UN International Women’s Day 2015

The Hon Jillian Skinner MP NSW Minister for Health
The Hon Jillian Skinner MP
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Logo
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

UN International Women’s Day Seminar – CEDAW 2015 March 8 was celebrated for the 5th year in State Parliament House Sydney on Monday 9th March this year with our Parliamentary sponsorMinister for Health The Hon Jillian Skinner MP opening the Seminar  immediately after Acknowledgement to Country by Indigenous speaker Robyn Carroll from Mulla Walla Family & Community Support at Woolloomooloo.

 

Robyn Carrol
Robyn Carrol
Pam Lemoine
Pam Lemoine
Valerie Weeks
Valerie Weeks

Pamela Lemoine UNAANSW member read out the message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to UNIWDay. Valerie Weeks, Co-Convenor of UNIWD and past President of co-sponsor of the event UNAANSW spoke on the History of Women in Australia.

Robyn Carrol and Affie Adagio
Robyn Carrol and Affie Adagio

Sue Conde past President of UN Women Australia was to speak on the topic CEDAW Convention for Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women which was set up to monitor the progress of the Convention; but unfortunately had to attend a funeral so sent her paper which I spoke to as I was speaking about my experience with attending as one of 22 community representative the UN Conference/Forum for Women Peace and Development in Copenhagen in 1980 when CEDAW was launched to the world and Australia had signed the Convention during the Frasier government.

Jillian Skinner MP -  NSW Minister for Health
Jillian Skinner MP

The same number of women government representatives had also been chosen by the Minister for Home and Women Affairs The Hon Bob Ellicott. Decades later we still  have a lot to achieve. At that time in the Scandinavian Parliaments there were many women members. We still have women in countries such as USA and Australia not being paid the same as men for the same work! And murder, rape and verbal and physical abuse is still rampant throughout the world however, the Minister advised that the Baird government would ensure a Minister for Domestic Violence as the priority if they are re-instated, that is how serious the situation is.

Robyn Carroll spoke of the history of Walla Mulla Family and Community Support which was created by a nun and is now a vital service to the Indigenous community. Robyn also shared about her struggle in life and we were all so happy for her because she has been awarded the NSW Woman Award for Sydney 2015 in the NSW WOMEN AWARDS 2015 and we presented her with a box of congratulatory chocolates along with her bunch of flowers for being a speaker.

Margaret Conway
Margaret Conway

The next speaker was Margaret Conway from GLAPDGreat Lakes Agency for Peace and Development. Margaret spoke about the Great Lakes of Africa especially women from Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo.

Chris Hamer
Chris Hamer

Buddhist Venerable Dr. Tich Minh Tam UNAANSW Committee member brought Professor Chris Hamer UNSW who spoke on the work of Women, Peace and Sustainability. It was rewarding to have full attendance in the Waratah Room and especially that we had for the first time a large contingent of men in the audience.

The Humanist Society of NSW has also been a co-Sponsor of the UNIWDAY for 5 years especially generous with covering costs and Ian Bryce the current President was invited to say a few words.

Mina Batra AM
Mina Batra AM

Mina Batra AM member of the UNAANSW Committee and responsible for the Interfaith Portfolio dressed in a beautiful sari thanked the speakers while Valerie Weeks handed out the final bouquet of pink roses to me not only as a speaker and Convenor/MC but also because the UNIWDAY coincides with my birthday on March 8th. So it was indeed a great day for me.

Waratah Room
Waratah Room

We thank State Parliament House for letting us have the Waratah Room for the venue gratis. We had beautiful croissants and tea and coffee with a platter of fruit and gluten free cupcakes for those who have sensitive stomachs but that was not gratis and that is why we needed to charge for the event.

International Womens Day flowers for speakersMany thanks to Fred Flatow HSNSW member who sat at the door collecting entry monies which covered the expenses of the afternoon tea. We are pleased to announce that serendipitously Fred won the lucky door prize which was a huge heart shaped pink frame for family photos which could be mounted on a wall which he loved and truly deserved!

