Blackfriars celebrates International Women’s Day 2023

As an all-boys school, it’s vitally important we support International Women’s Day and instil in the students an appreciation of the very real issues facing women, here in Australia and overseas. – APRIM Angela Collins

Blackfriars students have marked International Women’s Day (8 March) with a series of events celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as the significant women in their lives. This year’s IWD theme is “Embrace Equity”.

“Gender equity cannot be left to women fighting the good fight,” Ms Collins said.

“Collective activism is needed. We can all call out discrimination, take pause to reflect on social behaviours and stereotypes and become aware of bias. Actively seeking inclusion is a vital first step on the road to equity.

“Thinking about the ‘Embrace Equity’ theme for 2023, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to affirm positive action. When there is an issue, so much of our thought processes are directed at the negative – and rightly so, as injustice needs to be addressed –  but this theme gives us the chance to choose positive action. It also reminds us that every day we make choices and we can take the challenge this week to choose equity.”

As part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations at Blackfriars, Secondary students are learning more about women who have made a significant global impact, including Mary Lee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tu Youyou.

Today (8 March), we held a morning tea to recognise and celebrate our female staff members – almost 60% of Blackfriars’ employee population. The 2023 Prefect group delivered cards to each female staff member, thanking them for their contribution to the school.

On Friday, our Prefects, together with Ms Collins and Principal David Ruggiero, will attend the International Women’s Day Breakfast, hosted by Senator Penny Wong with guest speaker US Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy.

Meanwhile, we asked some of our Prefects about the women who inspire them, and why. Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost all chose their mum.

Harry Boyd-Turner: “A woman who inspires me is my mum, Danni, due to her unwavering support, dedication and commitment to raising me and my sisters to be good people. She has always been there for us, providing us with love, care and nourishment, and has raised us to be good people with a strong sense of morality, kindness and compassion towards others.”

Jonathan Hoang: “My mum is hard-working and cares for her family. She puts herself above others and shows her daily commitment to my family. I aspire to have these qualities like my mother and hope I can become like her in the future.”

Ben Herbert: “I love my mum and everything she has done towards making me the person I am today. All the time and dedication she puts into helping me achieve my goals and wanting me to get the best out of myself is the reason I inspire to have the qualities that she holds and for this reason is a significant role model in life.”

Hudson Cosgrove: “Mr mother is extremely hard-working and dedicated to everything she does. Mum goes above and beyond in everything she does for her family and friends, which is something I truly admire and love about her.”

Reuben Calleja: “My mum’s presence has been so important in every stage of my life. She continues to inspire me every day through the way she lives her life.”

Danny Nguyen: “A woman who inspires me is my grandma. She came from a different country to Australia and worked hard to raise five children.”


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