International Women’s Day: We are the difference

International Women’s Day Special

Theme for 2023: #EmbraceEquity

The Sustainable Hour no. 450 | Podcast notes

Hosts of The Sustainable Hour on 8 March, the annual International Women’s Day, are Rosemary Nugent and Vicki Perrett, and their guests are Kate Lockhart from Bellarine Landcare Group, Jenna Wade from Young Women in Local Democracy and Noreen Nicholson from Geelong Sustainability and ARRCC Geelong.

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The questions both hosts and guests answer during the hour are:

Who or what inspired you to step up?
What achievements are you most proud of?
What are the big issues, challenges or opportunities?
Does this year’s theme of International Women’s Day, ‘Embrace Equity’, impact your focus and activities? If so, how?
What advice do you have for women thinking about getting involved?

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Rosemary Nugent OAM is an active community member with a passion for social justice, sustainable living and community connections. She has advocated for refugees and the East Timorese and has been involved with many organisations including Geelong West Community Garden, Geelong Organic Gardeners, Geelong West Neighbourhood House, Women in Local Democracy (WILD), Geelong Sustainability and Cycling Geelong. OAM statement by Gayle Tierney.

Rosemary Nugent OAM

Vicki Perrett is Geelong Sustainability’s Climate Advocate. A retired educator, Vicki served on Geelong Sustainability’s committee for 12 years, the last 6 years as president. She’s focused on building community understanding and collaborative networks to enable our region to decarbonise, localise and equalise. Vicki is a nominee for City of Greater Geelong’s 2023 Women in Community Life for Leadership in Climate Action Award. She’s also a keen cyclist and a member of numerous environmental and cycling groups.

Vicki Perrett

Kate Lockhart is an agricultural scientist who’s been president of Bellarine Landcare Group for the last five years. She’s a lifelong environmental advocate and land carer who’s passionate about the value of trees in any location. Kate is a nominee for City of Greater Geelong’s 2023 Women in Community Life for Leadership in Climate Action Award. She’s also a practical gardener.

Kate Lockhart

Jenna Wade is a Community Activator and Mental Health Support Practitioner. She is passionate about supporting, empowering and connecting people in her local Norlane community. Jenna provides people with access to resources and support so they can create meaningful action. Currently she’s focused on community garden spaces and bringing people together through caring for the land, growing healthy food and creating a more sustainable future for everyone. She is also invigorating the Young Women In Local Democracy group to create a sustainable movement of young women changemakers that can become future leaders of Geelong and beyond. To put their passion into action, an inspiration event is held at Common Ground Project on 1 April 2023. You can register here. They can be contacted via

Jenna Wade

Noreen Nicholson is a passionate climate activist who was recognised in the 2022 Women in Community Life award for Climate Action for her exemplary leadership coordinating educational events and projects for Geelong Sustainability. Her current focus is in integral ecology – the connection between humans and our environment. She is leading teams to formulate seven-year Laudato Si’ Action Plans at St Bernard’s Church – and nationally with Christian Life Community Australia. She is also an active member of ARRCC and Geelong Sustainability. Noreen has shown exemplary leadership, serving on the Committee of Management for many years, developing and coordinating numerous community engagement programs, and has also led Geelong Sustainability’s support for proper recognition of First Nations people.

Noreen Nicholson

Who will receive the 2023 City of Greater Geelong’s ‘Women in Community Life’ awards? This will be announced tonight. All nominees and winners will be recognised at Council’s International Women’s Day event on 8 March 2023. You can still register here.

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Vicki Perrett:
This is the 450th Sustainable Hour – amazing! Congrats to the show’s producers and presenters. A big thank you to them for giving over their show to women today and for encouraging Rosemary and I to co-host this special International Women’s Day program.

For this special show, we’ve forgone the usual “Global Outlook” segment presented by Colin Mockett. However regular listeners may want an update on the world’s greenest football club, Forest Green Rovers. Sadly the results from their recent games weren’t good with losses in both the men’s and women’s teams.

