Letter to the editor: Celebrating International Women’s day 0



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Australia is a wonderful progressive country of which I am proud to have been born in. We all work hard for the betterment of our families and country.

Germaine Greer was influential in my life; she challenged the world with her outspoken advocating of feminism and women’s liberation not only in Australia but the world.

When I began work in an office back in the 50’s, women at work were treated as they were at home, they were to be seen and not heard by men, although were expected to work with as much enthusiasm in their chosen fields as men and for that they were rewarded with a salary which was half of the men’s.

Women’s magazines opened up a new world and gave us an insight into how women can be accepted by their peers in a man’s world; achieve everything they set their mind to.

Ita Buttrose, a journalist, was the youngest person to ever be appointed editor of the Women’s Weekly, she was the founding editor of Cleo, this magazine gave us frank articles on women’s sexuality; she did all of this and more.

There were other Australian women who I admired over the years whose wise choices influenced me as I grew up, although the two that made the most impact of shaping the person that I later became was these two great Australians.

I was amazed and enlightened by our Australian women who were demanding to be heard and they were. I decided then in the late 50’s I would educate myself, so I enrolled in T.A.F.E. and was still taking courses 30 years later. During this time I had been applying for jobs and being selected for jobs way beyond my status. I kept these positions by constant hard work, going that extra mile.

It was however not until the 70’s that I was actually able to attract equal wages and felt good about myself every day.

Although, I had virtually no education I set my expectations of what I wanted to achieve high after seeing what education and hard can do for a woman.

What a journey and I had my role models to thank for ‘blasting the way’ for all Australian women who knew that given the opportunity they could themselves make a difference to this beautiful country of ours.

Who were the influential women in your life? Share your thoughts…

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Sylvia Harvie

My Name is Sylvia Harvie I have not been posting on Starts at 60 very often since my Deane died in September last year. I moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast this year after our home was sold and the proceeds distributed to all beneficiaries. I am still settling into my little cottage in the over 50's village in Carrara. I have now set up my computer, I was about to edit both the books that I wrote in the years that Deane was dying, I wrote to hold on to some semblance of sanity during the worst time of my life. – I did not do a very good job grammatically on them and now would be an exciting time to edit them as circumstances that I wrote about in both of my books has changed. Firstly, Awareness and action on domestic violence is wider spread. Domestic Violence was what my first book MOVE FORWARD addressed. Editing and research for the edit may be a way for me to go forward. My daughter Lindy says ‘It does not matter what speed you are doing, Forward is Forward.’ Lindy has been very helpful encouraging me to address my health problems, which I did at her insistence. Now she supports my choice of getting back to writing, Lindy flew up here from Sydney and drove me to Spec Savers at Robina last weekend. She also, bought me a book to read with my new glasses, which were ready for me to pick up on Friday, I did this and they make reading a pleasure once more. I also need to edit my book HAUNTING AT THE BEACH this will be much easier to edit as this is my 'fun book' makes you laugh and cry this is why I want it to be worthy of a read, I wrote this for people to enjoy. I wrote it in November 2014 for the National Novel Writing in November where our aim was to write 50,000 words in 30 days all the while building your characters it was great fun and took my focus off what was happening to us. Us being Deane and I who promised never to leave each other, ever! Yes, 'you can fall in love with Vera and Anthony.' I did as I wrote it, if you do not, at least you will know how to build a Casino. Until I retired, my only published story was a short story published in a book of short stories, called Generation Inspiration in 1999. Later in my life, I was working with the people who helped victims in crisis; I met many victims of domestic violence and witnessed the recovery path to moving forward from violence with programs of help in that field. I spent two years researching and then writing, MOVE FORWARD. It was something I had wanted to write about for a major part of my life, while researching about what makes the people responsible for this type of antisocial behaviour hurt the people that they loved. I always knew I would write 'that book.' I did write it and had it published. In August, 2013, I should have waited until now to publish it but Deane who was dying wanted to see it published, It was published (warts and all) and dedicated to Deane. Now I believe I am ready to write my books again. Maybe one day I will be ready to write our Journal which we both wrote in everyday after Deane required the 24 hour a day care only a nursing home could provide.

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