alert City of Parramatta will soon no longer support this version of IE. Consider upgrading your browser now. Link

International Women's Day 2024

International Women's Day is celebrated annually on 8 March to bring awareness of women’s issues; increase the visibility of women’s achievements in the community; and promote equality, diversity, and inclusion.  

This year’s campaign theme is “Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment”, which will examine the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere, and encourage equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead. 

Women of Parramatta


Count Her In


Sally-Ann Williams

CEO of Cicada Innovations

The Cicada HealthTech Hub, located inside Westmead Health and Innovation District, is a home to early stage health companies, a space for collaboration and commercialisation activation, and a landing pad for industry seeking solutions to their research and business challenges. We're helping to contribute to the vision of making Westmead a world-class innovation district in health and education.

“Why invest in women? Why wouldn't we. It makes sense - economically, socially and practically. Women make up over 50% of our population in Australia. If we want to solve the most pressing problems we are facing in the world we need to unlock access and opportunities for every woman to participate. We need their smarts. We need their contributions. We need them to be positioned in every level of public and private leadership. And each and every one of us has a role to play to achieve this. We need a whole of government, industry and community commitment to change. And an accountability and governance framework to keep us on track.” 

Women in pink suit

Professor Kate Stevens

Director of MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development

I’m the Director of MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University. With 90 staff and student researchers in Westmead, we lead and collaborate on research that optimises human interaction and well-being across the lifespan.

“Economic empowerment of women is the right thing to do. It grows individuals, communities, societies, and is associated with diverse views, experiences, ideas, and improved decision making. We can pass the invitation and opportunity on; for example, involve next generation colleagues as keynote speakers and panelists. Include, introduce, connect, listen, and learn. Insist on the Panel Pledge.”

Women in Orange suit

Emma Clarke

Director of Westmead Health Precinct Leadership Team, Western Sydney Local Health District

My role is about growing and developing the thriving innovation ecosystem we have at Westmead. There’s so much happening here right now and the future is just as exciting. I work alongside our Precinct Partners and many other stakeholders in continuing this growth and advancing Westmead for future generations. For the 20,000 staff that already work at Westmead, it’s about making it easy for them to get involved in initiatives here, and for those external or looking to get involved, the work we do helps them connect to the people they need to – the researchers, innovators, and clinicians at Westmead.

“When women are supported to achieve incredible things, all of society benefits. In turn, they become role models for girls and young women, and their stories become relatable and inspirational. I often use the quote, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’, which I think is vital.                
We can do our part to ensure girls and women are given access to opportunities and provided with mentors and the appropriate support structures they need to ensure they thrive.”

Emma Clarke in Dark pink suit

Laura Dodds

PhD student at Western Sydney University

I’m currently researching how we as individuals can change our lifestyle behaviours to reduce our risk of dementia. I am co-ordinating a program as part of my PhD that promotes awareness of the connection between lifestyle choices and dementia, and motivates people to make small and easy adjustments to build brain healthier habits.

“When women are economically empowered, the opportunities for growth and innovations are amplified for everyone. This IWD, support a business owned and operated by women; lean in to the potentially uncomfortable conversations about gender biases and stereotypes; and to all the women you know and love – be a safe space, a strong advocate, and encourage them to pursue the big dream of theirs.”

Women standing in Grey top

Alison Cui

Commercial Law Partner at HNT Legal

Day-to-day, I provide legal advice to individuals and SME sized businesses across Western Sydney.  I am also actively involved in the Parramatta business and legal community and sit on various Boards which support diversity in Parramatta. 

“Having been raised by a single mother, I have seen that education and economic empowerment is key to a woman's freedom to make the right choices for herself and her family. In the workplace, we need to understand that everyone's life story is different and that those differences do not discount them in the workplace and, in fact, elevates workplaces by diversifying and humanising staff. This needs to start at the recruitment process and carry forward into management practices.”

Woman standing with crossed arms

Vyoma Patel

Founder of Portfolio

In Parramatta, I'm dedicated to developing an AI copilot for solo-capitalists. Being on the ground in Western Sydney allows me to build for the users who live here to participate in startup investing. This innovation not only aims to empower local entrepreneurs but also empower the investment potential of a diverse community in Western Sydney and beyond.

“Economic empowerment is about giving women the chance to be financially independent because a stronger and wealthier group of diverse women can uplift the entire local economy. It's vital to 'count her in', ensuring that women and girls are afforded opportunities to shape and grow the economies of the future.”

Women holding her hand under chin


Historic articles celebrating women

Click on the button below to discover some incredible historic stories of women in our Parramatta community.


Parramatta Women


Upcoming events