This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March is Inspiring Change. SHOROC’s first all-woman Executive plans to do just that as they acknowledge and celebrate the many and varied roles women play in our community.
The SHOROC Executive comprises President Jacqueline Townsend, Mayor of Pittwater; Vice-President Jean Hay AM, Mayor of Manly and Treasurer Veronica Lee, General Manager of Mosman Council.
In addition there is good representation of women as councillors across the SHOROC partner councils – Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah – with 16 of 34 councillors women. This includes two Mayors, Cr Townsend and Cr Hay and three Deputy Mayors, Cr Heins (Warringah), Cr Ferguson (Pittwater) and Cr Heasman (Manly).
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. Mayor Townsend, Mayor Hay and Ms Lee demonstrate what women can achieve both professionally and personally while working to progress equal participation for others.
SHOROC President Jacqueline Townsend said SHOROC’s all woman Executive is in contrast to the under representation of women in local government.
“Currently women make up only 15% of Mayors and 5% of General Managers in NSW councils and it is inspiring to see northern beaches and north shore women leading the way and setting an example to other communities.
“Although numbers need to increase, it is great to see more and more women participating and making a valuable contribution in local government and their communities.
“The talents and abilities of women are broad and diverse and it makes me proud on this International Women’s Day to see so many acknowledging and celebrating the social, political, environmental and economic achievements of women,” Mayor Townsend said.
Mayor Jacqueline Townsend was first elected to Pittwater Council in 2008, Deputy Mayor 2009 to September 2011 and then Mayor from September 2011 to present and SHOROC President in November 2013.
In addition to her Mayoral and Presidential duties, Mayor Townsend runs a legal consultancy with a particular interest in environmental law and planning. Previously she worked as a lawyer with the state government and is a member of the Law Society. Mayor Townsend is passionate about maintaining the natural environment and is an advocate for better public transport.
Mayor Jean Hay AM is a lifelong resident of Manly and was elected to Manly Council in 1987 and has served as Mayor of Manly from 1999 to 2004 and 2008 to present. Mayor Hay is SHOROC Vice-President and has also previously been SHOROC President.
Mayor Hay has a long list of achievements including being awarded Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the community through local government, community action and sporting groups, and fundraising for welfare and health education programs in 1998; a Centenary Medal in 2001; Distinguished Service Award for Surf Life Saving; a Paul Harris Fellowship for Community Service; Outstanding Service Award of the NSW Local Government Association for more than 20 years of service to local government; Manly Daily Centenary Medal for community service in 2007; and NSW Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government for her long term contribution to local government and the community through community action and fundraising in 2010.
Mayor Hay is also a foundation member of a number of boards and committees of charitable and community service organisations. In June 2013 Mayor Hay was appointed to the Board of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
Veronica Lee commenced duties as Mosman’s General Manager in September 2013 after working across government in a number of varied and interesting roles. She previously held senior positions at Burwood Council, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Emergency Management NSW and Department of Sport and Recreation.
During this time, Veronica has balanced professional and sporting careers achieving state, national and international beach sprint champion titles. She represented Australia in athletics and received the Central Coast Sportsperson of the Year Award for her achievements in Surf Life Saving.
Local IWD events:
International Women’s Day breakfast fund-raiser with special guest speaker Vicki Condon, founder and CEO of the award-winning youth mentoring organisation The Raise Foundation.
Manly Golf Club
Friday 7 March, 7-9am
Details 9976 1749 or manly.nsw.gov.au/whatson/international-womens-day
International Women’s Day Breakfast with guest speaker Veronica Lee, General Manager Mosman Council.
Mosman Art Gallery.
Friday 7 March, 7.30-9am
Bookings essential via trybooking.com/EEYH
International Women’s Day High Tea with Professor Marian Baird, Professor of Employment Relations and Director of the WomenWork Research Group at the University of Sydney and Ms Karynne Courts, a leading values specialist.
International Women’s Day Breakfast with guest speaker Lindsay Cane, CEO of Royal Far West children’s hospital and Telstra Businesswoman of the Year finalist.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newport
Tuesday 11 March, 7-9am
Bookings: Susie on 0413 623 392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org