The Sustainable Women’s Hour 2024

The Sustainable Hour no. 493 | Transcript | Podcast notes

Two days before International Women’s Day on 8 March, the hosts of The Sustainable Women’s Hour 2024 are Vicki Perrett and Kate Lockhart. Guests in the Hour are Jeanne Nel, Dr Ly Doan and Veema Mooniapah.

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Unleashing impact: Women and sustainability
The Sustainable Hour’s 493rd program is dedicated to celebrating International Women’s Day and features a discussion with local women leaders about the importance of inclusivity, empowerment, environmental conservation, the challenges and opportunities for change, and climate change. 

The participants share personal stories, provide advice for women stepping up, and pledge actions to advance gender equality and diversity. They explore the themes of ‘Count her in’, ‘Invest in women and accelerate progress’, emphasising the need for intentional inclusivity and financial independence for women.

The five women talk about their journeys as women leaders and the importance of support from girlfriends. They also highlight the power of planting trees and the need for collaboration in environmental initiatives.

The conversation concludes with a discussion on the biggest challenges and opportunities globally and locally, and the changes that could be introduced if a woman was in charge.

Their calls to action:

  • Plant a tree and feel the glee!
  • Be brave!
  • Be bold!
  • Be inclusive!
  • Just do it!

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Vicki Perrett is a committed climate advocate focused on empowering our region to decarbonise, localise and equalise by building community understanding and collaborative networks. A retired educator, Vicki served on Geelong Sustainability’s committee for 12 years, the last 6 years as President. She’s now President of Bellarine Catchment Network. A keen citizen scientist and cyclist, she’s a member of numerous environmental and cycling groups. Linkedin profile.

Kate Lockhart is an Agricultural Scientist who’s been involved in Bellarine Landcare Group for the last 15 years, serving as President for 5 years. She’s a lifelong environmental advocate and land carer who’s passionate about the value of trees in any location. Kate won City of Greater Geelong’s 2023 Women in Community Life for Leadership in Climate Action Award. She is passionate about levelling the playing field for girls which is reflected in her long volunteer involvement in local schools, tennis and soccer clubs.

Jeanne Nel is a researcher and former South African barrister who specialises in good governance. She holds a master’s degree in human rights law and recently submitted her PhD thesis into the regulation of volunteer charity directors’ duty of care and diligence. She is currently lecturing at La Trobe University having lectured at Monash, Deakin and also in South Africa. Jeanne is a dedicated advocate for Greater Geelong’s urban tree canopy. In 2021, she drafted and spearheaded the Tree Canopy petition, laying the groundwork for the establishment of CoolGeelong, a community organisation that advocates for a tree management approach that recognises the vital role trees play in sustainable development, encompassing economic, social, and environmental aspects. Linkedin profile.

Dr Ly Doan is a globally-minded, people-orientated and practical individual with a passion for social justice and humanitarian work. Interested in primary and preventive healthcare, healthcare policies and innovative solutions that will provide equal and equitable access and provision of healthcare to all groups of people of all identities. Ly founded the Vietnamese People of Geelong group. She’s a participant in the Committee for Geelong’s Leaders for Geelong 2024 program.

Veema Mooniapah has over 20 years of experience and skills taking lead roles in community development, law enforcement, health and well-being, capacity building and policy development with government and community agencies both in Australia and overseas, using the lens of equity, diversity and Inclusion, intersectionality and human rights. I am passionate about leading evidence informed policy and planning supported by a strong platform of respectful, positive and meaningful stakeholder engagement. She’s a participant in the Committee for Geelong’s Leaders for Geelong 2024 program. Linkedin profile.

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How is gender relevant to the climate crisis?

Global overview
In February 2022, the UN 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.

  • They 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 equality is key to climate action (UN Sustainable Development Goal #5).

Public health and community safety

“Climate change impacts the physical and mental health of people and communities. Health and wellbeing is adversely affected both through physical injuries and illnesses, as well as the mental toll of responding and recovering from severe and often compounding disasters (National Mental Health Commission 2021). Heat-related illnesses and fatalities, air quality impacts such as thunderstorm asthma and smoke, injuries and fatalities directly from extreme weather events, and poverty and community displacement are just a few of the health impacts we are already seeing.”
Annual Climate Change Statement 2022 by Minister Chris Bowen

Oxfam’s report Survival of the Richest shows how extreme wealth and extreme poverty have increased simultaneously for the first time in 25 years.

  • Australia’s richest 1% gain 10 times more wealth in past decade than bottom 50%
  • They squirrelled away more than $2500 a second (or $150,000 per minute) for 10 years straight
  • Australian billionaire wealth is 61% higher than it was before the pandemic
  • Globally, the richest 1% have made nearly twice as much money as the rest of the world put together over the past two years

Per Capita – The Australian Inequality Index

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UN: Communicating on Climate Change
Communicating on Climate Change is about educating and mobilizing audiences to take action to confront the climate crisis. Everyone can play a part by raising their voice, sharing solutions, and advocating for change – shaped by different experiences, cultural contexts, and underlying values.

Justice: Climate change is not just about science, it is also an issue of justice. The poor and marginalized are often hit the hardest by increasing climate hazards like floods, droughts, and storms. Those who contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions are too often affected the most. Solving the climate crisis also means addressing injustice and inequity, which can create opportunities for all.

Empower people:  Let people know that they have the power to effect change. Individual action and systemic change go hand in hand. Individuals can help drive change by shifting consumption patterns and demanding action by governments and corporations. Small steps by a large number of people can help persuade leaders to make the big changes we need. And the more people act now and speak up for change, the bigger the pressure on leaders to act

UN report: Global Environment Outlook for Cities report: Towards Green and Just Cities
UN article: Equitable future cities hold answers to pollution, climate and nature breakdown

The Guardian: Gender pay gap: Katy Gallagher calls on Dutton to reject Matt Canavan’s comments calling report ‘useless data’

The government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency released the individual gender pay gaps at nearly 5,000 businesses across Australia last week for the first time. The results published on 27 Feb showed that more than 3,000 employers, or 61.6% of the total, had a gender pay gap that favoured men. Meanwhile, 30.1% (1,493 employers) had a neutral gender pay gap – defined as a gap of 5% or lower – and just 412 employers, or 8.3% of the total, had a pay gap that favoured women.

Intersectionality is a concept for understanding how aspects of a person’s identities combine to create different and multiple discrimination and privilege. Examples of these aspects are gender, race, sexuality, religion, disability or age.

