Hopkins Correctional Centre hosted prison officers, staff and local residents on Friday for an International Women’s Day afternoon tea.
The event – in its second year – was Ararat’s way of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women on the globally celebrated day. The day is acknowledged across the world, with the purpose to increase the recognition of women but to also make aware the challenges still faced.
Ararat Community Enterprise teamed up with the corrections centre to hold the afternoon which saw around 60 in attendance. The centre is one of Ararat’s largest employers, so event organisers saw it as a perfect location to both celebrate and drive discussion.
Hopkins Correctional Centre Acting General Manager Kylie Yallop, opened by sharing the centres statistics and recognising women across all their employment areas.
Of the centre’s 387 employees, 34% are women, with prison officers presenting the lowest figures. Yallop says it’s important to hold events such as Fridays to share the employment opportunities with the community.
“One of the things that we do is obviously these kinds of events, to actually show them what Hopkins is about. Show how females can actually impact on reintegration,” she explained.
ABC Senior Producer for Statewide Drive, Kirsten Diprose was invited to speak about women in the workforce and in particular her experiences of being a mother and a senior employee. She confessed that it can be hard to have a successful career and grow a family, without support.
“It’s a really crucial time, between 25 and 35 (years old) – it’s when you start building those career networks and get promoted, but that’s when women get dudded in the workplace,” Diprose said.
She also acknowledged older generations and said that the media industry is a front-runner when it comes to female/male ratios, although leadership roles could still be improved.
“I think there is still a way to go for women to get into those positions of power, into the managerial, editorial, CEO, board positions across the media. More work needs to be done for that when it comes to women.”
The speeches were followed by a discussion amongst prison staff and local attendees, including Ararat Mayor Peter Beales and Deputy Mayor Jo Armstrong.
Video segment to follow in the coming days.
-Producer & Anchor
-Founder of AC News in 2017