“Our gender should not determine our potential.” 

With that, Bawi Tha Par, an impressive young woman from Woodridge High School, shares what International Women’s Day means to her.

We have got to know Bawi through ABCN, where she has worked with Fiona McDougall, Chair of Ventia’s Gender Diversity Working Group, for the past two years as part of the ABCN Accelerate mentoring program.

Bawi is currently busy completing Year 12, after which she hopes to go on to tertiary study in the area of science and education.

In the lead up to International Women’s Day we asked her to share some thoughts on the day, as a young woman about to leave secondary school.

“For me International Women’s Day is the day to reflect and remind myself to look beyond borders, my body and race and think how the world can finally achieve equality,” Bawi said.

“Every woman who has fought for equality should be honoured on this day.”

Accelerate is a 3-year mentoring and financial support program for exceptional students facing significant disadvantage. More than 75% of the students applying to take part in the 2018 Accelerate program intake are female. Visionstream is currently supporting three female students across Queensland and Victoria.

For Bawi the program has allowed her to identify areas which she can work on, to help meet her future goals.

“After commencing the Accelerate program I realised the importance of communication in the workplace,” she said.

She also says that the program helped to change her mindset on what her future aspirations could be.

“It gives me the best chance to dream,” she said.

“My mentor, Fiona, has helped me in developing my mindset and skills. She helped show me what I can achieve.

“One of the biggest advantages of having her as my mentor is that I know there is always someone who I can speak to and ask questions and who gives me the courage to speak up.

“I hope that in the future women should not have to fight harder to raise pressure on society and politics. Our gender should not determine our potential!”