This morning, the Islamic Museum of Australia hosted its inaugural International Women’s Day Morning Tea, with guest speaker, the Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria.
The Governor spoke with candour about the challenges still existing for women with gender parity, domestic violence and misogyny, locally and internationally. With a mix of anecdotal observations and statistics, she also conveyed her recognition of the collateral effect everyday women leaders yield in their efforts to up the ante. This Morning Tea was a testimony to the collective support women show for their families, communities and societies in shaping a better future for the next generation, she said.
Aseel Tayah , a performance artist, delivered a touching tribute to mothers with two beautiful Arabic folk-songs from Egypt and Palestine. She dedicated these tributes to Palestinian mothers and hers in particular, bringing many women in the room to tears in solidarity with hers.
The concluding performance came from local Spoken Word artist, Rania Ahmed, who has been writing poetry since age 12, but only performing for the past 12 months. Her delivery had audience members entranced, speaking to themes of ambition and sovereignty.
All three presenters today, represented International Women’s Day with a sincerity that was palpable. The event was expertly emceed by IMA Director, Sherene Hassan, who as always, steered with a combination of humour, intelligence and cheesy games to a delighted crowd!
Audience feedback indicated the event was a resounding success between all speakers, amazing food, community spirit and energy. Many participants went on to tour the museum, including the visiting exhibition of the Islamic Coins; A Journey Through Islamic Civilisations. Again, feedback from visitors here showed a significant interest in this space and fascination for the intricacy of the coins and the legacies they carried.
In all, this Morning tea was a signature success on the IMA calendar, bringing in long term supporters and new ones, including the Governor it is hoped, will visit again.