March 8, 2019
Kumbia Kindergarten’s International Women’s Day lunch returned with gusto on Friday … at a new location and with more than 100 diners.
The lunch has been held previously at the Kumbia Memorial Hall but after a gap of a few years, the organisers decided to try out Kingaroy Town Hall as a venue.
This allowed for more space for the diners as well as more room for the caterers – and it was such a success, the Kindy is already planning to book it again for next year.
Eleven tables of diners enjoyed a two-course meal prepared by JC Catering and listened to a series of inspiring speakers.
Guest speakers were North Burnett blogger Amanda Salisbury – the talent behind the popular BushBabeOfOz blog – who is an avid photographer as well as a mother of two, wife and beef producer; Belinda Gangemi, from Ironpot-based Queensland Botanicals; and Annie Flamsteed and Chloe Watson, from Inspire Sports, an online tool for athletes that includes daily activity programs, educational information and provides ways to track training.
Kumbia Kindy also invited local businesswomen to set up pop-up stalls around the walls of the halls, offering everything from craft items and scented candles to essential oils.
Kindy president Jodie Black compered the day and introduced the guest speakers.
She said the lunch, and a cricket day to be held in May, would be the major fundraisers for the kindy this year.
There are seven children currently being cared for at the kindy.
South Burnett Women announced the winner of their annual $5000 Ellen Mary Kent Hughes Memorial Scholarship during the lunch.
Former Kingaroy State High School student Meghann Plant, from Goomeri, has just begun studying at the University of Queensland and is living on campus.
She is currently studying biomedical science as a pathway into a degree in medicine.
Meghann is the third student to be awarded a $5000 bursary by South Burnett Women.
Dr Ellen Mary Kent Hughes became Queensland’s first female councillor when she was elected to the former Kingaroy Shire Council in 1923. The South Burnett Regional Council’s forecourt in Glendon Street, Kingaroy, is named in her honour.
The scholarship offers financial support to a local woman embarking on tertiary education.
International Women’s Day is also an important day for AgForce’s first female General President, Georgie Somerset.
The Durong grazier says there are few industries which owe so much to the contribution of women as Australian agriculture.
However, despite their prodigious contribution on farm, women were severely under-represented in the senior ranks and around the board tables.
“Women have always – and continue to – contribute significantly to the agricultural industry from the manual labour, to business management and policy development,” Mrs Somerset said.
“There is no denying, however, that industry needs to do more to ensure that we have greater representation of women not only in the paddock but also in the board room.”
She said women produce 49 per cent of the real farm income in Australia, but statistics from the National Farmers’ Federation 2030 Roadmap make stark reading:
“This is a critical day for industry in recognising and acknowledging gender equality as an important issue to continue to drive and drive hard,” Mrs Somerset said.
“Women are not stepping into leadership roles for their particular industry as much as I would like to see, so at AgForce it will be a focus of mine over the next couple of years to have more women come through, particularly in the commodity specific roles.
“This year we are proud to be a partner in the NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, providing skills for women to more actively participate in leadership roles across our industry.
“At AgForce we are committed to showing leadership in terms of how we act and operate, our openness and ability to talk and work genuinely in recognising the opportunity we and industry have, and to redouble our efforts in accelerating progress toward greater balance.
“We are more powerful together, men and women, working together to advance sustainable agribusiness.”