Letter to the editor: Celebrating International Women’s day

Australia is a wonderful progressive country of which I am proud to have been born in. We all work hard
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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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