Be leads the way and celebrates International Women’s Day
March 1, 2021
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Closer to home it is a wonderful opportunity for Be to celebrate women in our community and acknowledge their achievements and commitments.
“This is a day where we can focus on some of our unsung heroes who have been volunteering and helping clients for years. The contribution of women in our business continues to be immense and will play an important role as we move forward,” said acting CEO Rosie Overfield.
Leading into International Women’s Day we have had the pleasure of chatting with our community of women connected with Be through volunteering, employment and receiving our services to share a selection of their incredible stories.
“I’m so proud to have been involved with Be in the early days when the organisation first received funding for community support,” said Jean Hughes. Several years later Jean went on to volunteer for Be when Kawana Companions was established. Jean has played an integral role in supporting clients to be able to attend Kawana Companions through coordinating transport, administration and even serving for several years on the management board.
“Thirty-four years have gone by in a flash,” said Jean Hughes now at 94 years of age. After retiring from work in the community sector, Jean went on to volunteer at Kawana Companions saying:
“I had gained so much from volunteering with Be and have made life-long friends.”
Now a client herself Jean attends Kawana Companions weekly and wanted to pay tribute to the incredible team of female volunteers dedicated to bringing cheer and companionship to the community.
You might find Susan Waters quietly volunteering in the kitchen at Kawana Companions or caring for puppies at Sippy Downs Animal Refuge or delivering meals to those in need through Meals on Wheels. Susan is a quiet achiever but has certainly made an impact and paved the way for young women in engineering prior to her devotion to community volunteering.
Susan was the only female in her engineering university course almost 40 years ago. “I stood up for myself and always made myself a part of the team,” she said.
Susan went on to work for Telstra for 35 years as an electronics engineer. “I worked hard and when I became a manager, I felt it was my duty to support younger women to step into the industry. In my position I felt it was important to help sisters out,” said Susan fondly remembering her years working as an engineer.
At 69 years young it doesn’t stop there for Susan. Eager to understand more about Be clients Susan is now committed to studying a diploma of community services. “You’re as old as you decide but we must show our mature community members empathy and respect,” said Susan.
As an organisation Be are proud to celebrate the talented and dedicated women volunteering and employed by Be. Be are committed to supporting diversity and gender equality and celebrate the 28 women in management and team leader roles as well at women making up 73% of employees.