I would like to finish with mentioning 3 important points: There are two reasons I chose to convene the UNIWD for five years:

  1. To disseminate information about women’s issues
  2. I chose the venue to be State Parliament House Sydney to show that the community especially women have access to Parliament House and gratis.
  3. We have available printed copies of Valerie Weekes’ History of Women in Australia, and Sue Conde’s CEDAW History and the event has been taped and will be on YouTube soon – contact Dr. Affie Adagio <affie@affie.com.au> or 0421 101 163 or (02) 9690 1431 (h)

Australian Gypsies?

Bob-1a-314x235 This image shows the Bob (aka dING) campsite where his motorbike with sidecar and tent is how he   spends his time away from home as a “grey nomad” which is what we call people at the age of 72 who love to travel or live permanently in campsite communities. His partner is no longer able to accompany him for health reasons but that has not stopped him. All their lives they travelled often sometimes in different ways. In Australia there are swish caravans, some restored old ones some not! Also campervans and today I saw a program on TV44 where someone converted a stationwagon into a motel bedroom in the back (or so it was called) with a colourful huge quilt. The thought occurred to me, as I was born in Romania, how different is the permanent campsite life to that of the Romanian Gypsy? One program shows a well known country singer/TV sports announcer (whose name sadly escapes me now) where there is a whole community of happy campers who top it off with rock and rolling – how great! the gypsy in me is tempted at times especially that I love rock and roll but I’m a city girl so unless I get involved with a guy who likes rock and roll then I’m not likely to be ‘going bush’! Nevertheless have we got Australian Gypsies that we call more socially acceptable names like grey nomads, or happy campers, or caravan communities?!

UN International Women’s Day 10/3 a Success

Hon Marie FicarraAunty Joan Tranter2IWDPamela Lemoine IWD

UN International Women’s Day (8/3) Seminar was held on Monday 10th March at State Parliament House Theatrette with Australia’s theme Ending Poverty for Women and Girls which was the topic chosen by Sue Conde past president of UNWA.Sue Conde

Aunty Joan Tranter, Aboriginal Elder, Jambunna House of Learning at UTS carried out the Welcome to Country which was so touching.
Pamela Lemoine read out the lovely UN IWD message from Ban Ki-moon.

The Hon Marie Ficarra MLC Parliamentary/Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW representing the Premier for Opening Ceremony in which she addressed female violence as still a pressing matter.

 

Introduction: Valerie Weekes past president of  kept us mesmerised with her story of how Valerie Weekes IWD

difficult achieving university qualifications in all male family

GRAMEEN FOUNDATION: Duncan Power fascinated us with slides giving an update about the wonderful work done with loans to women from underdeveloped countries, so they may establish their small businesses.

Duncan Power IWDRESETTLEMENT OF IMMIGRANTS IN AUSTRALIA FROM GREAT LAKES OF AFRICA: Dr Nadine Shema spoke about the difficulties experienced by her people as they adjust to their new country.Dr Nadine Shema IWD

INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA: Aunty Joan Tranter spoke about her struggle in life to become an educated Aboriginal family woman when it was expected of her to become domestic help. Sadly we were reminded of the indigenous woman’s plight once again.

PALESTINE & ISRAEL – A WOMEN’S VIEW: Vivienne Prozsolt (Straight from the Airport to IWD Seminar) Vivienne showed slides of some of the  atrocities that have taken place and as she is Jewish it was a sensitive situation to witness. However when my Jewish friends were offended Valerie reminded me that the UN have investigated the allegations and found them to be true ttherefore they have a peacekeeping effort campaign there at the moment. As this was an UN event at the time I thought it had been a relevant  presentation. However  at some time I will invite representatives of both sides to discuss the issue  at a Humanist Afternoon Talk (HuVAT).Vivienne Porzsolt3 IWD

