Co.As.It. brought a vibrant community together on Saturday (11) in a memorable event to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 under the flag “Embrace Equity”.
In a journey specially prepared through the colours of the Mediterranean, VIPs, guests, and staff at the Greek Club honoured the advances and the crucial work carried out by women in the community services industry.
Kim Skubris entertained the guests over five hours of celebration, networking, and friendship, accompanied by a sumptuous brunch and fashion parade by Laura Churchill (Brisbane Fashion Month).
Guests’ kind-heartedness outpoured as raffles were quickly sold – with proceeds going towards Co.As.It.’s Dementia Support & Mind Wellness Program. Winners were gifted with wines, store vouchers and hampers, among other prizes.
In a touching speech, Brisbane’s Lady Mayoress, Nina Schrinner, singled out the importance of organisations such as Co.As.It.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of organisations like Co.As.It. as they will come in [to support the community]. They are the white knight coming over the hill to help,” Lady Mayoress said.
“Dementia is the number one killer of women in Australia, while isolation is one of the most significant contributing factors to that. I’m talking about serious life-changing issues related to this. You watch your relative being perfectly fine physically before you, but their mind has gone. We need the support of those specialised organisations.”
In 2022, it was estimated that 401,300 Australians were living with dementia, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures.
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, Hon Grace Grace, reinforced the necessity of embracing equity and praised the work conducted by Co.As.It.
“We need to continue to embrace equity to be sure women and men have an equitable challenge in life and the ability to grow,” the Minister said.
“Co.As.It. does such a fantastic job, and I don’t think there is one person in this room who hasn’t either directly benefited from Co.As.It. or indirectly seen the benefits for someone they know – when we think about our Mammas, Nonnas – what a great organisation to look after them.”
Cr Vicki Howard, Central Ward’s first female Councillor elected in 2012, affirmed that Co.As.It. stands for the ability to connect people through their language.
“The organisation has the ability to help people in their own language. This is just so important. More than 30% of our people within Brisbane come from countries other than Australia. So we have organisations such as Co.As.It. that bring people together and are always there to support them,” Cr Vicki said.
Through a recorded video, the Consul of Italy in Brisbane, Luna Angelini Marinucci, regretted not being able to participate in the event but emphasised the strength of women in the 21st century and the importance of the work done by Co.As.It. within the community.
Dina Ranieri, CEO of Co.As.It. highlighted that the organisation has organised International Women’s Day for about 14 years as an opportunity to celebrate the excellent female staff and all volunteers.
“As we are an organisation that looks after the elderly and those with a disability, we attract a lot of females because they are the ones that have that caring nature. With over 400 staff and more than 85% women, it makes us realise we are a force not to be taken lightly.”
“Today, we celebrate women’s incredible achievements and renew our commitment to gender equality. We remember the sacrifices our past strong and determined women made to ensure we would be treated equally and not be put aside and forgotten.”