Westmead Hospital’s International Women’s Day event celebrates the profound impact of women in healthcare

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On International Women’s Day, Westmead Hospital buzzed with energy and purpose as staff and guests gathered to celebrate the invaluable contributions of women.

Guests were welcomed to the auditorium with potted flowers placed at each seat as a take-home gift for all in attendance.

Alison Derrett, Executive Director Operations WSLHD, set the tone for the event, expressing gratitude to the attendees and highlighting the significance of investing in women’s empowerment.

“From gender equality to upskilling opportunities, this is such a significant day when it comes to workplaces and the way we empower the women around us,” she said.

Loretta Di Mento, Board Chair of WSLHD, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the transformative power of investing in women’s education, health, and economic opportunities.

” Your work is inspiring. It is spoken about by families on the phone to relatives abroad, to cherished partners, to children, to friends,” Loretta said.

“Your impact is felt on people’s toughest days, and you continue to show up and give away that little part of yourself to care for someone in need in our western Sydney community.

“As women, I believe this selflessness is tethered deep in our bones.”

The event featured insightful contributions from guest speakers Ros Crampton and Ashlee Donohue, who highlighted the importance of financial empowerment and inclusion.

Ros, Director of Education WSLHD, emphasised the need to recognise and support the diverse talents and contributions of women in the workplace.

“The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was economic empowerment.

“I feel that in WSLHD, women are already great investors. They invest in our community. They invest in our patients and their families. And they invest in their own families.”

“Across all these years in my LHD roles, I’ve seen how very special the women working in Western Sydney health district are.”

Guest speaker Ashlee Donohue shed light on the challenges faced by women in domestic violence situations, in achieving financial independence and the critical role of economic empowerment in breaking down barriers.

“Financial Abuse is a form of power and control wielded by one partner over another through economic means.”

“The repercussions of financial abuse are profound. Victims often find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty, unable to escape and can see no way out.”

Throughout the event, participants had the opportunity to engage with financial representatives from Aware Super and Health Professionals Bank, underscoring the hospital’s commitment to supporting women’s economic empowerment.

Potted plants, generously donated by Bunnings Northmead, were handed out to staff and patients.

“I hope that when you take these flowers home and plant them, they remind you of all the bright opportunities there are ahead of you, and you feel confident to take up space – in your workplace and in your personal lives.”