The Hepburn Shire recognised some of its most influential women at the annual International Women’s Day dinner last week, with four new names added to the shire’s Heather Mutimer Honour Roll.
The event on March 9 at the Daylesford Town Hall which featured a guest appearance from the Victorian Govenor Linda Dessau AM added Candy Broad, Jenny Beacham, Kit Manning and Elsie Miller (posthumous) to the shire’s long list of women who have excelled in their field.
Daylesford Secondary College year 10 students Antigone Jonas and Chloe Leonard also spoke at the celebration, focusing on the theme of being bold for change.
Hepburn Shire mayor Sebastian Klein said all four women were worthy recipients of the honour.
“Here we have four very different women who have all championed the protection and advancement of women’s rights," Cr Klein said.
Elsie Miller was a champion of gender equality and was well known throughout the shire through her work with the Mother’s Union, Girl Guides Support Group and the Red Cross.
Ms Miller also spent many years dedicated to the Daylesford Ladies Benevolent Society which supplies the needs of disadvantaged women in the community, by providing them with food, clothing and other necessaries.
Kit Manning remains a prominent figure in the community through her involvement in local football and netball as well as her work with the Trentham Mechanics Institute and has been an active community contributor for more than 40 years.
Two notable figures within the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party were also acknowledged for their contributions to gender equality on both a local level as well as on Spring Street.
Candy Broad was the upper house MP for the Northern Victorian Region and previously the Melbourne North Province for 14 years, leaving parliament in 2014.
Ms Broad was one of the driving forces behind bringing the Abortion Law Reform Bill into the Parliament in 2008, which was passed overwhelmingly on a conscience vote by members of all parties.
Ms Broad also had considerable influence over the creation of federal ALP policy, and campaigned for the rights of women in the party. To this end, she played a significant role in the 1994 introduction of the ALP's affirmative action scheme which aims to have women pre-selected in 35 percent of winnable seats.
Jenny Beacham was also a prominent figure in the ALP, serving as the state party secretary. She has since continued to advocate for the role of women at a local level.