2019 ACT Women’s Summit
ACT Women’s Summit Report [PDF KB] [Word 800KB]
The ACT Women’s Summit (the Summit) held on 14 October 2019 was a significant part of community consultation toward developing the Second Action Plan 2020-22 (SAP) under the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26.
The Summit brought together over 165 stakeholders from the community sector, businesses and government. Attendees with a diverse range of knowledge, expertise, and lived experience worked together to provide advice on actions to be delivered through the SAP over the next three years.
Discussions were framed around the five focus areas:
- Improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and girls in the ACT
- Fostering gender equity in Canberra workplaces, including through improved gender equality in leadership and workplace participation
- Building a community where women and girls are safe and supported to participate
- Improving housing support and sustainability and reducing homelessness for women
- Developing appropriate and accessible services, programs and policies for women and girls, ensuring consideration of those from diverse backgrounds.
The Ministerial Advisory Council on Women (MACW) played a crucial role in facilitating discussions.
MACW posted on Facebook:
“An amazing turnout today for the ACT Women’s Summit from government representatives, organisations and the community at large. Minister Yvette Berry’s address reminded us that we are indeed ‘in this together’ as we continue to focus on the services and support women and girls in our community need to thrive.”
Summit Keynote and Panel Discussion
Before facilitated activities began, Dr Pia Rowe, research fellow at the University of Canberra’s 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, delivered a keynote speech titled, “The Gender Agenda – attitudes and perceptions”. Dr Rowe’s address explored findings from a recent research project about community attitudes around gender equity across all age groups in Australia. The keynote placed Canberra in a broader national context was crucial to setting the tone for the Summit.
Over lunch, four leaders in community services, business, and education shared their professional and personal experience in a lively panel discussion with the theme “Equity together - equity for all”.
“Equity together” acknowledges that we all have a role to play in improving gender equality. “Equity for all” means improved access and opportunities for all women and girls, irrespective of their class, sexuality, ability or cultural background.
The speakers were:
- C Moore - CEO Women with Disability ACT
- Cindy Mitchell - CEO Mill House Ventures
- Susan Clarke-Lindfield – Executive Director, Toora Women Inc.
- Caroline Hughes - Director (Indigenous Education) CIT Yurauna Centre
Panelist, Cindy Mitchell posted on LInkedin:
“Shout out to the ACT Office for Women for leading one of the best examples of effective community consultation and co-design that I’ve seen in a long time. They did an excellent job of making sure that diverse perspectives were included. They even let me bang on about my favourite topics—Intersectional feminism, the discursive dissonance of my Black female body and the role of entrepreneurship in the empowerment of women, especially women of colour.”
Feedback from the Summit
The following quotes were derived from anonymous survey responses as part of a broader research program being undertaken by PhD Candidate Nicole Moore at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra:
“The Summit reinforced to me the impact of gender inequity and that there is still a lot of work to be done.”
“Organisation of the Summit and facilitation of the material was relaxed, open, unrushed. This gave time in a truly feminine kind of manner to engage and to respond and to mingle and not feel as if one was simply ticking the boxes.”
“The other participants created a space that was respectful, open and safe for sharing diverse experiences.”
“There as a sense of community that enabled all participants to contribute at the level that most suited them.”
“There was an acceptance that diverse experiences will prevent full agreement on priorities but that the process provided a transparent way to express different needs.”
“The clear process, ground rules, and allocation of time enabled participants to share their views and explore the views of others.”
“… the process allowed for diverse views to quickly be heard and collated in order to inform actions on the plan.”
Summit Research Base and Reporting
Discussions at the Summit were informed by the ACT Women’s Summit Discussion Paper.
The Discussion paper built on further research including a Contextual Analysis developed in a co-design process between the Office for Women, the Women’s Centre for Health Matters, YWCA Canberra and ACTCOSS.
The Communication Link designed and supported facilitation at the Summit and produced the ACT Women’s Summit Report.
The Discussion Paper, Contextual Analysis and Summit Report are all available on the Resources, Research and Tools webpage.
The Second Action Plan 2020-22 will be launched in March 2020.