All About Women 2017

I spent a lovely day at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday with a long time friend (daren’t say old friend lol) for an inspiring day with other women (and some men too) to hear from the likes of Geena Davis (!) and journalist Lucy Clark. 

Our first session was with Geena Davis. I loved watching her in A League of Their Own growing up – a movie on high rotation in my childhood home. Yes – she is really tall. 

She brought to light the gender inequality in the film and TV industry in front of and behind the lens. 10 years ago Geena launched a foundation called the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. A study by the Institute in 2008 found that for every female speaking-character, there were three male characters. In crowd scenes in a film the ratio is less than 1:5 because apparently women don’t like to gather?!?! They clearly haven’t been in my office when a baby comes to visit!

And as she pointed out – whilst is could be 500 (!) years for us to reach gender parity in the real world (if things change as slowly as they are at the moment) it could happen overnight in the film/ TV industry, if the big wigs in Hollywood truly want it too. If they need to cast a judge in a film, cast a woman. If they need to cast a plumber in a film, cast a woman. If these roles are being shown as something possible in the fictional world, it transfers to the real world. When the animated film Brave came out the rate of female participation in archery rose by 103%! Why? Because girls saw another girl doing it and they knew that they could too. 

I took so much away from Geena Davis!

We then had a lovely long break and enjoyed lunch under cover at The Opera Bar. Delicious food, uninterrupted chatter. So good to finish a story, isn’t it?

Lastly, we saw Lucy Clark – Sausage Factory Schools. This was the one that my friend and I related to the most. Both former students. Both Mum’s to school-age children. 

Lucy is a journalist with The Guardian and the mum of a High School graduate who lives with anxiety as a result of going through a school system that is not fit for purpose. The beurocratic system demanding more and more data and putting our kids through test after test. She spoke about one school shaking up the homework they give children and to promote the mental wellness of our children

  1. Read just-right books every night — and have Mum/Dad read to you too
  2. Get outside and play — that does not mean more screen time
  3. Eat dinner with your family — and help out with setting and cleaning up. 
  4. Get a good nights sleep. 

I love the sound of this!

She also canvassed the need for us as parents to push back up at the corrupted education system to ensure our children’s confidence and well-being.

I got so much out of this last year and again this year. Keep your eye out for it next year – it’s a wonderful event! If you live regionally, there are venues around the state that link in so you can still attend the event. 

Were you there? Does this sound like something up your alley?

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