The 2018 International Women’s Day breakfast in Port Macquarie was a mighty celebration recognising the achievements of women in the Hastings.
Women from across the Hastings came together to highlight the wonderful work they are doing in the community and to inspire the next generation of females to press for progress – the international theme for the day.
Winner of the Young Hastings Heroine of the Year, Jessica Denham said she was overwhelmed to have won the award.
“It feels pretty amazing to be chosen as the Young Heroine of the Year and I am so honoured to have been given the recognition,” Ms Denham said.
“The three other nominees are all doing fantastic work in the community and the competition was tough, so to be chosen and recognised is wonderful.”
Ms Denham said that she hopes to inspire other young women not to give up on their dreams and to always push for social change.
“I am really passionate about helping others, I had my son at a young age and I didn’t have strong women surrounding me,” she said.
“I am currently in my final year at Charles Sturt University studying social work but I think it is important that young women feel supported and that they have someone and someplace to turn to.
“Recently I have been a part of local Share the Dignity drives which collects sanitary items for women and the It’s in the Bag campaign where members in the community packed handbags with luxury and essential items for women and distributed them to support organisations.”
Ms Denham said that recognising International Women’s Day is important for young women to know they are not alone.
“Growing up I think it was hard for me to recognise my place in the world because I didn’t have too many strong females, and finding my place in that really drove me to see how strong and amazing women are, and can be, and I want to help other young girls to find that.
“Winning the Young Heroine of the Year means that I will have the chance to meet some phenomenal people in the community and even just this morning I have met some amazing ladies who I can’t wait to engage with and see where the future takes me.”
A fundrasier for the Port Macquarie-Hastings Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Service, the breakfast was organised by the Hastings Business Women’s Network (HBWN) and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, and its seventh year, was the biggest and best yet.
President of HBWN Kelly King said the International Women’s Day breakfast was a record breaking event.
“Today has been a fabulous morning with a record breaking, almost 300 people in attendance, and we have been able to raise over $17,500 for the women’s refuge which is really incredible,” Ms King said.
“The calibre of nominees for the Hastings Heroine Awards was extraordinary and really reflects the progress being done by women in the Hastings, pressing for progress and disrupting the status quo.”
Heroine of the Year, Sue Jogever said that International Women’s Day is all about recognising the immense talent of the women in our community.
“This morning there were some truly amazing women in the room and just being nominated for the Heroine Awards is a fantastic thing, but to be the winner is a remarkable achievement,” Mrs Jogever said.
“I am really passionate about helping the youth in the Hastings and I hope this award will assist me in continuing to passion.
“I am a believer in giving back to the community and I think we are all fortunate to live in a place like Port Macquarie, so let’s all get out there and press for progress this International Women’s Day.”