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Jessie Street Library’s annual luncheon

Jessie Street News Term 3 2

Ten of Wenona’s Senior School students were lucky enough to attend the Jessie Street Library’s annual luncheon with guest speaker, Kate McClymont, at NSW Parliament House recently.

Jessie Street (1889-1970) was an activist, a feminist and a lifelong campaigner for women’s rights, the peace movement and the elimination of discrimination against Aboriginal people. Throughout her lifetime, Jessie Street fought for gender equality and founded the United Associations of Women in Australia, one of the most politically forceful women’s organisations in the country.

The Jessie Street Library, which was established in 1989, has held a fundraising luncheon since 1995. Other prestigious past guest speakers have included Dr Gill Hicks, a survivor of the London terrorist bombings and an advocate for peace, The Honourable Quentin Bryce, who was the first female Governor-General, and Meredith Burgmann, a former president of the NSW Legislative Council and the initiator of the Ernie Awards for sexist male comments.

This year’s guest speaker, Sydney Morning Herald’s Kate McClymont, has been dubbed “the investigative journalist’s investigative journalist.” She gave a powerful and inspiring speech on her chosen topic: The narcissists, the nefarious and the ne’er do wells: tales of an investigative journalist.

Maddy, Caroline and Amber in Year 9, Claudia, Sophie and Greta in Year 10, and Molly, Maddy, Ella and Sarah in Year 11 were thrilled to attend the luncheon, along with students from both state and independent schools.

Greta said, “It was an honour to listen to Kate McClymont speak at the Jessie Street Library annual luncheon earlier this month. Ms McClymont is one of the most well-known Australian female investigative journalists. Listening to her speak with such humour, wit, intelligence and unabashed confidence was an inspiring display of strong female women who continue to speak up for what is right ,no matter what others believe what they should or should not do.”

Sophie said, “Kate McClymont’s speech told us about the truth of the current workplace for women and journalists. Like so many girls worldwide, she was sent threats just for doing something that she loved. Being in a room full of strong women and girls, and listening to a shared experience, made it a special event. The opportunity to go to the lunch and hear the speech is one that I won’t forget, as once we start the conversation about where we are now in the workplace and society, we can make a change.”

A huge thank you to Ms Seale for her organisation and support of this event.