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I Am Strong, We Are Strong
5 Jul 2014
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On 1 March 2011 more than 100 women gathered at Footscray Community Arts Centre for a vibrant and colourful celebration of women’s strength, marking the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. Led by Women’s Health West, the free community event 'I Am Strong, We Are Strong' sought to highlight the ways women find and maintain inner strength by introducing them to activities such as tai chi, circus skills, self defence, footy, drumming, writing and singing. Some took a Zumba class or were decorated with henna tattoos, while others polished up their resume, stencilled t-shirts, or found out about becoming a media advocate against family violence.

We wanted women to walk out feeling strong and supported, to have fun with other women, and to reflect on their own strength and resilience. We asked women to write about what makes them feel strong, and tied these insights to a clothesline festooned with brightly coloured lanterns, which you can see in this image. One theme that emerged was that women maintain strength by connecting with one another.

"Being with other women who understand. Laughing, singing, knowing I am loved, and that I love myself."

"This is fantastic idea. Well women coming together as one group and healing ourselves and meeting other groups. Well done to all involved feeling relaxed and happy."

"Being with other women makes me strong. Women are strong even when they feel that they are pushed down and stomped on."

This great event at Footscray Community Arts Centre came together thanks to the enthusiasm and energy of a steering committee of local organisations, including Victoria Police, community arts, women’s football, local council and family violence agencies. The sense of community generated by the event, both between the participants and between the local agencies who helped organise it, showed us that our greatest strength in achieving equity and justice for women in the west is through real, robust partnerships.
Arts and Activism Circus Community Arts Community Cultural Development Dance Music Writing Community Equity Partnerships Women
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