International Women's Day

On 8 March each year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world. International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements and the contribution they make to their community.

The international theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge.

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, were all responsible for our own thoughts and actions- all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create and inclusive world.

International Women’s Day celebrations in Bathurst

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Bathurst Regional Council is profiling 12 local women to acknowledge their achievements and contribution to the Bathurst community. A panel, which was made up of Councillors, Council staff and representatives from community organisations, nominated the women who have been selected. Women were nominated in accordance with the six mission areas of International Women’s Day, including:

1. Celebrate tech women and innovation
2. Demand equality for women in sport
3. Build inclusive workplaces so women thrive
4. Forge women’s empowerment worldwide
5. Educate women on health choice decisions
6. Increase visibility of women creatives

The nominees have been photographed and profiled about their achievements and what the theme #ChooseToChallenge means to them.

Life size corflute profiles will be displayed in Kings Parade (George Street end) from Monday 8 March until Friday 12 March 2021.

Visit for further information.

The following two questions were asked of our Nominees:

Please tell us about your nomination and how you address the identified mission area.
Please explain what the 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge means to you.

  • Anna Blackie

    Anna Blackie

    We chose to challenge the trend of an underrepresentation of women within the Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club by securing funding from Ironman’s international program, Women for Tri. We are thrilled that we now have consistently equal participation of men and women across our events. Women have the most amazing potential to achieve positive change, especially when we encourage and support each other. If we all #ChooseToChallenge the things we know are not right, together we will break down inequality, wherever, and for whoever, it exists.
  • Marie Bourke

    Marie Bourke

    Tireless advocate for women, volunteer counsellor, support for women exiting the justice system
    I feel affirmed that I have been nominated as a woman who is seen as one seeking out and celebrating women's achievements. I enjoy working with women at the Central West Women’s Health Centre and meeting women through my counselling work, as well as supporting vulnerable women who come to live with me in my home. Choosing to challenge is robust and energetic. Anything less is not enough to meet those challenges, to call out gender bias and inequality, to overcome the daily obstacles women meet each day, for themselves and their children.
  • Selina Brandy

    Selina Brandy

    Relationships Australia, strong aboriginal role model
    My role as an Aboriginal Family Advisor/Community Development Worker involves supporting Aboriginal women and Aboriginal families within our communities. Trust, genuineness, honesty, consistency, reliability, integrity, and truth telling are important to me in what I do and equally important to all women who seek my support. My role as an Aboriginal Family Advisor/Community Development Worker involves supporting Aboriginal women and Aboriginal families within our communities. Trust, genuineness, honesty, consistency, reliability, integrity, and truth telling are important to me in what I do and equally important to all women who seek my support.
  • Tracey Callinan

    Tracey Callinan

    Executive Director of Arts OutWest
    My work in the arts gives me the opportunity to support many of the amazing women in Bathurst who participate in the creative sector. The arts is based on interpreting our lives, telling our stories and challenging the things that need to be questioned. #ChooseToChallenge means that we do not sit silently by. I believe that we all need to take responsibility for being the best we can. Challenge can be noisy or quiet but can also be constructive and based on respect.
  • Laura Cole

    Laura Cole

    Former Youth Deputy Mayor, community activist
    I strive to utilise the talents within our community and elevating visibility for commercial projects. Living in regional NSW, it’s vital that we embrace the opportunities that the creative industry presents for our local businesses and the wider community through building inclusivity and a vibrant culture. Through our thoughts, words and actions, we can #ChooseToChallenge inequality, and build an inclusive and empowering environment. I am determined to succeed in my career, and I am driven by the many inspiring women who I am privileged enough to be mentored by.
  • Karen Golland

    Karen Golland

    Local Artist
    I’m an artist who creates large-scale sculptures using craft techniques handed down through generations of women. Women’s time and labour has been undervalued in our society, so my artmaking challenges these ideas, and questions what we value and why. #ChooseToChallenge means questioning who has and hasn’t been recognised or given opportunities to succeed in the arts, and asking why? It’s listening to experiences outside our own and proactively challenging systems that exclude or exploit – so there is more care, more respect, and more opportunity.
  • Jane Lawrence

    Jane Lawrence

    One of the first female Dr’s to practice in Bathurst
    There are many women doctors, some retired and those still working, that I represent in accepting this nomination. I see a GP’s role as providing professional advice and support in encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and optimal screening from prenatal health through to aged care. Health choice decisions for women have far reaching consequences for themselves, their families and society as a whole. With so much information available, a GP can help challenge the “misinformation” and counter the “beauty myth” to focus on optimal, evidence-based health outcomes.
  • Carole McDiamid

    Carole McDiamid

    Former Director of School Education
    For 38 years I held senior leadership roles in Education in Western NSW. During this time, I led technology-based initiatives with strong policies on gender and equality. I continue to be involved with many local organisations that further develop opportunities for women and continue to mentor female academics through my role at CSU. We all have a choice. I continue to exercise my right to remind others of inequity, inequality and discrimination often raised via the media. Never be silent if an injustice is occurring. Be resourceful with investigation and challenge policies with organisations and people who are at fault or misguided.
  • Zoe Peters

    Zoe Peters

    School Captain, Youth Mayor and Sporting figure
    International Women’s Day is incredibly meaningful, and to be part of this initiative is a real honour. To increase visibility of women’s creatives as the Bathurst Regional Youth Council Youth Mayor, school captain, and an AFL player, I strive to empower everyone to #ChooseToChallenge. #ChooseToChallenge embodies the path we, as women, need to take to achieve equality. Undeniably, there is a path that needs to be taken, limits that need to be pushed and barriers that need to be removed. This will all result from us choosing to challenge.
  • Beth Pratley

    Beth Pratley

    Musical Director of Panorama Chorus
    I love being part of a group that lets local women express and develop their creativity through singing. I particularly enjoy getting involved in activities where we showcase those talents to our community and work with many other creative women in our region. #ChooseToChallenge means recognising our own strengths and celebrating the strengths of the women around us, and those who came before us. It’s harnessing our creativity to come up with solutions when we see a problem, and making our voices heard.
  • Kirstyn Schumacher

    Kirstyn Schumacher

    S & S Electrical
    In 2013 I took on an electrical apprenticeship – a decision which soon became a bigger life change than initially expected. I successfully completed my apprenticeship and now own 50% of the business. I continue to enjoy this career choice. Our biggest hurdle as women is preconceived views of what we are capable of. By being a role model in a male dominated workforce, I feel I’m setting an example that it is okay to challenge these stereotypes and I would hope that women gain more workplace confidence as a result.
  • Kathy Sloan

    Kathy Sloan

    One of the founders and secretary of Bathurst AFL Giants football club
    I have been involved with sports administration for many years across many sports. The Bathurst GIANTS AFL Club has girls participating in Auskick and junior teams as well as dedicated Senior Women and Youth Girls teams. #ChooseToChallenge demands that we continue to press for equality for women in sport. The improved coverage and support that women’s sport has received over the last 5 years needs to continue to build, to allow girls more opportunities in their chosen sport.
  • 1