AFTERNOON TEA: We enjoyed a get together and delicious afternoon tea

IWD '14 FOODFLORAL GIFT & RIBBONS

Valerie Weekes prepared beautiful floral arrangements of white roses with a small green hydranger
which she gave to the speakers and purple delicate ribbons for all particpicants to the UN IWD. In this picture is also a beautiful vase of red roses for my 70th from my cousin Harry Polymeris, the President of the Hellenic Cultural Association “Akropolis” (Greeks from Romania): the committee of which I am a member due to the fact that my family and I were in the 300 families who came out on the same ship the General Ballou to Australia in 1950.Harrys 70th roses

End of Year Party Humanists NSW 2013

Every year the Humanist Society of NSW has an End of Year Party in DecembeSamENY'14r instead of a Xmas party because we are not religious and as secular Humanists we do celebrate the season without the religious tones.

Connie

George Eynon Entertainer                                                                                                                                   Silvana Victor ENY'14

Christmas ornament, photo by Kinki Chew, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, cc.1asphost/mydreamsland, Chrismas time

 

Viky's bright skirt

07

  2012 was held at 2pm 2nd Saturday in December 9 and our entertainer George Eynon a New Zealand ex-patriot who can croon the most romantic tunes of Sinatra Elvis and Bee Gees to Country and Western and jive (also transform as he sings the most amazing Maori songs) kept us entertained. We had a great time and enjoyed each others company over food and drinks.

2011 and 2010 the wonderful Rubella caused full house at Humanist House with his Latin American diva act which he performed on cruise ships.

So up until 2009 our parties were Mad Hatters or such which were fun nevertheless poorly attended by a handful of people

 

Mind you some of us have family who celebrate Xmas and we respect their needs.For example on Xmas eve I have my family over and we have Xmas Eve with the carols the Xmas tree and as in Europe (as we are origiChristmas Tree, photo by Martin Boose, Dresden, Germany, Christmas Evenally Greeks from Romania)  open our presents. In that way I don’t compete with my offspring’s family personal time and the time they spend with their father and in-laws.

Xmas at Tina '12

 

CAHS Convention June 2013 SYDNEY

Humanist Society of NSW bravely accepted its the responsibility to take on the helm of the national body of all the HumanistSydney States – the Executive of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS) 2013-16 and that meant convening the CAHS Convention in Sydney which included the AGM with the election of the new Executive.  The Sydney Committee takes great pride in putting on a ‘good’ show and as I have the experience and enjoy the effort usually end up being the Convenor. The Committee is a great supportive group of people and this can make the planning quite enjoyable. The outcome was quite a success as we had:-

Friday 3rd May: 6pm Registration – Humanist House then Dinner Broadway Food Court

Saturday 4th May: 9.30-3pm CAHS AGM – Humanist House morning tea and lunch resulting in Paul Zagoridis as the new President, Mary Bergin –  Secretary and Ken Wright – Treasurer

Saturday Dinner Dance: 7.30 Ridges Hotel $65 (free under cover parking)

 

Paul, Robyn Williams, Ross, Mary

 

 

 

 

Entertainers:      George Eynon

George Eynon Entertainer

 

 

 

Talia  Nicolitsis, sang the Eva Cassidy version of  somewhere over the rainbow so see for her recent version see link:

http//youtu.be/JobfY3FzStg

for other Talia performances see You Tube : Talia Georgia Nicolitsis

Talia

 

 

 

 

Speakers: AHOY 2013 (Australian Humanist of the Year) Jane Caro and AHOY 1993 Robyn Williams AM (HumSocNSW Patron), Fred Flatow OHA 2013 (Outstanding Humanist Achiever), Dorothy Buckland Fuller (HumSocNSW Patron), Roslyn Ives (Past President CAHS), Paul Jane, Robyn& AffieZagoridis (President CAHS 2013),  Affie Adagio MC. Others present were Lee Rhianon The Hon member for NSW MLC Lee & John

