To recognise the contributions of women in the Diaspora, the Multicultural Association of Community Empowerment (MACE), held an annual conference on 25 August at Melton Country Club, where 100 women gathered in traditional attire to celebrate and encourage one another.
Deepti Alurkar, president of Mace, said, “We want to support the multicultural community, where women have to face a number of problems including social isolation, domestic violence, unemployment, and more. Through our organisation we want to create a social platform that allows them to interact. We are also organising mentoring workshops. The idea of the event was to educate women about health and well-being, and to recognise the achievements local women business entrepreneurs and community leaders,” she added.
Local Member of Parliament Hon Natalie Suleyman was the guest of honour at the ‘Celebrating Women’ conference. Other guests included Mayor Bob Turner and wife Val, all the Melton Council women councillors, Cr Sophie Ramsey, Cr Kathy Majdlik, Cr Lara Carli, Cr Melissa De Santis and Cr Michelle Mendes, advisor to Multicultural Minister Hon Robin Scott, Kaushalya Vaghela, Dawn Clark, and president of the Zonta Club Melton Jane Sultana.
Panelists included Dr Manjula O‘Connor, Dr Preeti Khillan, Dr Malini Singh, Jodie McGough and Helen Cooney.
The evening began with a beautiful Bollywood themed performance by Mums Dance Club members, followed by an impactful speech by Deepti emphasising on embracing cultures irrespective of colour, race or background. She also shared her migrant story and journey of starting the Mums Dance Club and MACE.
Dawn Clark gave an insightful speech on domestic violence as she is a survivor of domestic abuse. The panelists covered aspects of health, diet and support available for domestic violence survivors. Dr O’Connor spoke about family violence and the dowry system, and how it affects the physical and emotional well-being of a woman, citing from cases she has handled.
Dr Malini Singh answered questions relating to stress and anxiety in children and adults, and how mums can better manage these situations.
The evening also acknowledged the winners and presented them trophies, a perfect end to a perfect evening.
The evening’s winners
- Local Business Award—Reliance Real Estate
- Emerging Business Award—Last Minute Productions
- Innovative Business Award—ISA Consulting
- Community Leader of the year Award—Ms Kaushalya Vaghela
- Community Champions—Brigette Kasindi and Seema Pawar
- Special Recognition for work towards Women Health—Dr Preeti Khillan & Dr Manjula O’Connor.