Western Queensland women set to WOW at Festival

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Women of the World (WOW) Festival is coming to Western Queensland and will put a spotlight on artistic talent from communities such as Charleville and Longreach.

In Longreach today for the program launch, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Women of the World Festival will celebrate the stories and lives of the women and girls of these communities and prompt important conversations about the barriers of gender.

“The opening night of WOW Longreach and WOW Charleville will be just that- WOW,” Minister Enoch said.

“Longreach based artists Joyce Crombie and Jean Barr-Crombie will showcase their incredible artwork designs as part of Canvas to Catwalk featuring Red Ridge, the label’s collection.

“Coinciding with NAIDOC Week celebrations, and highlighting First Nation artists expressing themselves through fashion, this collection of wearable art about the cosmos, responds to last year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Always was, Always will be’.”

Aunty Joyce Crombie said Red Ridge the Label is a journey to encourage women to bring stories to life, from canvas to the catwalk in fashions.

“The Diamantina and Georgina collection with artwork by Two Sister’s Talking from the Diamantina area is an example for all Aboriginal women to shine and lead the way,” Aunty Joyce Crombie said.

The festival programs in both Longreach and Charleville feature a full day of workshops with a focus on empowering women, in addition to a marketplace of local women-led businesses and services with speed mentoring that will enable attendees to meet new people and network.

In Longreach, a full day of inspirational stories and workshops will be held including the sharing of leadership stories featuring The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO and Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young, African dancing, a Yarning Circle, and a celebration of 30 years of ABC’s Landline Women, facilitated by Pip Courtney.

Cathy Hunt, Executive Producer of WOW Australia, said they are delighted to work with the women of Western Queensland to develop these celebrations and ensure their voices are now heard in the global WOW movement, as they work together to find solutions to end gender discrimination and highlight the ways women and girls create tangible change in their communities.

The WOW festival has grown to become an iconic event on Queensland’s cultural calendar, supporting experiences and story telling that invigorate and connect communities, address important local social issues, create employment opportunities and build creative skills and career pathways.

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government is once again supporting this Festival as principal partner for the third year with $60,000 in funding through the Queensland Arts Showcase Program.

“WOW Festivals drive important social, cultural and economic outcomes across Queensland communities.

“The festival will be a great way to celebrate Queensland culture and stories, and I encourage everyone – women, girls, boys and men to explore the program and enjoy the activities on offer.”

WOW Longreach will be held from 2-3 July 2021 and WOW Charleville 4-5 June.

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