Teal MPs, pictured at the Mid Winter Ball in Canberra  Picture: NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman

Teal emissions reduction target of 75 per cent by 2035
Over the summer, a group of Independent MPs stood together to demand a minimum 75 per cent emissions reduction target by 2035. This significantly increases the ‘floor’ of 43 per cent by 2030, previously set by the Government. “It’s ambitious but achievable and aligns Australia much more closely with our international peers,” independent MP Allegra Spender said.

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Postscript – by Tony
We are extremely grateful for Vicki for stepping up again to pull the 2024 The Sustainable Hour International Women’s Day special, and to Kate for assisting her in the planning of this tribute to Geelong and district women.

We also appreciate and recommend Veema, Ly and Jeanne for sharing their strong views on the importance of women not being held back as has happened so often in the past.

We can think of no better way to highlight the leading role that women must have as we transition to the safer, more just, inclusive, peaceful and healthy world that so many of us are yearning for.

This is especially pertinent when you consider that we were led into this current multi-faceted series of crises by men, plus the fact that currently, the countries with most of the more realistic science based approaches to the climate crisis we face are led by women.
~ Tony Gleeson

#InspireInclusion  |  #InternationalWomensDay

The Sustainable Hour’s own gender statistics
In the four year period from 2020 to today, a look at The Sustainable Hour’s guest list shows that 266 were men (45.7%), 315 were women (54%) and two identified as non-gender (0.3%).

Music in the Hour

  1. I am Woman, Helen Reddy
  2. Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys
  3. Put a Woman in Charge, Keb Mo
  4. Climate, Whitney Hanson
  5. FEMALE Sampa the great (Triple RRR live version)
  6. From Little Things Grow, The Waifs
  7. Rise Up, Andra Day

→ Have a listen to Vicki Perrett’s International Womens’ Day playlist on Spotify

“I realise being a woman of colour, it hasn’t been easy where intersectionality matters. One size doesn’t fit all. So it was actually my girlfriends that nominated me for that Women in Community Life Award last year. I was so taken aback by that, but also then so grateful and humbled that I realised that, you know, I am actually, I am a woman, yes, but I’m actually a woman of privilege with education and opportunity. And so I put myself forward for a Women Leading Locally fellowship, which I’m participating in at the moment.”
~ Dr Ly Doan

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We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we
are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the land. They nurtured it and thrived in often harsh conditions for millennia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceded. It is becoming more and more obvious that, if we are to survive the climate emergency we are facing, we have much to learn from their land management practices.

Our battle for climate justice won’t be won until our First Nations brothers and sisters have their true justice. When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”
The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore the climate emergency are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How disrespectful and unfair is that?

Women in Sustainability is a thriving global women’s network of sustainability professionals leading and creating the green transition in our organisations and communities. The Linkedin group’s vision is for every ‘woman in sustainability’ to have the capacity, courage and community they need to flourish and lead in these times.

The group helps those navigating a corporate career or running their own businesses to access the community, inspiration and inner development to amplify, and sustain, their impact and influence. Through sharing learning, stories and experiences, they cultivate women to lead with purpose and heart.

Women’s Environment Leadership Australia (WELA) is a growing community of women and gender-diverse people solving our environment and climate crisis. We empower, support, fund and diversify women’s leadership to tackle these crises. Professional training and coaching. Leadership programs, community building.

Great Ocean Love – free viewing for one week

Surfers for Climate wrote in their newsletter:

“To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re unveiling our exclusive all-female surf movie ‘Great Ocean Love’ for one week only! The movie will be available between Friday 8th to Friday 15th of March.

‘Great Ocean Love’ is part documentary, part road trippin’ surf flick that follows Belinda Baggs, Linley Hurrell and Lilly Pollard on a journey of discovery from the teachings of Gunditjmara whale dreamer Yaraan Bundle. Along the way they meet saltwater women of the deep south who share their love for the rugged coastline that they call home.

As surfers, we love our beautiful oceans. And we know the biggest threat to our oceans is climate change. The Australian Government is still approving oil and gas exploration permits in our ocean, including in the southern seas where this documentary is filmed. We know without an end date to new oil and gas exploration, we will only speed up climate change and destroy our local environment further.” 


‘Don’t get mad. Get elected.’

Newsletter from Climate 200 on 8 March 2024:

Today, on International Women’s Day, I want to thank our supporters for helping elevate and empower women in politics.

While we still have a long way to go, the community independents movement has pushed the door wide open for women in politics over the last decade.

Julia Gillard’s famous “Misogyny Speech” in 2012 captured so much of what was wrong with politics in this country. The following year, Tony Abbott became Prime Minister and appointed himself Minister for Women in a cabinet with 18 men and just one woman.

While the aftermath of the 2013 election was devastating for those of us in the climate movement, something positive did emerge from it.In 2013, Voices for Indi in regional Victoria took democracy into its own hands when it elected its first community independent: Cathy McGowan.

Cathy’s leadership inspired a wave of other successful women to put their professional careers on hold and enter politics as a community independent: Professor Kerryn Phelps in 2018, Zali Steggall and Dr Helen Haines in 2019, and then six more inspiring women in 2022.

I am really proud of the impact this community has had to help make this possible.

Will you grow this movement with us? With your help, we can support more brilliant women to run for office and win.

This is a movement led by women, and inspired by women leaders.In the 2022 federal election, the percentage of women running as independent candidates almost doubled compared to the previous election – reaching 43%.

Climate 200 supported 23 campaigns, 20 of which had women candidates. We supported a further nine women candidates in the Victorian and NSW state elections.There are now nine independent women MPs in the House of Representatives (eight of whom were supported by Climate 200).Australia has never had a more gender-balanced federal parliament – 45% of federal parliamentarians are women.

What inspired so many women to campaign in the election?

Women were angry. They were sick of sexist comments from our political leaders, tone-teaf responses to serious allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying in parliament, and policies that belittled women – like accusing mothers of ‘double dipping’ with paid parental leave.

In the almost two years since the last federal election, we’ve seen a new tone in parliament. The independent crossbench has worked constructively to scrutinise and improve legislation, stand up for the community and the environment, and hold the government to account.

This has included tireless advocacy for greater action to address gender-based violence and support for significant reforms, like making childcare cheaper, and a new support service to deal with complaints of sexual and workplace misconduct in Parliament House.

As Cathy McGowan declared in her farewell speech to Parliament: don’t get mad, get elected.

The next election could be as early as August. Join us now and let’s help bring forward the next wave of powerful independent women to parliament.

Best regards,

Alexandria Rantino
Chief Operating Officer, Climate 200

 Subscribe here for more emails from Climate 200.

