CIC Higher Education launched the Women’s Empowerment Program early this year as a way of sharing the transformative power of community and connection among women, for both students and staff on campus. The group, which is open to the female campus community, is the brainchild of Kerry Tucker, coordinator of Campus Events, Alumni and Engagement at CIC Higher Education.
According to Kerry, the program is one of CIC’s initiatives to empower women on campus and help them form networks of support in order to address feelings of loneliness, isolation, fear and harassment, among other issues. It aims to (1) empower women so they can make their own choices, (2) alleviate their fears so that they can have the freedom to focus on their studies and (3) assist them in understanding how their education will impact their future and give them independence, strength and choices.
Since its inception, women in the campus have been opening up and sharing their journey. “It is heartwarming to hear their stories of resilience, growth and courage,” Kerry says. “The feedback thus far is very encouraging. We started off with the presentation on women’s safety where we introduced WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange), a support and referral service run by women and non-binary people for women, non-binary and gender-diverse people in the state of Victoria. Women particularly appreciated the information on available helplines.”
Among the topics that have been tackled in the presentations are: WIRE – Presentation of Women’s Safety and Culture and Value Systems – Identity and Academia. Upcoming topics slated in September and November are:
- Women’s Employability – Skills and Positive Brand (September)
- Women’s Employability – Business Communication and Presentation (November)
- Recognising Unsafe Situations/Abuse – Ongoing Resources (November)
Kerry hopes that the program will make a real long-term difference. “I hope that it will become a campus tradition and have CIC known for it as we advance our institution’s culture of engagement.”
For more details on the Women’s Empowerment Program, students may email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Kerry discloses that a similar program for men is in the pipeline. “A Male Awareness Program will start sometime in October. We’re still finalising the details but the speakers that we plan to bring in will also address cultural issues and international students’ rights, tackled in a non-threatening environment,” Kerry adds.