Festivals celebrating women coming to CQ
FESTIVALS celebrating the achievements of women and promoting conversations about women’s issues will be held next year in Central Queensland towns.
Women of the World Australia held consultations in Longreach, Barcaldine, Charleville, and Blackall last week to gauge interest in a 2021 Western Queensland WOW Festival, potentially at several locations.
Executive producer Cathy Hunt said about 70 people came along to the sessions and the response was “overwhelmingly supportive”.
“We were consulting with women about whether or not they wanted to host a festival next year as part of a regional program that we’re doing,” she said.
“It’s about celebrating the achievements of women and girls in our communities and what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and just making sure that women’s voices are heard and that the stories of women are listened to.
“Where we do it, when we do it, and how we do it is still up for grabs.”
Three “mini-festivals” are planned for Queensland next year – one out west, one in the north, and one in the south-east.
Ms Hunt described the festival as a celebration “first and foremost”, but added that it also aimed to promote discussion – among both women and men – about difficulties women face globally, such as domestic violence.
Exactly what each festival focuses on is up to the women involved in each area.
“Its starting point is a celebration, but we also have some aspects of the festival that are about having the hard conversations about issues facing women and girls to do with the economy, health, and obviously the constant problem for many, domestic and family violence.
“It creates opportunities for local women to tell their stories for the first time, and it creates opportunities also for men and boys to become engaged with these issues and to talk about them – we often have men very actively involved in panels and the audience.”
Ms Hunt thanked WOW’s partner Red Ridge and other sponsors.