What links gender inequality and the climate crisis?

“I’m Marília, a campaign strategist for wellbeing economies at Greenpeace International. Today, as a feminist woman dedicated to the fight against climate change, I’m reaching out with a thought-provoking question:

As we step into Women’s Month, we’ve embarked on a journey to delve into the intricate connection between climate justice, gender equality, and economic growth. The findings reveal a stark reality: our current system disproportionately impacts women, girls, and non-binary individuals. A link exists, and it boils down to a handful of powerful interest groups: enriching the wealthy, impoverishing the poor, widening the gap between communities, all while exploiting and devastating nature and our planet.

Trapped in an economic structure that hinders our thriving, women find themselves burdened with three times the care work compared to men—an aspect the economy conveniently overlooks. Despite working more, women earn less, and the toll isn’t just on wellbeing but extends to the very health of our planet.

We explore how this system both creates and perpetuates inequality, shining a light on issues like unpaid labour, the shortcomings of GDP, and the illusion of endless growth. However, we’re not just unravelling problems; we’re also presenting you with alternatives: we reveal opportunities to learn about concrete wellbeing reforms, explain gender-responsive taxation and invite you to participate in key opportunities in 2024.

Take me to the blog

This blog is for everyone, regardless of identity, who realises that the crises we are plagued with, such as gender inequality, climate chaos, and the extreme wealth of a few versus the poverty of many in a world meant for all – that these are connected and that we, as a movement, can do something to transition to a better, fairer, and more equitable world. As we gear up for an exciting year with our new campaign, Wellbeing Economy, we’re eager for more people to hear our message.

Read, share, join the movement!

Marília Monteiro
Campaign Strategist
Greenpeace International”

→ Desmog – 8 March 2024:
Oil and Gas Companies Want You to Think They Care About Women — but It’s Just PR
“Their ad campaigns for International Women’s Day champion empowerment even as climate change makes women’s lives harder and more dangerous.”

Related social media posts


“Declare a climate emergency. Climate breakdown has begun.”

Extinction Rebellion has again hit the media headlines – this time with an action on the Westgate Bridge to call out climate inaction during the ASEAN Summit in Melbourne this week. XR Vic wrote in a newsletter:

“On Tuesday night, two of those Rebels – Violet CoCo and Brad Homewood – were sentenced to 21 days in prison for causing just under three hours of disruption, while Joe Zammit was released with restrictive bail conditions without entering a plea. As we’re seeing around the world, peaceful protestors are increasingly suffering repression and injustice at the hands of governments that are terrified that their citizens will realise that they are killing our planet. Violet, Brad and Joe have been effectively prevented from participating in next week’s Rebel for Life Campaign. We call on you to honour their courage and selflessness by stepping up to take action with us next week Rebel for Life 13 to 16 March.

→ You can follow  the stories on XR Vic socials: FacebookInstagram and Tiktok

→ XR Vic have plans for more action in the streets of Melbourne next week from 13 to 16 March 2024: Rebel for Life Sign Up

VIDEO: Chris Packham
On 5 March 2024, British tv presenter Chris Packham was on Times Radio to defend the right to take peaceful, nonviolent action outside MPs’ houses.

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Transcript of The Sustainable Hour no 493

The Sustainable Women’s Hour 2024

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

“The Sustainable Hour. For a green, clean, sustainable Geelong. The Sustainable Hour.”

Vicki Perrett:
Welcome everyone to the 493rd program of The Sustainable Hour. My name is Vicki Perrett, and I’m going to be your co-host today of this very special program dedicated to women and in particular International Women’s Day, which is on this week and many events are happening around our country and the whole globe. So I’d like to thank the guys for passing over the microphone and giving us a chance to present this program with a number of wonderful local leaders from our community.

First of all, I’d like to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people, the traditional custodians of the land, and pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people. I am sincerely thankful for their stewardship of the land, waterways and coastlines of our region, and I’m a strong supporter of Wadawurrung’s Healthy Country Plan, which invites us to make country good together.

Many people may have come across me at any sustainable event over the years. I’m a climate advocate working for a fast and fair transition for our region and currently the president of Bellarine Catchment Network and previously a long-time volunteer with Geelong Sustainability.

I’m delighted today that my co-host is Kate Lockhart. Kate is an agricultural scientist, an environmental advocate, a land carer, a tree lover. Long-time involvement with the Bellarine Land Care Group for more than 15 years. And she won last year’s City of Greater Geelong Women in Country Life Award for Climate Action. And she’s also very passionate about levelling the playing field for girls. So welcome, Kate.

Kate Lockhart:
Thanks, Vicki. I wasn’t expecting quite such an introduction, but thanks. It’s great to be here. And can I just acknowledge that Vicki was also a nominee for the Women in Community Life last year. And I think it was it’s deeply unfortunate that we were both against each other, so that was unfortunate, but I was lucky. So, lucky me. I hope I hope to see you at the Women in Community Life Awards this Friday. There’s another great crew of women being put forward, so I look forward to celebrating their successes as well.

Vicki Perrett:
Kate, so what is the importance of International Women’s Day? It’s been happening since 1911. Do we still need it? What’s, what’s happening this year? What’s the focus?

Kate Lockhart:
Well, I think in, in response to the pay gap parity stuff that we’ve seen this week, we definitely do need International Women’s Day. I think we should have International Women’s century, really and may this be the start of it. But International Women’s Day theme this year is ‘Count her in’, ‘Invest in women, accelerate progress.’

And it’s based on the priority theme for the, in the United Nations, their 68th commission on the status of women. To truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity, their race, their age, ability, faith and how they identify, which is quite, can be quite complicated. And layering into that, I think what I’ve learnt in the last 12 months is this concept of intersectionality, which is understanding how a person’s identity combines to create different and sort of multifaceted discrimination and or privilege.

And some of those aspects which we’ve kind of reflected on is gender, race, sexuality, religion, disability and age. And so I think if you keep those, if you think about yes, I’m an older woman now, but otherwise I’m pretty privileged and, and when you see successful women dealing with multiple layers of discrimination, you just realise how remarkable they are.

And we’ve got some of those in our groups at the moment, but I’ll just go through what we need to do here. So International Women’s Day, yep, began in 1911 and was celebrated even then with a million people. Now it’s officially on Friday, March the 8th. But we’re having a great week, including today’s taking over of The Sustainability Hour.