(a HumSocNSW  member since her youth whom I believe, if I have the correct title, will  not be pleased with me using it), delegates from interstate, our Viewpoints editor (Frank Gomez and his partner Marco),  our Treasurer – Victor Bien and his wife Silvana, and our President – John August, of course Angela Drury, Brian Edwards and our pioneer Vicky Potempa and our generous an lucky Sturt Duncan who not only bought one of our Affie artworks but also won the second one that was raffled. We also had guests who were friends of our members and hence had a full house at the dinner. Our entertainer George Eynon who is originally a New Zealander ended his performance with some Maori amazing songs. Fantastic evening it certainly was.Silvana Victor

Marco Fabiani  Frank Gomez Editor

 

 

 

 

Fred OHA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday: The Manly Ferry trip was the chosen tourist attraction and John August led the group of interstate and Sydney hosts to Manly on the beautiful half hour ride on our fascinating harbour which can get a bit choppy at the crossing of the heads but I thought everyone would benefit from a little adventure. One they reach Manly they had a walk to the Promenade and lunch at a lovely place near the beach                    What memories?Manly tour

 

Monday:   At State Parliament House Theatrette we had a Conference

9.30 Paul Zagoridis – CAHS President – WelcomeDr Nadine ShemaPaul Affie & GLAPD Panel

 

 

 

 

9.45 The African GLAPD Panel (Great Lakes Agency for Peace & Development)  led by Dr. Nadine Shema who introduced us to their work of raising awareness and funds for the countries surrounding the Great Lakes and not only the situation improvement but how much needs to still be achieved. As a result HumSocNSW became an organisational member for $100 p.a. to support them in there work and a resolution had eventuated from that session encouraging assististance.

11.30 Ethics Education Initiatives in Australia – After morning tea Ian Bryce  convened a panel of outstandingIan Bryce leaders in the field of ethics classes: St. James Ethics School – Simon Longstaff AOM (Executive Director) and Teresa Russel (General Manager) Ethics Classes; John Kaye – Greens MP; John Russell (Social Worker) Humanist Society Vic, Dr Victor Bien originally member of Federation of P&C Association commissioning (2005) St. James Ethics Centre instigating ethics classes.

Ethics Panel

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Buckland Fuller (Humanist Society NSW Patron) expressed our appreciation and gratitude to the speakers of both Panels.

Dorothy

 

 

                 

 

   1.oo Lunch and close of CAHS Convention

Feedback from attendees from Sydney and interstate was extremely favourable as to the standard of the CAHS Convention and that it had been an enjoyable experience. We were all grateful for participants being so thoughtful as to give us feedback as this makes all the effort worthwhile. For example, 2 weeks prior to the weekend of the Convention we had 9 firm bookings when the function room was booked for 50 people! Cancelling the dinner dance was not at all in question and on the night we had a full house. So it was worth the stress because it was indeed wonderful to connect with everyone from interstate  and celebrate.

 

 

 

 

Escapism

Sunset  over New York City 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, United Sates, romantic cityLife can be so stressful that at times it does us good to see some movies that classify as codependent drivel. For women otherwise known as romantic comedies where ‘boy meets girl, they fight, then they end up together and live happily ever after’ and we leave the theatre smiling. This is often called a ‘chick flick’. For men the unbelievable action story where they dodge bullets and explosions and still live through, only to have sex with the perfect female star. As long as we remain aware that these movies are purely a form of escapism, then it is harmless codependent drivel.

my friend, Elizabeth, and I went to the movies
and as we considered which film to see
we spoke of our emotional state
I said I felt like watching something light
perhaps some codependent drivel
and we chuckled thinking about it
to this day I don’t remember what we saw
but I do remember us laughing
and leaving with uplifted spirits

sunset over New York city 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, USA, romantic city

