MOTHERS, SISTERS, WIVES, DAUGHTERS AND FRIENDS: WOMEN COMPLETE OVER 50 PER CENT OF OUR POPULATION. SO WHICH SIGNIFICANT LADY INSPIRES YOUR LIFE?
The world is changing and it’s for the best. Yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day and on the agenda was the push for a more gender-balanced world. I have two daughters who I want to grow up in a world where they are respected and have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
We’re getting there with equality but there’s still too many cases of domestic violence against women.
All of the women in my life inspire me in different ways. I am spoilt for choice of women to highlight today but I’ve decided to tell you about my Grandma. Currently, she’s sitting in a retirement home and doesn’t have much of a clue of what’s going on around her.
She’s slowly fading to a shadow of what she used to be. But what she used to be was something pretty special.
Hazel was a mother of six and a foster mother of more than 20. She and her husband ran a foster home in the Northern Territory. She was a “white woman” who was a defender of our Indigenous people. I remember her telling me a story where she was in a grocery store and the attendant asked her to come down the line and be served before the Indigenous women in front of her. Of course, she refused and used it as a teaching moment for the sales attendant. She’s never been a showy woman and has always encouraged us to work hard. I found out recently that all of the money she has left after she passes won’t be passed down to the family. Rather, it will be going to a charity.
Yeah, thanks, Grandma! Ha ha, nah, I love that about her.
Let’s celebrate the women we have, even if we don’t understand them sometimes.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate all things woman and why not? They represent over 50 per cent of society and, let’s be honest, have not been given the 50 per cent equal footing or the respect they deserve.
I say this as a son, father, brother and friend.
On the upside, of late we have seen the meteoric rise of women’s sport and plaudits that are associated with their talents, although we still see a significant pay disparity on the sporting field, entertainment sphere and workplaces in general. However, it does feel the worm has turned and the slow march to equality is finally building momentum.
On the downside, domestic violence statistics are rising at an alarming rate and women are still the majority of victims. I would like to tell you about an inspirational woman that changes my life every day for the better. Her name is Poppy Eponine Coward and she is my 12-year-old daughter.
I was recently asked what my greatest life’s achievement was. I replied, “My relationship with my daughter.” In a time where self-absorption, image and entitlement seem to reign, my Poppy stands tall (yes, pun intended) as a kid wanting to help others, play in the surf and have fun. Her ability to turn a negative situation into a positive one is unrivalled. Her zest for life and everything in it is a reminder that anything is possible, everything is OK and good always wins. And her wicked sense of humour can brighten the darkest of days.
But best of all, we’re buds. We talk, walk, cry and cuddle every day. She is one of many special women in my world. Aren’t I lucky? Let’s love ’em a bit more, hey?
Yesterday was such a massive day for women around the world, there’s no secret as to how far women have come over the past 100 years. Among the #metoo movement and gender equality, there have been so many women in this day and age who have really shone. I’d like to shine the spotlight on one of my favourite role models for women here. Her name is Noeline Taurua who is the head coach of the Sunshine Coast Lightning Netball team. The only regional team in the national netball competition and we’ve come away with two premierships. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time with this lovely lady and Noeline is an absolute inspiration to not only young netballers but also to females and males who enjoy being the best version of themselves each day. When you’re in Noeline’s presence, she has the most amazing calming nature about her.
We’ve seen this on the netball sidelines. There will be a crucial moment in a game where it’s do or die to make the semi-finals and she has this calm look on her face to say, “let’s work through the process we spoke about, and we’ve got this”.
She’s extremely wise and knows how to make a superstar. Taking a look at the Sunshine Coast Lightning and their team over the past three years, Noels isn’t just about making great players, but also great people. Every single one of the Lightning players are the sweetest athletes I’ve ever met. They have so much time for their sponsors, teammates and fans. Some athletes can get cocky when they reach the “big time” but the culture that Noeline and assistant coach Kylee Byrne have created is second to none, and it’s something they should be extremely proud of. Here’s to an amazing 2019 for the Sunshine Coast Lightning. #Threepeat