When women are given equal opportunity to learn, earn, and lead, entire communities thrive. And I think we’ve seen that time and time again, which is again, why it’s important to celebrate our successes, but also we need to call out when we’re discriminated against. You know, when people, when women aren’t present in, in the room or at the board table, we need to ask, if not, why not? When they’re discriminated against, we need to call out poor practice. When women are not treated equally, we must take action. We’ve got to do this each and every time. And the real issue that they’re trying to really tackle and focus on is the concept of examining the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere.

And yes, we’re making progress, but if you don’t have equal participation in the economy and without equal access to education, employment pathways, financial service and literacies, how are we really ever going to be truly equal. And so that’s the focus about invest in women and accelerate progress.

So I don’t think there’s much else I need to say except with all that talk about economic empowerment Vicki, how does that, and we’re on the sustainability hour, so how does that specifically relate to climate change and, and the impact that has on women and girls.

Vicki Perrett:
It has a huge impact, the climate crisis is not gender neutral. Climate change amplifies existing gender inequalities. They describe it as a threat multiplier. It escalates social, political, economic tensions. And particularly what we’re seeing in some of the conflict-ridden areas of the world at the moment. Girls and women will face increased vulnerabilities and gender based violence.

We see when disasters strike, it’s the women who are less likely to survive, they’re more likely to be injured and it sets up a vicious cycle of vulnerabilities. And in the issues relating to their health. Also, women and girls are more affected by climate change and disasters which limits their access to services and healthcare, and in particular in relation to maternal and child health.

The other thing, there was a story in today’s [Geelong] Advertiser talking about homelessness for women and, and, and the gender inequalities are very much local, but we live a much more privileged life than many others. And we must be mindful that the impacts on women and girls of climate change and other disadvantage are acute for Indigenous, Afro descendant women and girls, older women and they’re the ones most vulnerable to housing loss here in Australia, the LGBTQI+ people, women and girls with disabilities, migrant women, and those that live in remote, rural, or conflict-prone areas. They’re very much feeling the effects even worse than us.

But without further ado, let’s get on and meet the wonderful guests that we’ve assembled. And so it’s my great pleasure to introduce three other women who are making a difference in our community. First is Jeanne Nel, who’s a researcher and community activist for integrity, diversity, and inclusivity. So welcome Jeanne, lovely to see you here today.

Jeanne Nel:
Thanks, Vicki. It is lovely to be here.

Vicki Perrett:
And our next guest is Dr Ly Doan, and she’s an emergency medicine doctor at Barwon Health and also co founder of the Vietnamese People of Geelong Community Group. So welcome, Ly.

Ly Doan:
Thank you very much, Vicki. Thank you for the invitation.

Vicki Perrett:
And our third guest who’s making up our panel is Veema Mooniapah, and she’s an inclusive leader and writer focused on stakeholder engagement in intersectionality. And also our listeners might be interested to know that both Ly and Veema are participants in the Committee for Geelong’s Leaders for Geelong program this year. So it’ll be interesting to see how they’re enjoying that program.

But first of all, the program is about women’s empowerment and given my age Helen Reddy really did it all for women back in the ‘70s. And I just think she was such an inspiration and this song was sung very heartily and we just thought it was very appropriate to start with a little bit of this.

Song: “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy
I am woman – watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can face anything
I am strong (Strong)
I am invincible (Invincible)
I am woman
I am woman
I am invincible

Vicki Perrett:
Well, Helen Reddy did say it all, didn’t she? And it leads us on to our very first question for our guests because we’d like to know who encouraged you or what inspired you to step forward and what happened next. And, and so for Jeanne, what was it in your life, what happened to make you step forward?

Jeanne Nel:
In my birth country, South Africa, I was seriously injured in a hand grenade explosion in 1993, which I survived and thrived afterwards, but against all odds and despite medical predictions of a very bleak future if I did survive. And during my recovery, the physiotherapist shared a profound insight with me that’s really stayed with me ever since. She said to me, you know what your brush with death was merely a visit to the pearly gates to get nourishment. In Afrikaans we say padkos, food for the road and she said you need to know that this opportunity is just to strengthen you, to enable you to make a meaningful difference for the rest of your life. Don’t waste it.

And those words resonated deeply with me. And it still inspires me to seize every opportunity to use my skills to make a meaningful impact. And it’s been driving me. And my dedication for inclusivity and creating opportunities for others, and particularly other women to participate and thrive.

Vicki Perrett:
Wow, that’s a fascinating story, Jeanne. And Ly, what was it for you that inspired you?

Ly Doan:
This is in regards to founding the Vietnamese People of Geelong group. For me, what inspired me to step forward was actually moving away from living with my parents in Sunshine and moving to Geelong into a new area and realising that I wanted a very strong and deep connection back with my Vietnamese culture. That desire to have Vietnamese representation in the Geelong community is what spurred me to co-found the Vietnamese People of Geelong to nurture this sense of longing, wanting to belong, have a community that I can connect to my culture and my heritage while living here.

Vicki Perrett:
Well, yeah, that’s so true. We are innately wired to connect. Veema, what’s your story for how you became a leader in your community?

Veema Mooniapah:
Thank you for having me today. Actually, I didn’t get a chance to say that. Actually my lived experience having migrated from Mauritius in 2004 and my personal circumstances like a marriage breakdown, having no job, having very young children to look after and bring up 24-7 on my own. And I realise being a woman of colour, it hasn’t been easy where, as Jeanne said, intersectionality matters. One size doesn’t fit all.

Vicki Perrett:
Thanks so much. And Kate, as my co host, how about you share with others, what led you to step up?

Kate Lockhart:
So it was actually my girlfriends that nominated me for that Women in Community Life Award last year. I was so taken aback by that but also then so grateful and humbled that I realised that, you know, I am actually a woman, yes, but I’m actually a woman of privilege with education and opportunity. And so I put myself forward for a Women Leading Locally fellowship, which I’m participating in the moment.

And that’s, they’re literally grooming us to run for council in 2024. So I’m still contemplating that. Okay, I’m hopeful, but I need to do some work so that I don’t get too distracted in case it doesn’t go the way we want. So yeah, it was actually my girlfriends that stood up, and I think that’s important to remember too, that actually, you know, sometimes our parents or our siblings have views on us that are perhaps a little bit inflexible but if we just lean on our girlfriends, I think you’ll find that we’re all pretty remarkable and we shouldn’t need to do more. So, thanks girlfriends.

Vicki Perrett:
Yeah and I noticed at the WILD event last week Dr Sarah Mansfield was saying how she was pushed to stand for council. And now she’s now got an upper house seat in the legislative council in state parliament and she’s the one doing the pushing. So maybe we have to take heed from that and be willing to yeah, do a little bit of pushing as well as being pushed.

