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Change starts when individuals see something that needs doing and they get in and do something about it. Changemakers come from all walks of life – men, women, young, experienced, different backgrounds, different cultures, different perspectives, people working in community groups, committees and boards, businesses with a positive impact for people, and even individuals helping out their neighbours. The depth and breadth of diversity is endless. The one thing they share in common is commitment.

This commitment and the people driving this change needs more acknowledgement and celebration. One way of celebrating this contribution is through writing about it.

With this in mind, it was lovely to be included in a recent book created by Brenda Stevens Chambers on Celebrating Bendigo Women. This book shares the stories of many women committed and contributing to their community going right back to 1850. It is just a taster of the amazing contribution women everywhere make, in Bendigo and beyond.  Brenda focused on Women because she saw there was a lack of knowledge about the contribution of women in Bendigo history books.

Although I haven’t yet read the entire book, flicking through and seeing all the women showcased is really inspiring, but also quite moving. It reminds me of how amazing people are, how amazing women are, how so many women go about their work not because they want recognition but because they care. They just do what needs to be done, they wouldn’t even see themselves as changemakers but they are – helping others, pushing boundaries, achieving great things. These women have and are making a difference in so many ways. Health, politics, arts, education, law, business, community just to name a few. I’m particularly interested in reading about how many women were employed during the war in previously male only positions and they were never really recognised for this.

Recognition and celebration is so important, and I’m just so humbled to be included in this book. There are many many more women I know of who could be there instead of me.

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