Umina woman chosen for council advisory group
Ms Sally Jope of Umina has been chosen as a member of the new Central Coast Status of Women Advisory Group.
Members of the Group were appointed through an expression of interest process.
Ms Jope was the only Peninsula resident chosen out of the 10 community representatives.
They will provide advice, advocate and raise awareness of issues that affect women on the Central Coast as well as promoting local networks and events that celebrate women in the community.
Ms Jope, who is chair of the Central Coast Community Womens' Health Centre, said she decided to express interest in becoming a community representative because of her passion about gender equity.
"An aspect of that is about seeing women in leadership positions and an aspect of that is seeing women as councillors as well as in senior executive positions within council and then across the rest of the community," Ms Jope said.
She said she moved to Umina as a single parent, attracted by the affordable housing in the 1980s.
"I was living in Petersham and had two children and needed to get a bit of security," she said.
She said she believed the major challenges for women of working age in the Peninsula community included "getting a job and getting a well-paid, permanent job and being able to access childcare and before and after school care.
"My daughter has four children, they live close by and I am very much backup nan," she said.
"She and her husband are away 12 hours a day because they work in Sydney.
"If you can find work on the Coast that is great but you pay by a cut in salary so unless you have got family nearby as a backup for sick children and so on. It is really difficult."
Ms Jope said she believed the new Status of Women Advisory Group initiatives would be well-supported by Council, and would "raise the profile of women in employment on the Coast".
"Women's work is invisible, it is trivialised, it is unpaid or underpaid and it is essential work."
Her aspiration for the Status of Women Advisory Group is that it can work with Local Government NSW and across the country to ensure the Central Coast Council is positioned as a leader in gender equality issues.
"I would love to see the Council reach the top of that and for us to be really proud of our council because it was doing such a good job around gender, that would be a good start," she said.
Council director Ms Julie Vaughan said Council was overwhelmed by the response from the community to be part of a group to empower and support women across the Coast.
"We received a large number of applications from women wanting to step up and represent women on the Central Coast," Ms Vaughan said.
"The 10 successful applicants bring with them a vast range of skills and experience, and represent a diverse range of backgrounds, age groups and areas of the Central Coast.
"The group will identify strategies to develop social, economic and personal leadership opportunities for women."
Cr Lisa Matthews will chair the advisory group and will be joined by fellow Councillors and Julie Vaughan as well as the successful 10 members of the community.
Other councillors who have volunteered to sit on the advisory group were deputy mayor Cr Chris Holstein, Cr Jillian Hogan, Cr Jilly Pilon, Cr Kyle MacGregor, Cr Doug Vincent.
Mayor Cr Jane Smith said International Women's Day on Thursday, March 8, was the perfect time to announce the new advisory group.
"The group will work to foster participation from women to establish networks, create and participate in organised women's events and promote a regional focus," Cr Smith said.
The other community appointees were Christine Arnaldi of Hamlyn Terrace, Sharon Walsh, of Saratoga, Miranda Cashin of Avoca Beach, Danielle Habib of Chittaway Point, Belinda Kimpton of Wyoming, Sharryn Brownlee of Woongarrah, Margot Castles of Shelly Beach, Danielle Hobday of Mangrove Mountain and Courtney Jones of Toukley.
Media release, 5 Mar 2018
Julie Vaughan, Central Coast Council
Interview, 6 Mar 2018
Sally Jope, Umina
Reporter: Jackie Pearson