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For decades International Women’s Day (IWD) has been bringing awareness to equality and empowering women from all walks of life to achieve their hopes and dreams in business and community.

Australian humanitarian Gemma Sisia (nee Rice), who established the School of St Jude in Tanzania in 2002, is one of the many women making a difference to underprivileged people on the world stage.

She will be special guest at the IWD luncheon to be hosted by Salamander Bay Rotary Club at Soldiers Point Bowling Club on Wednesday, March 6, from 11.30am.

Rotary president Ina George said that the club was proud and honoured to have Gemma to provide her inspirational story on a day celebrating the strength, courage and resilience of women everywhere.

“We are indeed fortunate to have Gemma as our guest speaker to provide an insight into how she started fundraising to invest in the education of Africa’s poorest and the support she received from friends, family and Rotary groups,” Ms George said.

“We in Port Stephens are also fortunate to have women in prominent leadership roles in business and community who are passionate about making a difference.”

Some of those women include Leah Anderson, president of the Tomaree Business Chamber who was founding member and first president of the Port Stephens Women In Business. 

Emily Perry now heads the Women In Business organisation, and Kathy Rimmer, the Port Stephens Business Person of the Year, is into her second year as president of the Nelson Bay Rotary Club.

 Leah Anderson, Emily Perry, Kathy Rimmer and Ina George in Nelson Bay.

Ms Anderson said that organisation and prioritisation were key elements in most women’s lives, many who have to juggle family life with career. 

“Most of the successful women I know have very busy lives but they mange them through planning and making time for family, socialising and charity work,” said Ms Anderson.

Ms Perry, who juggles two businesses and family with two young children, said she was grateful for the support of Women In Business. 

“The group has taught me many things and the motto of ‘Connect, Inspire, Support’ sums it up. We have a fantastic mentoring program, we are active in support of each other and also in support of charitable organisations.”

Ms Rimmer said that work/life balance became most essential to her after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013. “I learned the art of saying no and the importance of doing what you love, and love what you’re doing.”

Charlie Elias, The Port Stephen Examiner (read original article here).


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