One has represented Australia at international conferences on local government, one served a tour of duty in Iraq, a third is Coordinator of the Arafura and Timor Sea Experts' Forum.
They’ve been recognised at the highest level – including a Reconciliation Human Rights Award for remote area midwifery and an Order of Australia for work with bombing victims of the Bali terrorist attacks.
They are women living and working in the Territory. And this weekend, you get a chance to meet them and hear what they are up to.
Initiated by two Charles Darwin University PhD students, the International Women’s Day Colloquium at Mal Nairn Auditorium, on Saturday 11 March, will give Territorians a chance to hear from just a few of the extraordinary women working in Darwin.
One speaker is the first female Indigenous Minister in Australian politics, another is a specialist in satellite communications engineering. They’ve worked for Australian Volunteers Abroad amongst 'at risk' women on the Thai-Burma border, on the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, and in Southeast Asia and South Pacific for AUSAID and UNESCO.
PhD student, Kate Reid-Smith, one of the organisers and speakers said, “We looked at the huge range of women’s expertise here in the Territory and realised we didn’t really have a forum to showcase the talents of women – especially academic women.
“So we asked the University to host the event, got sponsorship from the Office of Women’s Policy and planned a wonderful day,” she said.
Co-organiser, Wendy Beresford-Maning, says all Territory women, particularly young women, need to know that there are role models for them close at hand.
“Darwin has always been a place where members of the community connected with each other; just about anyone could be living next door to you.
“But we’ve all become too busy. We wanted to help reconnect the University with the community,” Wendy said.
“We’ve no idea how many will come. Everyone is welcome for the whole day or just a part. Every one of the 14 speakers is an authority in her field,” she said.
Planning is already underway for a similar event in 2007.
“We’ve had offers to help, speak and participate from all directions. It looks like this is going to be an annual event,” Kate said.
For more information, visit What’s On, 11March, CDU International Women’s Day Colloquium, to download the entire program.