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North Queensland Networks The e-newsletter for female IEUA-QNT members in north and far north Queensland Page 1 of 2

October 2011

Welcome Welcome to the first edition of North Queensland Networks, an e-newsletter that was developed following the Townsville Women’s Conference earlier this month. It aims to provide the latest news and information to women educators in north and far north Queensland. Enquiries relating to North Queensland Networks can be forwarded to IEUA-QNT Communications Officer Clare Chapman at

What Conference Attendees Said... “Wow! I am super-charged. Very happy to have attended ... thank-you for putting women of like minds together.”

-Donna Zeitlhofer Gordonvale

“This conference was a life changing one for me. It helped me to feel empowered enough to make long-overdue changes! The knowledge of the presenters balanced with the interaction with participants created a powerful and inspirational environment.”

Townsville Women’s Conference The inaugural Townsville Women’s Conference was a resounding success with feedback from participants pointing to a remarkable energy, gained from the opportunity to network with other women educators, that sparked enthusiasm, passion, motivation and ideas. Associate Professor Gracelyn Smallwood harnessed the passion of female educators with her welcome to country in which she acknowledged the power of the collective by greeting participants as “deadly women”. Other speakers stressed the need to ensure that women made the time to think about their careers, and to articulate their strengths and dreams.

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation hope.” Participants were told of the importance of being strategic in realising their plans, and encouraged to be aware that they could decide their futures by having the courage to move into challenging territories. Empowering others was another theme; women were encouraged to be good role models and mentors and be positive and affirming, qualities which in turn, demand action.

Associate Professor Gracelyn Smallwood

As we look to the future of the profession, keynote speaker Dr Cathy Day pointed conference participants to the words of Teilhard de Chardin who said that “the future belongs to those who give the next generation hope”. For more information about the conference and upcoming events in your area, visit our website

-Frances Jankowski Woree

The Independent Education Union of Australia - Queensland and Northern Territory Branch

Refer a Colleague Do you have a colleague who would like to become an IEUA-QNT member? Refer them to our website to join and keep up to date with all the latest news, information, events and benefits of being a member.

Keynote speaker Dr Cathy Day shares insights from her career Townsville Catholic Education Office director and keynote speaker Dr Cathy Day shared inspiring insights from her career with conference delegates. She acknowledged her mentors and role models and highlighted the capacity to face hardship, challenges and the unkown, with determination and courage. Delegates were encouraged to face the future with trust and move away from comfort zones.

Cathy obtained a diploma of teaching in 1975 and went on to work as a teacher for 24 years. In 2002 she was awarded a PhD. In 2000 Cathy joined the Townsville Catholic Education Office as assistant director, and in 2006 became director. Under her leadership the organisation has created a worldfirst Christian meditation program for all schools in the diocese.

Townsville Women’s Conference participants enjoy a post-conference cocktail party. Music was provided by St Margaret Mary’s and Townsville Grammar School student bands.

Looking Forward... The Townsville Women’s Network is set to expand its horizons Following the interest of members based in north and far north Queensland, convenor of the IEUA-QNT Equity Committee and founder of the Townsville Women’s Network Kerry Laws said the network was exploring a range of possibilities to make the group accessible to female educators further afield. “As a result of networking at the Townsville Women’s Conference, members working in far north Queensland have indicated they are interested in being part of the network,” Ms Laws said. “I am aiming to conduct an informal meeting in Cairns before the end of 2011 to gauge the level of interest and explore and discuss possibilities such as whether a subbranch of the network based in Cairns is established that meets separately, or whether members in other areas are linked to our meetings by way of phone conference.” Dates are still under consideration for both the Cairns meeting and the next Townsville meeting.

To register your interest in becoming involved in the Townsville Women’s Network contact Kerry Laws at or Gaye Vale at

Mentoring - IEUA-QNT Equity Committee to consider possible structures Many conference participants were particularly impressed with the workshop ‘Mentoring - Models and Benefits’ presented by Leisa Harper from St Paul’s Anglican School in Bald Hills. As a result of the conference at least one mentoring relationship was established. The IEUA-QNT Equity Committee, together with the Townsville Women’s Network, was asked to consider and develop structures for mentoring and support of women educators as part of the practical collective activities arising from the conference.

To become involved and share your ideas, join the IEUA-QNT Equity Committee by contacting Ros McLennan at


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