The participants of Women’s Health West’s ‘Lead On Again’ program held their International Women’s day event ‘Hear Our Stories’ last month.
The participants, who are all young women with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, shared their stories and experiences of seeking employment in Australia.
It was a really moving event as the young women described the racism, discrimination and many barriers they’ve encountered while looking for work in Australia.
Some of the young women spoke of the ease in which they were able to secure employment in their home countries – as dental assistants, or a manager of an entire dental clinic – but this experience was dismissed by employers in Australia. Others spoke of the effects workplace racism and how this can really shake someone’s self-confidence, particularly as a young woman of colour.
The young women had everyone in the audience laughing one moment, and holding back tears the next. The audience was encouraged to reflect on the ways we can all be good allies, and shared their pledge to support young women of colour to pursue employment in Australia.
A real highlight of the night was the fashion show! The young women each wore their cultural or tradition clothing, and explained the cultural significance and symbolism of their attire. For some, it was the first time they had had the opportunity to wear their cultural dress since arriving in Australia.
Lead On Again is a leadership program for young, multicultural women in the West. We run the program each year, and the International Women’s day event is a significant part of their leadership journey, which the young women plan and deliver themselves.
More information about Lead on Again.