And, and for me when I did a seachange down here to the Bellarine. I, like you, Kate, feel as though I’ve had a very privileged life. I’ve got a beautiful home that’s on the Esplanade, 20 centimetres above sea level. It’s uninsurable from action by the sea. And you just realise how vital and precious our ecosystems are so it turns you into an environmentalist.

And yeah, specifically, I was pushed or I was tapped on the shoulder by Monica Winston, who was then [Vice] President of Geelong Sustainability. And she encouraged me to come on the committee. And it was so rewarding and I met so many wonderful people. I think we’re going to go to our next song, which is Alicia Keys, talking about a Girl on Fire.

Song: Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
She’s just a girl and she’s on fire
Hotter than a fantasy
Lonely like a highway
She’s livin’ in a world and it’s on fire
Filled with catastrophe
But she knows she can fly away

Oh-oh, she got both feet on the ground
And she’s burnin’ it down
Oh-oh, she got her head in the clouds
And she’s not backin’ down

Vicki Perrett:
Veema, I’m going to come to you next. I want to know what are you passionate about? And which achievements are you most proud? And maybe there’s something that you’re currently working on that you’d like the listeners to know about.

Veema Mooniapah:
Thank you. I’m very, I’m very passionate about intersectionality. As I said, given the lived experience, like one size doesn’t fit all. I think women with intersectional attributes. For example, if you’re someone living with a disability or are from a different cultural background and other form of intersectional attributes, it exacerbates your situation. Particularly in domestic violence issues, and having been a victim of domestic violence myself, I realise the support services that have been around has not been really supportive of a woman and my children like ourselves, like the family.

So I think that’s where I went on a journey of making sure intersectionality is meaningfully embedded in everything we think, plan and deliver to the communities. I’m very passionate about policy development and action plan implementation taking a whole of organisation and multi-agency approach. But, particularly having the voice of the people into those policies and action plan that impact them. I think if we have the voice and asking literally a simple question as to ~ what works for you? And they know what works for them instead of us deciding for them. And I do embed that into my work. Anything I do, volunteer work or paid work.

Currently I’m working on a few projects. I’m actually planning my second story in a book, still in the planning stage right now.

Vicki Perrett:
Oh, that’s fantastic range of achievements that you’re working on. Ly, I’m going to come to you next and, and ask you about your passions, proudest achievements, current endeavours. What would you like to tell us about first?

Ly Doan:
For me, just focusing on my role as the leader of the Vietnamese People of Geelong group. For me, I’m most passionate about having Asian representation in Australia. I think that’s quite clear and particularly wanting to focus on Asian women representation.

And the reason why I feel strongly about this is because I grew up in Australia without a role model whom I could physically identify with or culturally identify with. There was no Asian females on anything. There was no Asian female representation on television or Hollywood movies or even novels, for example that we studied in high school.

But now it’s different. I see that the culture in Australia is changing and starting to see more and more multicultural women, not just Asian women, but multicultural women being represented in leadership roles in politics, in arts and music as well. And while it’s not my achievement, I’m proud to see multicultural women stepping up to the mantle and take on these roles.

I am so proud that there is this cultural change, that multicultural women are more visible to the public. And that means that not just young children, but women of my age and also women of my mum’s age and older women can look to these other women and go, oh yeah, I feel empowered because I can see that this is possible. So having that representation visible is something that I am passionate about and working towards.

Specifically for the Vietnamese people of Geelong group, what we’re currently working on is we’ve been recently contacted by a lot of support workers and people in the community, who are Vietnamese people who are living currently in isolation in the Geelong community. And they’re reaching out to us in need of connection, in need of a community that they can relate to and belong to. So at the moment, we’re currently working on the best approaches in delivering culturally safe and appropriate connection to these people in need.

Vicki Perrett:
Wow, yeah, so important, definitely. Jeanne, I’m going to come to you next. You’ve got a very long list of achievements. I know some of your passions, but tell the some of the others about some of your passions.

Jeanne Nel:
Thank you, Vicki. I’m really passionate about stewardship and about integrity. But inclusivity is like a golden line through my career. We’re custodians to leave a better world for future generations. We really, we don’t own this and it’s our responsibility to make sure that our kids and our children’s kids and beyond has a better world to live in.

Integrity guides everything I do and I tend to – People would call me troublemaker because I just want to do the right thing, even in the face of challenges.

And I just so believe in having – I grew up privileged and I had opportunity and I feel life is about opportunity. You can only win an Olympic race if you have the right shoes, but you have those shoes, you have to have the opportunity to buy them. Same thing. We need to give women an opportunity, appoint them, give them a voice, give them an opportunity to participate.

So that’s that. And my greatest achievement for me in Geelong is that we’ve convinced the council to listen to the community when they make decisions about environment, about trees. Recently they revised the council recommendation specifically to include community engagement, and that for me is an immense achievement. An opportunity for the community to speak and to be heard.

I’ve just finished my PhD in charity governance, which actually focuses on how do you maintain integrity, but you ensure that there’s diversity and inclusive, it’s an inclusive board. And my work currently is just about called along about helping people to speak up and voice. And just come together to achieve a sustainable, climate resilient city.

Vicki Perrett:
Mm. Very, very important goals for, for all of us not just women yeah, that heat island effect and the need for that tree canopy. So, yeah, all strength to your bow there, Jeanne. And I’m going to throw to Kate now for her passions and achievements. And I know she’s a tree lover too.

Kate Lockhart:
Yeah, I’ve always loved trees. I’ve remember learning the word environment when I was in about grade four or grade five, and so I’ve always been very focused on that. I do think yeah, there’s a sense of optimism in planting a tree that I think is often sort of taken for granted. There’s all sorts of memes about planting a tree. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. And the second best time is now. You know, you plant a tree for your grandchildren to sit under and I, and it’s incredibly simplistic, but it’s also incredibly powerful and it’s actually really true. So I am passionate about trees.

But I realised recently I was a part of, through the Landcare group, bringing the Journey on Wadawurrung Country exhibition to the Potato Shed. And so that’s a magnificent photographic display, but also an auditory storytelling of the traditional owners of the Wadawurrung. And that was really powerful, we had 700 students come through and 700 members of the public. About 43 of the 45 volunteers that were involved in that project were women. And I think that talks about recognising that intersectionality of Indigenous people and the power of working together on the environment can bring people together and needs to, and we need to bring people together to work on the environment. So that was actually one of the things that I was most proud of in recent times because it was a challenge for me to work with the Wadawurrung and support the Wadawurrung and to really listen to the Wadawurrung as well. Not just think I can be a busy body and I know how to do this. So that was a very powerful lesson for me.

