• ECCI

Esperance Women's Leadership Network hears of Challenges Overcome

Three inspiring stories of perseverance were told at the October Esperance Women's Leadership Network.


The October 17 event, hosted by the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Esperance Bay Yacht Club, featured presentations from legendary Esperance farmer Marg Agnew, Nationals WA leader Mia Davies and ground-breaking teacher Dr Helen McCarthy.


Local farmer Marg Agnew has dedicated her life to the agricultural industry and was the first woman on a number of farming committees.

Mrs Agnew spoke about the sexism she faced as she advanced in the male-dominated farming industry.

"Slowly over time I was asked to be on various committees. I do believe that my generation paved the way for younger women to be involved in agriculture," she said.


Ms Davies thanked Mrs Agnew for making things easier for future generations of women and spoke about her own challenges such as overcoming shyness and working in the male-dominated field of politics.

The party leader said she kept going despite these challenges because of the good outcomes she saw in regional WA as a result of her and colleagues' efforts.

"You've got to push through self-doubts and nervousness. Every job comes with bits that you don't like and that aren't your favourite part, but the good bits mean you push through that self-doubt," Ms Davies said.


Dr Helen McCarthy has worked with Indigenous students across primary, secondary and tertiary levels for 40 years.

She spoke about her use of basketball to drive better outcomes for Aboriginal girls as part of the Clontarf program.

Dr McCarthy moved away from a traditional way of teaching and taught in a way that was culturally appropriate.

This resulted in improved academic outcomes as well as improved health outcomes for the students.

Marg Agnew, Mia Davies and Helen McCarthy. Photo: Jake Dietsch

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