WOW Australia will deliver a series of events across Queensland in 2021 as an alternative to the multi-day Brisbane based WOW Australia Festival. A range of smaller gatherings and activities will celebrate the achievements of women and girls living in remote and regional areas and build program ideas for another major Festival in Brisbane in 2022. With visionary support from the Queensland Government as Principal Partner, WOW Australia events will take place across the State. Locations will be finalised following a series of consultative events this Spring.
In true WOW Australia style, the highly anticipated programs will be developed locally by communities and contribute to the economic, cultural and social recovery of Queensland. Each of the events will see a partnership with a regional or remote organisation, building local capacity, as well as enabling knowledge exchange between rural and urban changemakers. The scale and nature of events will be flexible ensuring COVID-Safe experiences in line with Queensland Health guidelines at all times.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says:
"I'm delighted that WOW Australia has found an impactful and far-reaching way to celebrate Women of the World in 2021.
COVID-19 may have placed limits on how we are able to come together to celebrate, but there are no limits set on Queenslanders' creativity nor our resolve to embrace gender equality and promote and protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of women and girls across our State, including our rural and remote areas.
"The Queensland Government is proud to be a principal partner of the revamped 2021 celebration, and we look forward to the WOW Australia Festival re-emerging in Brisbane in 2022."
WOW events are known for their dynamic energy, with a fusion of conversations, workshops and performances enabling women and girls to create tangible change in their communities. Thought leaders mix with activists, workshop facilitators, students and community members, creating a unique atmosphere to drive innovation and personal development.
Global Advisor for the WOW Foundation and Executive Producer of WOW Australia Cathy Hunt says:
"We are delighted that the Queensland Government and our strategic partners have recognised the role our conversations and celebrations have in the economic and social recovery of the State. Support for community inspired cultural events in regional, remote and rural towns will ensure the voices of women and girls are celebrated and their ideas for creating a gender equal world are heard."
Major sponsors and advocates for gender equality, Griffith University and QSuper, are continuing their support of the WOW Australia initiative, enabling these events to take place and specific support has also been received from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, which recognises the role WOW celebrations play in building the capacity of communities to improve their vibrancy, connectedness, and resilience.
Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Carolyn Evans says:
"Engagement with WOW provides Griffith with a wonderful opportunity to further promote a diversity of voices on gender equity as well as helping support action and change."
The regional events are expected to create opportunities for engagement for thousands of participants. In addition, public performances will be hosted in each location, driving tourism and leisure industries, as well as supporting the careers of Queensland artists. Much of the program will be supported with online offerings, allowing these events to have far-reaching impact across Queensland, Australia and the world.
Michael Pennisi, CEO of QSuper says:
"There is a lot to celebrate about the role of women across the community but the WOW program also highlights where there remains a lot to do to achieve gender equality, especially in remote and regional areas. QSuper's emphasis has been to advance the retirement outcomes for women by empowering them to improve their financial literacy and wellbeing throughout their life."
Each WOW program is informed by strong community engagement, with a series of consultations with stakeholders. WOW Think In events will take place between September and November 2020, with a full program of dates and locations for 2021 to be released in December.