Celebration of our inspiration
THE Women of Douglas were celebrated in a gala ceremony at the Port Douglas Community Hall on Tuesday night to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day.
Cairns Regional Council organised the gathering to officially launched its Women of Douglas booklet which highlights the contribution of women in the region.
Division 10 councillor Julia Leu and mayor Val Shier also unveiled the six women and local organisations which will be commemorated for all time with rooms in the Community Hall named after them.
The rooms were named in honour of the Mossman branch of the Country Women’s Association, Pink in the Tropics, Harriet Parker, Marj Norris, Hazel Douglas and Diane Cilento.
The Mossman CWA was founded in 1935, with founding members establishing a baby clinic, lobbying for a high school in 1954 and forming a younger set just last year to continue the community support.
Pink in the Tropics was set up by Douglas women who are breast cancer survivors - Natalie Halse, Deborah Katchel, Denise Collins and Maria Atkinson - in 2009 to support fellow sufferers and advocate for a patient travel subsidy which has not been increased for 23 years.
Harriet Parker established Mossman’s first sugar cane plantation and mill way back in 1883 on two square miles of land which still bears the name she christened it, Brie Brie.
Marj Norris has been involved in many local organisations over nearly 50 years including the Red Cross, the P & C Association, DAB, Mossman Pony Club, Girl Guides and the Mossman District Nursing Home Committee and is also a former councillor.
Hazel Douglas is an Eastern Kuku Yulanji woman who has inspired hundreds of her people over the years as a tour operator, community leader, volunteer and respected elder.
Diane Cilento has led an extraordinary life as an actor and performer on some of the world’s biggest stages and created the Karnak playhouse.
With the rooms now unveiled, council plans to install plaques which celebrate the lives of the women they are named after so future generations can appreciate their efforts.
Honoured: proud recipient Hazel Douglas and (inset) the Women of Douglas