International Women’s Day 2017 started with a flying start this year with the Senior School girls listening to Dr Leila Alem, a leader in the field of artificial intelligence and ICT innovation in their assembly. Dr Alem inspired the girls to follow their dreams and inspired many of them through the sharing of her own journey. 

It was also a privilege to celebrate International Women’s Day by sharing a meal with our community of Lowther Women at the Essendon Football Club. I wish I could claim the credit for thinking up this event, but I need to acknowledge that it was the idea of our Director of Development and Community Engagement, Mr Stewart Brook who suggested to me that we design a special occasion at which women right across the Lowther Hall Community could come together to celebrate and be celebrated. And so Lowther Women has been formed and we met together this week for our first official event – an event that recognised the role of our past students, female staff, School Councillors and parents in providing a wonderful community of role models in which our current students can be raised and nurtured. 

Along with current and past parents, I was also thrilled to welcome School Council members (past and present) as well as past staff, including past Principal, Ms Noelene Horton (the first Lowther Woman who I encountered and whose influence on our School was profound across her 17 years of leadership). Our current female staff were represented by members of Senior Management as well as our 2 current longest serving staff members, Mrs Jane Allen and Mrs Esther Rule. Many Old Grammarians from across a broad range of year levels were also present, and of course our current students were also represented. 

We enjoyed thought provoking reflections from our panel, a delicious meal and many prizes were also given away. Given the overwhelmingly positive response to this event, I imagine that it may become an annual occurrence on the calendar! Thank you to all who were able to attend.