It was a crisp Autumn morning on Tuesday 29 April when YWCA of Canberra  members, supporters and distinguished guests converged on The Lobby restaurant to celebrate World YWCA Day with the Round the World Breakfast.

Guests were treated to a delicious breakfast, while listening to a moving and inspiring speech from the ACT Chief Minister, The Hon. Katy Gallagher MLA about her personal leadership journey. They also had the chance to win some wonderful prizes and participate in an exciting silent auction during breakfast, before YWCA of Canberra President, Jane Alver, announced the 2014 recipients of the Great Ydeas Grants.

The Great Ydeas Small Grants Program supports women from Canberra and the surrounding regions to achieve their full potential, and enhance their contribution to themselves, their families and their community.

A big congratulations to Hannah McCann, HannahWandel, Caterina Giorgi, Caitlin Sandercock, and
Heidi Zajac for being awarded with Great Ydeas grants this year.

Caterina Giorgi, People for Purpose

People for Purpose (P4P) is a pilot project that will develop and implement tailored professional development training to support women working in the ACT not-for-profit sector, such as advocacy campaign design, strategic communications, and project management. The project will include a ‘Getting to Know the Sector’ training course, featuring presentations from established Sector workers and leaders. Upon completion, participants will become members of the P4P Ideas Network, a sounding board and support system to assist in professional ideas development and problem solving.

Hannah McCann, attendance at the Femme Conference 2014

The Femme Conference is held bi-annually in the United States and seeks to explore, discuss, dissect, and support Queer Femme as a transgressive, gender-queer, stand-alone, and empowered identity, and provide a space for organising and activism within Queer communities. After attending the Conference, Hannah will present her PhD research on queer femme identity.

Caitlin Sandercock, Development and Aid Workers Network

The Development and Aid Workers Network (DAWN) is an online knowledge hub for volunteer and professional aid and development workers. The project aims to enhance DAWN by developing a suite of new resources for aid workers, recruiting volunteers to provide advice on key topics, and advocating for accreditation by country embassies.

Hannah Wandel, Country to Canberra

Country to Canberra gives passionate rural girls the opportunity visit Canberra, Australia’s heart of decision-making, to motivate leadership potential. It aims to combat unique barriers faced by regional and remote students, and strengthen links between them and Australia’s political epicentre. The project will run an essay competition for Year 11 students, with the winner travelling to Canberra to attend a breakfast with four powerful female community leaders, and participate in tours of Parliament House and the National Gallery.

Heidi Zajac, Cooking Circles

The Cooking Circles project will leverage digital communication and social media to connect Australian and Timorese young women to share cooking processes and recipes, stories, and build friendships. Each Cooking Circles event will be recorded using video, stills photography and blogging technology, and shared via social media. The project will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about community development, gender equality and strengths-based work.

Hannah McCann, Femme Hive Conference

The Femme Hive Conference 2014 in Berlin, Germany. This is a newly arranged community venture and seeks to explore the identity “femme”. The conference organisers describe Femme Hive as an exploration of: the complexity and queerness of femme; the freakish and non-heteronormative nature of femme; the queering of femininity/the feminine; the concept of femme feminism; varying cultural interpretations and relationships to queer feminine; the currency (and place) of femme/the feminine in queer spaces; femme sexuality/desire; the fear of the feminine/femme-inine. This year the conference runs from 10-12 October, and Hannah has proposed to the organisers that she present her PhD research on queer femme identity and the resistant possibilities of femme at the conference.

We’d like to thank our members and friends who generously donated prizes for the silent auction and prize draw:The Brumbies, YWCA of Canberra Treasurer Betty Ferguson, Bing Lee, Endota Spa, Simplicity Retreats, Crossfit Smash, Body to Burn, Margaret Allebone, Angela Koch, Beth Cox, Leani Viljoen, and Jac Torres-Gomez.

We’d also like to acknowledge our wonderful corporate and community friendswho purchased tables at the event this year: Westpac, UN Women, Griffin Legal, JBWere, andNAB.

We’re pleased to announce that we raised $1,835 for the YWCA Global Power to Change fund, which will help YWCAs in developing countries run leadership programs for young women.

If your organisation would like to pre-book a table for next year’s event, please contact