Belinda Sleeman All Star female NRL referee

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2019

#BalanceForBetter – This is the theme for International Women’s Day 2019. The goal is to spread the message that “a balanced world is a better world” and challenge ourselves to be more gender-balanced. As well as advocating for gender equality, the day aims to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness against bias.

At Youi HQ on the Sunshine Coast, we will be hosting an event for our staff to raise money for charities "Homes of Hope" with Habitat for Humanity. This project aims to assist women and children who are experiencing homelessness often due to domestic and family violence. We will be raising funds to send a team of ten Youi volunteers to help renovate and make improvements to housing and shelters for these families. 

In light of International Women’s Day this Friday, we thought we would take this opportunity to highlight some of the incredible achievements of women in Australia over the last year.

Here’s what’s happened across the country since last year’s International Women’s Day.

1.  Belinda Sleeman – Australia’s first female NRL Referee

Belinda is the first female referee to be appointed in the NRL. That’s right, until now, NRL referees have only been male. Hailing from Brisbane, Belinda has officially made history as the first woman to take the field in a referee jersey, and as sponsors of the NRL, we couldn’t be prouder. Belinda not only has one of the toughest jobs on the field, off the field she works as a Marketing and Communications Manager for Queensland Touch Football. Belinda was also the first female match official in the Rugby League World Cup in 2017.

2.  Catia Malaquias – Founder & Director of Starting with Julius

In addition to being a busy Mum to three young children, Catia is also a Lawyer, Board Director and Founder and Director of Starting with Julius. This not for profile organisation is committed to promoting equality and inclusion of those with disabilities, especially in relation to media and cultural representation as well as education. Recently, Catia was announced winner of both the “Australian Human Rights Award – Tony Fitzgerald Community Individual” and the “Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence 2018 Award – Diversity and Inclusion”.

3.  Dr. Naba Alfayadh - Co-Founder & CEO of Happy Brain Education

It’s not every day you stumble across someone doing incredible work like that of Dr. Naba Alfayadh. Naba was born in Iraq, but since moving to Australia, has continued to build a long resume. Naba is the Co-Founder and CEO of Happy Brain Education, which offers free tutoring and mentoring for students from refugee backgrounds. The organisation is also involved with projects focused on youth homelessness, refugee advocacy and youth mental health. Naba was recently recognised for her work by winning the Young Leader award at the “Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards 2018”.

There are International Women’s Day events being held across the country throughout the week so why not get involved. More info can be found by visiting the International Women's Day Website.