In this female focused show, we thought it was more relevant to do a Gender Equity Outlook.

The 2023 theme for International Women’s Day is “Embrace Equity”. So how are women doing on the equity scorecard?

  • 2022 data from the ABS shows that the gender pay gap is still there with gaps from 8.8% to 28.1%
  • Females lag behind men in labour participation by 9%: 71.1% to 62.3%
  • Females exceed men on life expectancy by 4 years: 85.4 to 81.3
  • We’re a nose ahead of men on post-school qualifications: 63.3% to 63.1%
  • And unsurprisingly we blitz the guys on housework, doing 70% compared to 42.4%

UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Globally the disparity continues as shown in UN SDG 2022 Report shows:

  • More than 1 in 4 women have been subjected to intimate partner violence at least once in their lifetime
  • Only 57% get to make informed decisions on their sex and reproductive health care
  • However women share in national parliament is up to 26.2% from 22.4% in 2015

Thanks to Colin’s research, we can tell you a recent report from the International Organisation of Parliaments has found that for the first time in history, not a single functioning parliament in the world is male-only.  The findings are based on the 47 countries that held elections in 2022. Yeah! Women’s participation in parliament is increasing. This is excellent as we know diversity in decision-making bodies leads to better decisions.

Here in Victoria, the government has set a target of 50% female mayors and councillors by 2025.

But even more importantly, we need to consider how gender is relevant to the climate crisis? 

Last February, the United Nations posted an explainer story about this important issue. It states that,

“Gender inequality coupled with the climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. It poses threats to ways of life, livelihoods, health, safety and security for women and girls around the world. There’s now growing evidence about the disparate impacts of climate change and the linkages between women’s empowerment and effective, global climate action.” 

Specifically how does climate change impact women and girls?

Clearly the climate crisis is not “gender neutral”. Climate change amplifies existing gender inequalities:

  • Women have fewer resources yet have a disproportionate responsibility for securing food, water, and fuel
  • During periods of drought and erratic rainfall, women must work harder to secure income and resources for their families. Girls often have to leave school to help their mothers
  • Climate change is a “threat multiplier” as it escalates social, political and economic tensions in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Women and girls face increased vulnerabilities and gender-based violence, including: sexual violence, human trafficking, child marriage, and other forms of violence
  • When disasters strike, women are less likely to survive and more likely to be injured due to long standing gender inequalities. In the aftermath, women and girls are less able to access relief and assistance, creating a vicious cycle of vulnerability to future disasters
  • Women’s and girls’ health is endangered by climate change and disasters by limiting access to services and health care, as well as increasing risks related to maternal and child health

We must also be aware that the impacts on women and girls from climate change are not uniform. The risks are acute for indigenous and Afro-descendent women and girls, older women, LGBTIQ+ people, women and girls with disabilities, migrant women, and those living in rural, remote, conflict and disaster-prone areas.

It’s clear to see why gender equity is key to climate action. So let’s get on with it. ACTIONS NOT WORDS!

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“Every single one of us matters. Every single one of us has some role to play.”
~ Jane Goodall, anthropologist

The songs we play in The Sustainable Hour no. 450 are all available on Youtube:
Keb Mo: ‘Put a Woman in Charge’
John Butler, Dan Sultan & Missy Higgins: ‘From Little Things, Big Things Grow’
Paul McCartney: ‘Despite Repeated Warnings’
Formidable Vegetable: ‘Earth People Fair’
Missy Higgins: ‘The Difference’

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Anthony Gleeson:
That’s it for The Sustainable Hour for episode 450. Keb Mo’s advice in his song “Put A Woman In Charge” has been vindicated today – on the International Women’s Day. It has been so inspiring to see Vicki and Rosemary jump at the chance of producing a Sustainable Hour with the sole focus on women and the incredible work they are doing. What an insightful show they have presented. In the process, they put together a panel of dynamic local women leaders, who have given so much time and energy to Geelong and the district. Noreen, Kate and Jenna are – like Vicki and Rosemary are – all tireless workers for a safer, more just, inclusive, peaceful and healthy world: a world based on equity.

