It has been a big year for the Women’s Collective, so I thought I’d share a little of what we got up to this year! We started off the year with multiple stalls focusing on STI awareness and prevention, giving out condoms and other contraceptive products. We also ensured these resources were available at the Toga party. Kicking off market day we provided students with free shirts, bags, condoms, and other essentials, where we also promoted several of our upcoming events. Unfortunately due to the floods, our International Women’s Day formal event was a few weeks late but thankfully we were able to celebrate with a stall engaging with many students on their experiences starting uni. Our formal event hosted Deirdre Swan, the longstanding Commissioner and Deputy President of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The event had a fantastic turn out and created a fantastic opportunity for further discussions on gender equality in the workplace.
We also ran the Share the Dignity campaign twice this year receiving a large amount of donations to be donated to people experiencing homelessness, or doing it tough.
We also held three book clubs this year looking at various texts including Generation F, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, and Girl, Woman, Other. Throughout the year we also ran a social media campaign on the Myths and Facts of SASH. One big achievement to also note this year is our work in reforming SASH prevention and response within the university. This is a lengthy process but we are excited to build on this work next year and into the future.
In May, we held a Mindfulness workshop with facilitator Alana Brekelmans, giving students mindful practices and methods to aid in relieving and solving exam stress during the semester. In August, we gathered a contingent to attend the Abortion rights now, defend Roe v Wade Rally, with members meeting before for sign-making.
We also created and distributed a Positive Prevention Pamphlet that is empowerment based and focuses on what to “Do” to handle different types of personal safety problems.
At the Un-fair this year we held a body painting workshop with several people who volunteer their bodies as canvases for students to paint reflections that were meaningful to them relating to body image and diet culture.
We held two discussion panels at Gatton with Veterinary and Agriculture Industry leaders. The panels provided insight and knowledge about transitioning into working in these industries, what life looks like working in various roles in the industries, the different options available and where to go to find support.
In September, we held another panel event called You As You Are. The panel was made up of some very special guests including, Bridgette Williams a Master of Counselling Student, Chelsea Powell a Dietitian Kaedee Abel a provisionally registered Psychologist, Sophie Rindfleish a Dietitian, and Dr. Kiera Buchanan a Clinical Psychologist. The Panel discussed what diet culture is and how it came to be, the harms it has on our mind, bodies and relationships, and how we can start resisting it in our everyday lives.
Lastly, we cannot go without noting the significant achievement of the Women’s Collective to install free period product dispensers in the Univerity Library bathrooms, with hopes to expand this even further next year!
Facebook: UQ Union Women’s Collective