And, yeah, so I think I’m going to advocate more about this, these urban trees. So I’m looking forward to the review of the City of Greater Geelong Urban Forest Strategy is 2015 to 2025 and I think we can make some real, we need to make some real step changes in that. So after today, that’s where I’m going to start focusing my energy and drafting a letter cause I think I’ve actually got a really simple solution, but I’ll write it up and I’ll share it with you later in the week. Yeah. So I think, is it time for a song, Vicki? Should we put a woman in charge?

Vicki Perrett:
Yeah. Why not?

Song: Put a Woman in Charge by Keb’ Mo’
Way back when
In the beginning of time
Man made the fire then the wheel
Went from a horse to an automobile
He said, “the world is mine”
He took the oceans and the sky
He set the borders, built the walls
He won’t stop ’til he owns it all
And here we are
Standing on the brink of disaster
Enough is enough is enough is enough
I know the answer

[Chorus: Keb’ Mo’ & Roseanne Cash]
Put a woman in charge
(Put a woman in charge)
Put the women in charge

Kate Lockhart:
What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing us globally and or locally? And then I guess, if you’re in charge, what changes would you introduce and why? Who’s first?

Veema Mooniapah:
I’m happy to go first. To me, the some of the biggest challenges are climate change. Absolutely. And how do we have a gendered lens on climate change? Because as we said before, it’s not gender neutral. And we are more impacted as women during it a crisis.

And we are all asked to be disaster resilient. And what resilience is about and how much is on the shoulders of women. The other thing is due to wars and climate change, there are people movement globally. And I think we have to be very aware that that global changes having an impact. It’s impacting us locally, including the pandemic, and it’s not going to go away. It’s going to be more. So if we are aware of the international global disasters and any other challenges, how they impact locally through people movement, the diversity of our population is increasing and with it comes emerging needs, emerging challenges, as well as strength. How do we tap into locally, collectively, to ensure that we are inclusive? We have that intersectional lens so that whatever we do as a collective, whether in organisations or wherever, we are thinking and planning and delivering inclusively.

The other challenge is mental health. I think in Australia, especially we think of emotional, physical, mental, psychological health. We all come from diverse backgrounds and I think the absence of or lack of recognition of spiritual health, where a lot of people deal with mental health through our spiritual beliefs, values, it’s so important to recognise it.

Having worked in the past in a drug and alcohol detox centre. We rely heavily on medication, but we need to explore alternative ways of therapy as well. Having worked for 10 years with young people who are withdrawing from problematic drug and alcohol, we are pumping them with medication. But there are other alternative ways of tackling these issues, including mental health, not just pills, tablets.

That’s it for me, mental health, climate change, and of course, the global happenings around us impacting locally, how prepared are we? So very passionate about capacity building of organisations and people, empowering.

Vicki Perrett:
So, let’s hear from Jeanne now. What do you think are the big challenges? And, and Jeanne, if we let you be in charge, what would you do?

Jeanne Nel:
Second one’s a very tough one, and you really want to know! But, I think the biggest challenge we face is that we need to ensure liveability in our cities. And we need to confront climate change but do it now! The opportunity lies in seizing the moment, carpe diem! Grab the day.  We often say well, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to change but the reality is that when it comes to climate change there’s a point of no return. We must act now.

And it’s, I think we tend to look at the world and think it, this is a big thing that needs to happen globally, but from a thinking globally, act locally perspective, we as a community can make a real difference for the environment. Particularly in Geelong, they’re developing the Northwest Growth Corridor, thinking about how they regulate trees on private land, every permit application to develop a property. We have an opportunity as the community to speak up and to engage and participate. And we really need to.

And, and as women, we need to amplify each other’s voices. I was, I really think that it’s not about me speaking. It’s about me facilitating opportunity for people to speak. And, we can only do that if we are a united community that engages.

If you ask me, what will I change? I will take politics out of local government because we all … The Earth belongs to all of us, regardless of race, of gender, of age, it’s something we all share and we need to be able to come together and not allow other, in fact, in terms of environment, non-significant factors to prevent us to unite to serve a better earth

Vicki Perrett:
Wow, that would be, that would be wonderful, Jeanne.
Ly, what do you see as the big challenges and opportunities? And what would you like to do if you had the magic wand?

Ly Doan:
I feel like coming third, I think Veema and Jeanne have said it all. I do echo every issue that they have outlined. So being an emergency medicine doctor, I am at the forefront of the line. I do see a lot of the issues that Veema has outlined, such as the drugs, the mental health issues.

Especially it’s in Geelong, it’s rife in our youth community, the mental health issues: due to the pandemic that has happened due to COVID, due to climate change and the real anxiety that our younger generations are facing about what is my future going to be like. All this uncertainty alongside that, you know, rising living costs as well, there’s this whole economic insecurity.

And, you know, unfairness that our youth are feeling, and that’s all youths, not just Australian youths, but, you know, all our multicultural youths as well, even current families and even the elderly are really feeling the crunch as well. So we’re not just focusing on the youth, but also our elderly and the older demographics as well, they really truly are feeling all these challenges and more acutely than maybe some of us who are a bit more privileged, for example.

So I think, I echo all the challenges that we are currently facing. And, you know, on the flip side of the same coin is that these are all opportunities for us to come together, to be united as Jeanne has put. To develop new solutions to develop sustainable solutions. And we can only do that as a community, you know, multiple brains are better than one.

So I would say that as a person who runs the Vietnamese people of Geelong group, the culture that we always try to foster is one of positivity, one of positive outcomes and inclusivity. Everyone’s opinion is acknowledged no matter what sort of position or standpoint or age or demographic or you know what their backgrounds are. Everyone needs to be heard. Everyone’s input needs to be heard so that we can truly come up with a solution that addresses the community needs. One that is culturally safe and also inclusive and actually reflective of what our community needs.

Vicki Perrett:
Yeah, very good. There’s a round of applause and lots of nodding happening here and that really old acronym of TEAM that together everyone achieves more, really is quite true. This is the crucial decade and setting a low target is setting us up for failure. So it will be interesting, I noticed the Teals, who had such a big impact at the last federal election have put forward that their target for the next election. Their policy will be a 75 percent reduction by 2035. So it will be interesting to see what the Albanese government matches that, what they go forward with.

But clearly the other matter that resonates so much for me is the one you mentioned Ly about the intergenerational injustice. We are leaving our young with a huge mess and the fact that the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax raises less revenue for the government than our HECS or HELP fees is just shameful.