The Sustainable Hour team is grateful to these five women for the efforts they put into producing this week’s show to shine a huge spotlight on the importance of true equity, as well as the fact that we still have a long way to go to achieving it. They all are such good role models on how we can reach a fair and equitable world. How appropriate that they finish with all of them saying together: “We are the difference!”

“Just step forward! Step forward at the kitchen table, step forward at the board room, step forward at the school carpark or the supermarket. If you hear someone not being the best they can be, just stand up, because that could be the first time that someone has stood up for that person. Be generous. Continue to be generous with your time, your intellect and your energy, because you will live a lot longer – it’s good for your soul.”
~ Kate Lockhart, president of Bellarine Landcare Group, in The Sustainable Hour no. 450

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As we all walk and travel around Djilang, the area we now know as Geelong, consider how this land was lived upon, cared for and loved by the Wathaurong people who were its custodians for tens of thousands of years before European settlement. Think about how the European ways of life have destroyed, or at least drastically changed, what was here, without any thought for the lives, rights and freedoms of the first peoples who had been here.

It is time for us to say sorry while honouring and paying our respects to these first people, not just their elders, but all of them, past, present and still to come. We look forward to hearing their voice, their voices, speaking loudly and clearly and we ask their forgiveness so we may go forward with their help into a better future both for the land and the people of Djilang and Australia.

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Young Women In Local Democracy event on Saturday 1 April 2023 from 10am to 3pm.

The aim of the event is to inspire more young women, aged between 18 and 35, to recognise their potential and create change at the community, individual and local government level. The event will bring together a group of motivated young women who will collaborate, share and be inspired to reach for the stars.

Young women participants will be given the chance to co-design a leadership program that will run in intensive workshop format in 2023.

“We would like young women to feel supported and gain the experience, skills and connections to become future leaders of Geelong and surrounds.”

Jenna Wade

The event will be held at Common Ground Project and will include a hands-on farm experience and farm tour, introduction to change-making in local politics, a collaborative lunch, guest speakers: Mayor of Surf Coast Shire Liz Pattison and Women Leading Locally fellowship recipient Jessica Sullivan.

Please pass this on to relevant young women who may be interested. Participant numbers are limited to 20 to ensure a cohesive group so register promptly.

→ Register on

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Women in Community Life Awards 2023 – Climate action

Excerpt of City of Greater Geelong’s two-hour live-streaming from the event ‘Women in Community Life Awards’

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Celebrating Women in Climate

Join Geelong Sustainability’s March event ‘Celebrating Women In Climate’ in honour of International Women’s Day. This event will highlight the amazing work being undertaken by local women in the climate and sustainability space.

A panel of three inspiring and diverse women includes Ula Majewski, Dr Prue Francis and Belinda Baggs. The evening will be an opportunity to hear more from innovative change makers about their projects and experience in the climate space.

This event is here to expand your understanding of what climate action is and empower you to make your unique change and impact in your own life.

When: Monday 27 March 2023 at 5.30pm to 7.00pm
Where: Runway – The Mills West 6, Federal Mills Park, 33 Mackey St, North Geelong

Women leading climate action

Project Drawdown and the Clean Cooking Alliance will host a free webinar, “Women Leading Climate Action Through Agriculture, Education, and Health,” on 9 March 2023 at 8am ET in the U.S.. Panelists will share inspiring examples of initiatives led by girls and women that advance climate adaptation and mitigation while also boosting human well-being.
Learn more and register

All We Can Save: a revolutionary approach to climate action

Following from International Women’s Day, we want to shine a light on one of the most galvanising books of our times: All We Can Save, an anthology of writings by 60 women edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson. It highlights and encourages a leadership more characteristically feminine and feminist, featuring a multitude of diverse and unique perspectives on climate justice, action and solutions.


