WINDO International Women’s Week Festival, Mar 5 – 11

To coincide with Queensland Women’s Week and International Women’s Day, Women Initiating New Directions Organisation (WINDO Inc.) is launching Noosa and the Sunshine Coast’s official WINDO International Women’s Week Festival from 5 to 11 March 2018, which will celebrate, explore and advance the diversity, contribution and changing landscape of women in our community.

The festival, which is supported by Queensland Government, YWCA, Noosa Council and Creative Alliance Sunshine Coast, is a major collaboration between local not-for-profit group WINDO Inc. and regional community and business organisations, leaders, schools, educators and artists plus high-profile and progressive interstate speakers.

The WINDO International Women’s Week festival aims to contribute to positive social and cultural change for the empowerment of women in the Noosa and Sunshine Coast region, which is home to around 300,000 women and girls.

In 2018, Australian women are still far from socially equal to Australian men. Australia ranks only 35th for women’s equality according to The World Economic Forum’s most recentGlobal Gender Gap Report, lagging significantly in women’s economic and political empowerment. In addition, Australian women experience a high incidence of violence, with one in three Australian women reporting having experienced physical violence and one in five Australian women having experienced sexual violence.

“For women and girls to be truly equal in our society, their rights and contribution need to be equally seen, heard, valued and celebrated and that’s why at this time in history, this festival is a vital addition to our region’s calendar and to the future development of our cultural identity”, said Jeanette Dal Santo, founder of WINDO Inc.

“We are so excited to be collaborating with many of the region’s community leaders to bring to Noosa and the Sunshine Coast these innovative programs featuring some of Australia’s most interesting thinkers along with a fantastic line up of local performing artists”, Ms Dal Santo said.

The program’s first three events are announced as:

Window To A Woman’s Soul – Photographic Exhibition
6 to 30 March | The J, Noosa | Free Admission

This free exhibition is a dedication to the extraordinary women of Noosa & the Sunshine Coast, as nominated by our community. It features 24 stunning portraits by local photographer, Susan Hudson, to the audio-visual backdrop of highlights from each woman’s story, as interviewed by Noosa FM’s Women’s Conversations presenter, Josanne Falla.

The exhibition will allow a rare glimpse inside the inner worlds of well-known and lesser known local identities including Sandy Bolton MP, Meg Lawrence, Toni Powell, Leanne Walsh, Andrea Kirwin (pictured), Aimee Sherriff and Dahlas & Lana Rogers. The inspiring nominees have often overcome great odds to give back to and shape our community, economy, politics, the arts, sports and environment.

Let’s Hear It For The Girls! – Variety Show – International Women’s Day
Thursday 8 March | The J, Noosa | Tickets from $32

The entertaining, don’t-miss evening of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers, music, singing, dance and laughter includes comedic Muslim speaker and media personality Husna Pasha, champion of women’s authentic beauty and former Project Runway Australia judge, Sarah Gale, and international leadership trainer and men’s health advocate, Paul Tribe.

It also features performances from singers Andrea Kirwin and Rachel Clancy, St Teresa’s Catholic College choir and rock band ‘Soul Collective’, Noosa House of Dance, Musica Women’s Choir, conducted by Melissa Gill, who also conducts Queensland’s School of Hard Knocks ‘Absolutely Everybody’ choir, digeridoo player Kurun Waran and artwork from local indigenous artist, Peter Mulcahy.

Just Don’t Shimmer, Shine – Seminar and morning tea
Tuesday 6 March | Noosa Parks Association Environment Centre | Tickets $15

This event will feature five inspiring speakers who will share their personal life – injectingstories and learnings when they’re help to answer the question, what does it take for women and girls to feel strong, safe, powerful and heard in our community?

The speakers, whose topics will include personal and financial empowerment, safety in domestic relationships and wellbeing, include singer, Rachel Clancy. Rachel was diagnosed with advanced stage 3 cancer and walked away from running an organic farm to pursue her passion for singing. Fifteen years later, the now professional performer will share how living her dream helped to save her life. Other speakers include psychologist and domestic violence expert, Karen Marsh, women’s finance advocate, Emma Hicks, and Dr Nycole Prowse and Dr Lisa Raith from Peripheral Arts.

For tickets, membership and more information, please visit: