For Suzan Gencerler, co-owner at Ahmet’s Turkish Restaurant, International Women’s Day is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of women everywhere, including those who share her Turkish heritage.
“There is still a gender struggle going on in Turkey, making it harder for women to be heard and represented,” Suzan says. “There has been an increasingly positive shift in this perception since the 1980s, but politically and socially, there is still more to be done to increase the status of women to be equivalent to men.”
“This is one of the reasons I wanted to host an International Women’s Day lunch at Ahmet’s – to create a space where we can talk about the issues that affect women across all cultures, and what we can do to affect change, even in small ways.”
Suzan herself has been inspired by many women throughout history, one being the rebellious Alexandra Kollontai, who played an integral part in the Communist Revolution in Russia, and whose work saw her appointed as Soviet Ambassador to Norway – one of the first women to hold a post of such high rank.
Today, another woman affecting change in a significant way within Australia is Hetty Johnston, founder and CEO of Bravehearts Inc. – who some of you may already know from her extensive work in child protection.
As well as being awarded 2015 Queensland Australian of the Year, Hetty has chaired the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee for three years, currently sits on the Federal Governments working party on Cyber-Safety, and is currently an advisor to the QLD Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, among many other works, commitments, and successful campaigns.
Carrying with her a strong message to affect change, which aligns perfectly with this year’s IWD motto of Make it Happen, Hetty will address attendees of Ahmet’s International Women’s Day Lunch. Susan hopes her work will inspire other women in their daily lives.
Ahmet’s is also honoured to have Juliette Wright, founder of GIVIT as a guest speaker for the event. Juliette founded GIVIT is 2009 with a core purpose to match people who are willing to give with those who are in need. In 2011 when Queensland was hit by devastating floods, GIVIT became the state government’s official website for matching donations – with 1.8 million hits resulting in 33,500 goods matched over three weeks.
In 2014 Juliette launched GIVIT Kids, a safe online platform enabling children to give new and pre-loved belongings to meet the urgent material needs of Australian families. Juliette worked with the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment to integrate GIVIT Kids into the Years 3, 5 and 6 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.
Juliette’s inspiring positive ‘can-do’ attitude and work as a social entrepreneur was recently recognised by the prestigious National Australia Day Council, with Juliette awarded 2015 Queensland Local Hero and finalist in Australia’s Local Hero 2015.
The lunch will be held on March 8 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm and Ahmet’s is proud to donate $5,000 to UN Women Australia in the name of International Women’s Day.
Better yet, each booking will receive a complimentary platter, as well as a glass of sparkling on arrival. It’s the perfect excuse to catch up with the ladies for lunch, whilst supporting a number of wonderful causes.
Entry is free, however bookings are essential.
For more information about the event and to book your spot, please head here or call 07 3073 9506.