Building a better world with the power of community: Together we grow

‘Together We Grow’ tells the inspiring story of a thriving hub helping to build resilience into its local community by growing, sewing, repairing, sharing – you name it, Common Unity is doing it!

“This beautiful film is the perfect antidote to the cynical narrative that says people are inherently selfish… This film will melt your heart. Guaranteed.”
~ Rob Hopkins, author; co-founder Transition Network

Too many of our communities, here and around the world, are facing housing crises, food insecurity, social isolation, and more. In addition, the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic and climate change are current and ongoing. How can we most effectively confront these challenges, and help our communities thrive in an economic system that leaves many feeling trapped in poverty?

Founder Julia Milne and her team have created a completely replicable model for developing strong, connected, resilient communities – a model that could be put in place across thousands of communities in Aotearoa and millions of communities across the world. They’ve proven it can be done, this film was made to help them share the story.

“Action is required by everyone, every institution, every country. Everyone can make a difference!”
~ Christine Lagarde and Vitor Gaspar

Financial Times: Climate change – a cry from the future

19 September 2019: ‘The future has come to meet us’

The Financial Times and the Royal Court collaborate on a short drama exploring inaction on climate change. Actress Nicola Walker, transmitting news from 2050, asks why we ‘never really learnt how to talk about this’.

“Sisters in Arms” follows six young climate activists around the world: Adelaide and Anuna in Belgium, Luisa in Germany, Léna in France, Leah in Uganda, and Mitzi in the Philippines. Woven through scenes depicting their forms of activism — from organizing climate rallies to launching community tree planting campaigns — we see footage from the late 90s, when another prominent youth activist, Julia Butterfly Hill, took a stand for the redwoods in Northern California. Linking her leadership with theirs, the film draws a clear line between the willingness to take a stand and the strength that many women have found in sisterhood. Read more

An expedition of women from East and West have set an audacious goal of skiing to the North Pole. Braving threats of all kinds, they navigate terrain that has become increasingly dangerous due to climate change. Directed by Holly Morris.

Powerlands is a new documentary directed by Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso. A young Navajo filmmaker investigates displacement of Indigenous people and devastation of the environment caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born. On this personal and political journey she learns from Indigenous activists across three continents. See more at

Rockies Repeat” brings viewers to the Canadian Rockies, where a team of Indigenous and other women artists have come together to reinterpret the work of early Banff painter Catharine Robb Whyte, who painted the glacial beauty here nearly 100 years ago. But now, instead of the icy landscape she’d so lovingly rendered, the artists are met with record-breaking heat, wildfire-smoke-clogged horizons, and a visibly disappearing glacier. Expect rousing music, breathtaking scenery, and a shared conviction that a melting glacier isn’t just an environmental loss — it’s a powerful loss emotionally and culturally, and bearing witness to it is part of what makes us human.

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→ RenewEconomy – 2 March 2023:

Musk says electric world that kicks out fossil fuels will cost less than combustion economy

“At the EV and storage company’s latest Investor Day, Musk says there is a clear path to a fully sustainable Earth “with abundance”.”

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Events we have talked about in The Sustainable Hour

Events in Victoria

The following is a collation of Victorian climate change events, activities, seminars, exhibitions, meetings and protests. Most are free, many ask for RSVP (which lets the organising group know how many to expect), some ask for donations to cover expenses, and a few require registration and fees. This calendar is provided as a free service by volunteers of the Victorian Climate Action Network. Information is as accurate as possible, but changes may occur.



List of running petitions where we encourage you to add your name

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The Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet and broadcasted on FM airwaves in the Geelong region every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time).

» To listen to the program on your computer or phone, click here – or go to where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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