International Women's Day
8 March 2022
Dear VIEW members
I’m writing to you all on International Women’s Day, and what better day to recognise and acknowledge your efforts than this which celebrates the progress women have made since its first celebration in 1911. It’s also serendipitous to be doing this in The Smith Family’s centenary year.
And yes, while we acknowledge the positive steps made over the decades, we know there is still much to do to advance the position, power, and voice of women in all aspects of societies across the world. It is difficult to fathom that in some societies women are still bearing the brunt of unjust laws and cultural practices.
In the last couple of years alone, women have had to deal with a rise in domestic violence brought about by the pandemic, the life-changing impact of the Taliban back in control in Afghanistan, and now this tragic war, in which women are experiencing trauma as wives, mothers and as fighters.
And in Australia, women are the bedrock of our communities, and as always making change happen where it is needed most. Once again we’re in the midst of terrible floods – affecting thousands and thousands of ordinary people whose lives have been uprooted in the most devastating fashion. And it is the women of our communities – rural, regional and urban who have once again shown up in their droves to help in so many ways. I know many of you would have been first to take action and provide support as willing volunteers.
It is the VIEW spirit, as typified in the VIEW colour of purple, to be there to make a difference – and in your case that has specifically meant 62 years of helping children in need. As the International Women’s Day organisation says: purple signifies justice and dignity. You have championed social justice for these children – and today as the largest Learning for Life community sponsor, with over 1,500 students supported, you’re providing a practical and effective solution as a way to help them break the cycle of poverty and realise their potential in life.
Just think of the promise of that! And what a difference this has made, is making, and will continue to make in current and future generations. Every day the enduring legacy of your commitment to children on our program can be seen as they grow up and go forward into their lives.
So today – I say thank you to VIEW members across Australia on behalf of these young people. And on International Women’s Day I think it’s fitting that we send a special wish to all the girls you are supporting. Our wish aligns with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". What VIEW member wouldn’t want girls to enjoy a world that is healthy, safe and free. It was this same drive that was there at beginning of VIEW in mobilising women as change agents in their community
And by supporting their education you have already taken steps to help them gain the skills they need to create a better future for themselves. So, on behalf of The Smith Family I also thank you for your ongoing leadership in your community, your support in sponsoring students, and for fundraising, volunteering and advocating for our work. You are truly making a difference, and we are grateful for your support.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Chief Executive Officer