I went through my education on a scholarship. It was $20 a week, but it was still a scholarship not a debt. And I mean, people like Ross Garnaut and Rod Simms actually had, they had a wonderful meeting at the National Press Council last week trying to show that, you know, Australia can be a clean energy superpower. The opportunities, if we, instead of just being the mine and the farm, if we actually get back into some manufacturing and we could make the green steel and have a hydrogen energy and have a clean tech. nation. Then the opportunities for Australia, but also in Geelong. And we’ve just seen last week, the future forum for Geelong, everyone looking at the positive opportunities that exist.

So yeah, it’s time to make it happen, I think. And I’ve got a little bit there. We’re going to play a short little poem by now when I first was researching this and I came across this name Whitney, I thought my mind immediately added the second name, but it’s Whitney Hanson just talking and inspiring us about climate.

Poem: ‘Climate’ by Whitney Hanson
Don’t chase what makes you happy.
Pursue what makes you feel alive.
Chase the moments that fill you and wreck you in the same breath.
Love the people that you would fall apart for.
Don’t chase contentment. That is temporary and always will be.
Chase experience and growth. Unravel and rebuild.
And fall apart and change.
And love and break and cry.
But whatever you do, don’t place your hope in happiness. Place your hope in life, in growth, in change.
Change, experience it all. The sun, the fog, the storm, and the rain.

Vicki Perrett:
Now I’d like to ask Ly, what advice do you have for women in particular that are thinking about stepping up to address these challenges? And, and maybe there’s a useful tactic or attitude that works for you. So this is a quote that I actually newly acquired from my participation on the Leaders for Geelong program. And it is – If not you, then who? So, so this really aligns with my other favourite quote, which is – Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I think that really summarises my attitude when it comes to stepping up and my message for any women or anyone who wants to step up is to not hesitate. That’s the first step. Don’t hesitate. If you have an idea or you wish to see a change, then don’t hesitate.

You are good enough. Okay, and do not strive for perfection because mistakes are our greatest teachers and people around you are always willing to help. So always ask. So that’s my advice.

Vicki Perrett:
Thanks. Great advice, Ly. Veema, do you have some other advice that you’d like to share that in addition?

Veema Mooniapah:
Yes. Thank you. The advice I would give is don’t stay into that thinking mode. If you could, translate that thinking into action, one step at a time. The other thing I would say, seek your tribe. There are other women, other people, men other communities, organisations. Seek out your tribe, they will lift you up, they will support you, they will walk with you every step of the way, because this journey can be a lonely journey.

And talking from experience more than 20 years, it can be a lonely journey. So you need people surroundings you know, to lift you up in your moments that you’re feeling down.

And don’t overthink or overanalyse and think what’s the worst that can happen. And I’ll end up this question by saying, and it has worked for me – Give it your best shot and detach yourself from the outcome. It will take care of itself.

And finally, for me, what applied is wherever life. Plants you. Make it plant, wherever life’s plant you, bloom with grace.

Vicki Perrett:
Excellent. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And Kate, what’s your advice for people thinking about stepping up, particularly in relation to council elections, maybe? I don’t know or life?

Kate Lockhart:
Well, in relation to my own personal role, I guess with my Women leading locally fellowship in place. I’m certainly going to think about standing for council. I’m a bit challenged by where the wards are. It splits Drysdale. So I’m pretty challenged by that. So whether I step forward or whether I put my arms around some of my girlfriends and ask them to step forward that’ll be the way that I go, go forward. So I think we all need to work together and to together we can do it. So let’s go.

Vicki Perrett:
Let’s go! Let’s go! Jeanne, have you got some let’s go tips for people?

Jeanne Nel:
I’ve got a very practical let’s go. I think into long, we are very, very fortunate. We have WILD, the women in local democracy get in touch, use the wonderful resources and support they provide. There’s an open invitation, and frankly, you have, just grab it. Do it!

Vicki Perrett:
Excellent. Thanks, Jeanne. And I’d very much like to just concur with the great wisdom that’s been shared in this, in answering this question. And it was actually a director at a company I worked at a while ago, who actually gave me this little saying – That it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. And I think that’s a great one to go by.  But to be brave and that you won’t regret it.

And the idea of not trying to be perfect. I think women too often sit back and wait because, oh, the time’s not quite right. Well, the time is now, and we really do need to get on with it. So that’s, that’s my little two penneth into that question. N nature will nurture you if you let it. And that action is the best cure for echo anxiety. So, let’s all be brave and have a go. And Kate, I’m throwing back to you now. We’ve got one more question to go, but first, you’ve chosen this song, F E M A L E, Sampa the Great.

Song: ‘F E M A L E’ by Sampa the Great
Are there any queens in the house? I didn’t hear that.
Are there any queens in the house? We got some queens.
Can you help me with this? F. E. M. A. L. E.

Big bold women, round of applause
Get-my-goals women, round of applause
Know-my-roots women, round of applause
It to come and getcha, getcha, getcha
Imma ‘dem, I swear to
Gonna get a female
Betcha, betcha, betcha
She gon’ catch ya
Big bold women gonna come and applaud
Got-my-back women, I do applaud
I’m an F E M A L E
From the ghetto, bet she got a brain and stilletos
She work five to nine, still got time for the men, true
There’s another way and forget about the echoes at the ghetto. Got the giggles, since she never leave the ghetto
Gotta tell ’em, “Get the memo”
Cause in time she gonna let go
She a queen
And you know she never leave
They be waitin’ for a stumble but she never trip again
(My god)

Kate Lockhart:
Oh, I love that. That was Sampa, she’s a Melbourne based artist, but you can hear her African roots and I just really love the simplicity of her song and the rhythm, and I love that start: Are there any queens in the house? I think we should all be queens this day, this week, to really embrace International Women’s Day and the theme ‘Count Her In’, ‘Invest In Women’, and ‘Accelerate Progress’.

So that leads us into our last question, one of our last questions. How do you interpret and embrace this year’s International Women’s Day theme to counter in? And I think Ly, you were going to go first.

Ly Doan:
I’m quite simplistic, so for me – count her in – means that women of diversity or women, multicultural women who identify along LGBTQIA plus, you know, women of all ages from young to elderly we all need to count their opinions in when it comes to any sort of decision making or anything really.

I think women have been left out of the narrative for far too long. Like we’ve transitioned from his story to her story, but we still need to really bring more women to the table. Where we are making high level decision makings, whether it’s in meetings, like I mentioned before, representation in general. In all different platforms, different portfolios, we also need to see women of colour as well, because it means that we’re bringing in an alternative perspective more diverse experiences, which informs more culturally safe, inclusive outcomes.

