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founding women

                inspired by speakers

Friday February 27, 2015, saw the Ballarat Foundation’s Founding Women inspired by guest speakers at a beautiful luncheon held at Oscars Hotel.

The luncheon was opened by Chair of The Ballarat Foundation, Stacey Grose, and Val Sarah AM was an eloquent Master of Ceremonies who introduced the two guest speakers.

Eve Mahlab AO is Founder and Chair of the Australian Women Donors Network and Julie Reilly is CEO of the Network.  Both women are passionate about making a difference in the lives of women and girls through educating and advocating for mindful philanthropy, while giving to projects and organisations with a view to whether the unique needs of women and girls are being considered.

Both women quoted statistics that were quite confronting:

  • Women in Australia earn just 83cents in the male dollar, a disparity that has widened over the past four years; at executive level the gap is 45%
  • One in three Australian women experiences physical violence, and almost one in five women experiences sexual violence over their lifetime
  • Every night 46,000 Australian women are homeless
  • The pay gap between men and women costs the economy $93billion every year – 8.5% of GDP
  • Women in Australia are two and a half times more likely to live in poverty in their old age than men
  • Australia’s international ranking for female workforce participation has dropped from 40th down to 52nd position
  • Only 10 women serve as heads of state in our world
  • 25% of our lower house representatives are women and 41% of the senate, however cabinet has only two women
  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% into their families, compared with 30% – 40% for a man
  • Female graduate salaries are 90.9% of male graduate salaries in Australia.

Eve and Julie both encouraged the women gathered to be outraged by these statistics, but then inspired to respond.  The Australian Women Donors Network aims to inform, educate and enable people to make a difference and when giving, to be mindful of investing in women and girls.

Julie told a very powerful story highlighting the flow on effect of investing in women and girls…

The proverb – ‘Give a man a fish and he will be hungry again, teach a man to fish and he will feed himself’ she paraphrased for a woman:  Give a woman a fish and she will feed her family but  possibly go hungry herself, teach a woman to fish and she will feed her family and her neighbours, give a woman control over the lake that holds the fish and she will feed her family, community and future generations as she manages that resource.

You can read more about the event in  The Courier

You can also find out more about the work of the Australian Women Donor’s Network and access many resources on their website