Romantic trade-off

You&Me, photo by Valentina Jori, Roma, Italy, intimacy How many times have you been frustrated with your partner because you feel that you give and cannot get the same in return? Whether it has to do with the type of movie you want to see or what hobbies to share. This can affect your sex life too because the partner who feels less powerful in the relationship can lose their sex drive and can appear to be with-holding that pleasure. Of course, communicating your innermost concerns is a tricky task for some. An effective way to right this imbalance is to use a romantic trade-off. The couple can sit and work out what each one feels is missing in their relationship and then agree to trade-off one requirement for another. In that way there is a fairness to the process which results in greater intimacy. Sometimes this is done with the help of a therapist.

Susie was a sexy, sensual woman when
they first got together
that’s one of the characteristics that
attracted Bob to her
then after awhile that changed drastically
Bob had wondered what had caused that
was she no longer attracted to him?
when they came to see me we looked at
what worked and what didn’t and
some of their needs and wants were negotiated
for a romantic trade-off which satisfied both
not all requirements were resolved but at least
they agreed to disagree, for now

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day, photo by Michal Koralewski, Gniezno, Poland, day of loveToday is the day of love. Some people criticise the practise because they believe it is too commercialised. Other people enjoy the romantic and sensual mood of the day. It was once the role of the male to send flowers, chocolates and poetry to the female, often it was an anonymous gesture, creating intrigue. Nowadays it is something both men and women do for each other. It is a ritual that enhances relationships. Unless both partners dislike celebrating the day of love, then it is worthwhile to participate in the celebration.

Bruce felt that it was ridiculous to
celebrate Valentine’s Day
Vicki was looking forward to
receiving some show of affection
on the day of love from her new partner
somehow he had managed to avoid it
on previous occasions but she had
made it clear that it was important to her
Bruce ordered the works
flowers, perfume, choice words in the card
and dinner for two at a romantic restaurant
why? because he is a smart bloke and
values the relationship enough to
do the right thing when he is made aware
just as Vicki has done with his wishes
such as fishing with the mates on the
first Sunday of the month and the
regular card night at their place
with her playing the hostess
this exchange of favours to satisfy
each others desires is what makes
their relationship special

Happy Valentines Day, photo by Michal Koralewski, Gniezno, Poland, day of love

Flirting and seduction

Flirting Swans, photo by Jenny W., Honolulu, Hawaii, nature's loveWhen people first meet, they spend all their time involved with flirting and seduction. That’s what keeps their passion alive. It’s understandable that in time the passion will cool and usually a truer love will grow because nothing stays the same. Nevertheless, it’s so important for the relationship when the flirting is maintained as a ritual, because it keeps love alive, stopping people from becoming too serious.

they noticed that it had been awhile since they
had chuckled, teased, flirted and joked a little
then it became apparent that they hadn’t had
such a great time in a long time, so
they made an agreement to include flirting in
a part of each day to develop the art
rightfully so, not only did they get better at it
but it was such a boost for their relationship
something so simple yet so effective.

Honeymoon period

Lovers, photo by Sundar Chinnusamy, Erode India, loving relationshipsMost times when we romantically connect with people, the first phase is called the honeymoon period because it’s a state of ‘love in bloom’. We think alike, we enjoy the same food and drinks. We share the same interests, even to the extent that the men watch ‘chick flicks’ and the women watch ‘action movies’ (usually full of gruesome violence). Just being together is fun. It’s a moment in time that usually lasts for 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years, as shown by surveys. The relationship can then transform into a loving relationship based on friendship. Couples can customise their relationships to suite themselves and make life fulfilling which will provide a safe environment for their children, if they have any.

he asked her to marry him and
as both had been divorced
as well as having children between them
they discussed two or three vital issues
which they expected to face in marriage
then they agreed on some resolutions
which they could use to avoid disharmony
it was a peaceful, happy, sensual relationship
and above all a friendship based on respect