Third Sector was thrilled with the response from the not-for-profit sector, with approximately 250 women attending from professional and industry associations, member benefit organisations, community groups, advocacy groups, charities and foundations.
The theme of the event, to celebrate women of the third sector, was realised to the utmost, as attendees witnessed inspiring speakers, mingled and networked, bid on fantastic prizes and enjoyed delicious food.
The celebration of women was extended by Third Sector’s decision to donate all proceeds raised to the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), an Australian not-for-profit that has been creating positive change for women and their communities in the Asia Pacific region for over 20 years.
The Lunch was formally opened by Senator Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, who spoke about the contributions of women of the third sector. She referred to passionate leaders such as Caroline Chisholm and Lucy Gullet who characterise the sector and who have taken the lead in working for stronger, fairer communities in Australia.
Anne Frankenberg, Strategic Partnership Manager of the IWDA, also took to the stage to explain the significance of the International Women’s Day theme ‘Equal Rights, equal Opportunities: Progress for all’ in the context of the work the IWDA does.
Clare Martin CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service presented the keynote address. Clare explained her decision to join the not-for-profit sector and how she managed the transition from her previous role in politics as Chief Minister for the Labour Government in the Northern Territory. She spoke about the parallels between the two sectors and the importance of partnerships to promote greater understanding.
Attendees were also entertained by insightful comments and wonderful music from Tania de Jong AM, soprano with internationally acclaimed music group Pot-Pourri and founder of not-for-profit Creativity Australia.
The silent auction raised approximately $2,000 in bids, with prizes generously donated by Peppers Springs Retreat, Punt Road Wines, Silverwater Resort, Melbourne and Olympic Parks, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Aesop skin care, to name only a few!
Third Sector would like to thank all attendees and sponsors for their generous support, with particular thanks to major sponsors the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Enterprising Partnerships, and sector partners the Australian Society of Association Executives and the Fundraising Institute of Australia.
Third Sector acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.