ALGWA networking breakfast
Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) honoured one of its own at this year’s networking breakfast held annually in Canberra, as an adjunct event to the National General Assembly of Local Government.
Councillor Alwyn Friedersdorff, Waratah-Wynyard Council, Tasmania, delivered the keynote address on her experience as an Australian representative at the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women that took place at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, 12-23 March 2018.
Cr Friedersdorff, in her capacity as President of the National Rural Women’s Coalition, was invited by the Office for Women to accompany Minister Kelly O’Dwyer to represent Australia at the meeting.
The theme of the 62nd session was ‘challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls’, which attracted 4600 attendees representing non-government organisations from around the world.
Cr Friedersdorff and other members of the Australian delegation accompanied Minister O’Dwyer as she delivered the Australian Country Statement to the UN.
In that statement, the Minister noted the significant role that rural women play in the ‘ongoing growth and sustainability’ of Australian society, highlighting specifically the resilience of women leaders and the realities for women facing multiple and competing forms of disadvantage.
Cr Friedersdorff said that to be the voice for rural and remote women of Australia at an in international forum was a unique experience, and offered an unparalleled opportunity to better understand global issues that affect women and to look at partnerships that exist across the world.
She added that it was disappointing to encounter several groups actively protesting against the advancement of women.
Looking forward, Cr Friederfdorff aims to use the lessons learnt to mentor the next group to represent Australian women at the UN, and to hold the Government accountable to the standards agreed on as a signatory of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.