So that’s why I interpret that as, and in terms of what Vietnamese people of Geelong community, what do we pledge or what are we looking to do to align ourselves with this pledge? I guess we’re always reaching out to the volunteers and the people who are in our executive team and listening to what their needs and what their wants are always trying to support them and help them grow and develop in the best way possible that really, like nurtures them so that they can take it their skill sets and their experiences and pay it forward.

Vicki Perrett:
Jeanne, what are your suggestions for how people can embrace this theme?

Jeanne Nel:
I think Ly absolutely nailed it. It’s, it’s about inclusivity, but it’s about diversity and creating equal opportunity for women to earn, to learn and to lead – any and everywhere. So it’s really about not just about speaking up, but about making opportunities for women to speak up and to amplify women across the board and in all fields of life, women’s voices. Our own and the voices of women around us.

Vicki Perrett:
Terrific, yeah. Kate, what are your own thoughts on this?

Kate Lockhart:
I think for me, it’s about not waiting for permission. I think somewhere in the back of my head, growing up as a young girl in the country, youngest of four, I think I was always waiting for someone to give me permission, maybe my parents or maybe even my siblings, maybe even my partner now. But I’ve turned 50 and I don’t really think I need to wait for permission anymore. I’ve done my primary caring, my kids are, you know, well and truly independent. They can, they can make their own lunch, they can get themselves to school occasionally they can put on a load of washing. So I think it’s okay to give yourself permission.

If you need permission, give yourself a permission, write yourself a permission note. But otherwise, I think it’s time that we got out there and make the change and be the change. Stand up for ourselves, stand up for our sisters. To be the change that we want to be and I think you know, this year’s theme of Count her In, Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress, it’s talking actually quite specifically about empowering women to have an education, but also financial literacy and financial independence.

So I think it’s mindful for us to, you know, buy from other women, spend your money in other women’s businesses. And that reminds me that, you know, my mum wanted me to learn how to type and learn how to count money. So I did accounting in year 12, and I think that financial literacy has really helped me. And it’s something that I’m making sure I give to all of my children, not just my son, but to my two daughters, because I actually think it’s more important that they be financially literate and financially independent. So independent beings is what I’m striving for. And so I hope that is the way to go.

Vicki Perrett:
Wow. Yep. Make them independent beings. That’s your job. Yeah.

Kate Lockhart:
That’s right. And you know, you’re, you’re interconnected in the start being the mother, but building independent people is actually the outcome we’re striving for.

Vicki Perrett:
Veema? Have you got any other thoughts you’d like to add for how this theme of countering has relevance for you?

Veema Mooniapah:
Totally agree with Jeanne and Ly, absolutely, the ideas. I would also like to add be intentional and conscious in the decision, make an intentional decision to really include women of those intersectional attributes because very much it is like ad hoc and add on or tick a box. Making that conscious intentional decision to include women is very important.

The other bit was we tend to think of women versus women in the Western feminist model. It’s, it’s, it’s not right. I think not looking at men to do that, but how other women support women, women supporting women and young girls, because the other was, if women are not in leadership position or at least a position of influence how are we creating spaces? And when you look at representation in leadership positions, there is not much intersectionality. So I think being intentional about this is very important to really count women in.

Vicki Perrett:
That’s great advice. One of the things that drives me is – during the war, there was a little image or a meme and it was a girl sitting on her father’s lap saying, “What did you do in the war daddy?” Well, I want to be able to look my grandchildren in the eye and say I worked hard. I devoted my retirement to give a purpose and hopefully to make a difference.

So, I’m mindful that our time – we could, we could chat on about these issues for a long while. But we do need to, we do need to wrap this show up. And I would sincerely like to thank Jeanne and Li and Veema. And my co-host, Kate, we’ve had to demonstrate our resilience. We’ve had some technology issues today, but we have powered on with the end insight. And it’s very customary for the show to end with a call to action. So maybe a one sentence from, from each of you maybe starting with you, Kate what’s your pledge for this International Women’s Day? How are you gonna help and empower women to counter in? Is there one a one liner? I want a one liner.

Kate Lockhart:
Yeah. So my one liner is: ‘Plant a tree. Feel the glee.’

Vicki Perrett:
Oh, that’s very good. Okay. You’ve got Ly laughing. Okay, Ly, what’s yours? You got a one-liner for me?

Ly Doan:
I love it so much. Be brave.

Vicki Perrett:
Be brave. Yep. Be bold and be brave. I love it. Jeanne, what about you?

Jeanne Nel:
I’ll stick with my just do it.

Vicki Perrett:
Very succinct messages. Veema, have you got one today?

Veema Monniapah:
Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace. Take every opportunity.

Vicki Perrett:
Wow, okay.

We’ve had a wonderful discussion here today and heard some enormous wisdom come from these local leaders. And I’m so grateful to have been part of this conversation.

Now the show will eventually become a podcast, which will be available on the Sustainable Hour website, And it will also go out with some show notes on the climate safety website, which is So you’ll be able to share this with other people. So hopefully their messages will be able to resonate further.

So I’m just going to challenge everyone to step forward and be the difference so that together we can make our community fairer and better and more just, and our region more liveable and sustainable.

And we’re going to close the show, listening to the Waifs singing the chorus to Paul Kelly’s inspiring story about the indigenous land rights. And if there’s time. Andra Day is going to inspire us to Rise Up.

Thank you all and have a wonderful International Women’s Day. Go with speed, be brave, be bold, just do it.

Thank you. Bye everyone. Thank you. Bye.

SONG: ‘From little things, big things grow’ by the Waifs
From little things, big things grow
That was the story of Vincent Lingairri
But this is the story of something much more
How power and privilege can not move a people
Who know where they stand and stand in the law
From little things, big things grow
From little things, big things grow

SONG: ‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you, so we gon’ walk it out
And move mountains
We gon’ walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up, high like the waves
I’ll rise up in spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you

[Verse 2]
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that, we have each other
And for that, we have each other, and (We will rise)
We will rise, we will rise (We will rise)
We’ll rise, oh-oh-ooh-oh (We will rise)
We’ll rise

I’ll rise up, rise like the day
I’ll rise up in spite of the ache
I will rise a thousands times again
And we’ll rise up, high like the waves
We’ll rise up in spite of the ache
We’ll rise up (Rise up)
And we’ll do it a thousands times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
For you

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The Sustainable Women’s Hour 2023

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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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Live-streaming on Wednesdays


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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Podcast archive

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Listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows as well as special Regenerative Hours and Climate Revolution episodes in full length.

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