Australasian Women in Emergencies Day – held on 10 October – was a great success again this year. More than 200 people registered to attend our Forum featuring guest speakers Sarah (Norm) Stuart-Black QSO and Ruth Wraith OAM; we announced recipients of the inaugural AWE Excellence Awards; and we hosted multiple in-person events to help recognise and celebrate women in emergencies.
We also saw significant social media coverage from across the sector. Tamara Beckett, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Director, Forest & Fire Operations at the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning in Victoria posted:
Today is Australasian Women in Emergencies Day – a day to celebrate and recognise the contribution women make right across this fabulous sector. However it is also a day to acknowledge the continued challenges many women and gender diverse people face when trying to break into or progress within it…with more support, more allies and advocates prepared to be vocal about the need for change, we can lighten the load and speed up the pace of change. So please, today, reflect on how you either perpetuate or challenge the patriarchal and masculine systems and culture through your words and actions. The women in that community are not just here to serve the tea and take the minutes – we are leaders, we are decision-makers and we can’t create a culture where those things are expected rather than the exception without the support of every one of you.
Thank you to all the women, friends and allies who helped recognise and celebrate women’s contributions to emergencies this Australasian Women in Emergencies Day 2023!