder of the strength found in vulnerability and community.

A notable highlight of the luncheon was the visit from local councillor Vicki Howard, who has been a staunch supporter of 4EB’s Women’s Luncheon. Councillor Howard offered a few words of encouragement, reinforcing the importance of such events in fostering a sense of community and solidarity among women. Her presence and support underscored the communal and inclusive spirit of the luncheon, further enriching the experience for all those in attendance.

The 2024 Women’s Luncheon was more than just an event; it was a testament to the power of women supporting women, the strength found in shared stories, and the impact of leaders like Irene Cayas OAM, Suzanne Dang, Pushpa Vaghela, and the supportive words of Councillor Vicki Howard. As attendees left the luncheon, they carried with them a sense of empowerment, inspiration, and a renewed commitment to making a difference in their communities and beyond, truly embodying the spirit of International Women’s Day.