Visit Noosa | International Women's Week in Noosa 2016



International Women's Week in Noosa 2016

Upsized pottery, art, fashion, film, music, comedy, dance, strings, progressive thinkers and Duplo make up a week-long celebration of women for the International Women’s Week Festival in Noosa in March.

There are more than 100 speakers, performers and artists in venues across Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Gympie, coinciding with International Women’s Day and Queensland Women’s Week.

Women Initiating New Directions Organisation (WINDO Inc.) organises the festival which explores positive cultural change towards women and girls through thought leadership and the arts. After full houses at last year’s inaugural festival, the program is expanding to include nine events across three regions in seven days.

Program highlights include – see the full festival program here:

Le Passage de la Femme Art Exhibition, 5 – 29 March, The J (free entry), open Monday to Friday from 9am – 4.30pm:
Celebrating the works of French-born local artist, Michele Rudder, this exhibition explores the journey of the emotions of the feminine experience … joy, connection, loneliness, tough decisions and loss.

Pictured: Emma Kate Rose and Rob Pekin from Food Connect will speak at the Social Innovators Breakfast.

Social Innovators Networking Breakfast, Wednesday 6 March, The J ($32, ticketed event):
Discover innovative ways to solve social problems through business. Mingle with like-minded innovators and hear the story of savvy business and life partners Emma-Kate Rose (Chair of Queensland Social Enterprise Council) and Robert Pekin (former dairy farmer) of well known Brisbane social enterprise, Food Connect, who recently raised over $2 million with their community through an equity crowd-funding campaign to buy their warehouse and become Australia’s first community-owned local food hub.

When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move - Community Leadership Conference, 6 March, The J Noosa (ticketed event):
Inspired by a Chinese proverb, this new conference for progressive thinkers and business and community leaders includes panels of local and interstate experts discussing Women in Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Education, Cultural Identity, Inclusivity, Social Enterprise and Financial Empowerment.

Sunrise Inspo-Trek for Women, Thursday 7 March, Noosa National Park, 6am ($39, ticketed event):
Join local trek coach Lisa Marshall for a morning of hiking on beautiful trails, surrounded by ocean views and peaceful bushland. Discover hidden places and enjoy an inspiring talk, reflecting on how the lessons we learn in the wild can be applied to our everyday lives.

Pictured: Noosa Professional Dance Academy will perform at the Steppin' Out Variety Show

Steppin’ Out! Variety Show – International Women’s Day, 8 March, The J Noosa $25-$42, (ticketed event):
An evening of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers, music, singing, dance and laughter for women, men and teens.

Pictured: Alisha Todd and Lara-Jane Stewart, image by Attila Csaszar

The line-up includes award-winning singer, Catherine Alcorn, Survivor contestant Tara Pitt, men’s wellbeing expert James Greenfield, comedian Carolyn Mandersloot, singer songwriters Lara-Jane Stewart and Alisha Todd, Noosa Professional Dance Academy and Sunshine Beach State High School’s award-winning string orchestra.

Pictured: Appearing at the Steppin' Out Variety Show, Catherine Alcorn, MC Jenny Wynter and Tara Pitt.

For events at The J, 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction, book at or phone 5329 6560.

Pictured: Sharing a Moment with a Friend, by Michelle Rudder, at the Illuminate Art Exhibition.

Illuminate Art Exhibition, 3 March – 2 April, Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre (free entry):
A major hand-picked exhibition showcasing the works of 40 local artists, including the XX Factor potters. It explores the subject 'Contemporary Landscapes of Women Imagined' and features paintings, sculpture, new media installation, fashion and film; a commentary on the social, cultural and political landscapes that inform the artists' lives as women.

Pictured: Sculptures for the XX Factor exhibition, Pillars and potter Fiona Cuthbert O'Meara.

Butter Factory Arts Centre coordinator Alicia Sharples says the multi-media exhibition provides insight into the diverse practices of the region’s female creatives.
Artist Cherry Logar (pictured above) found inspiration to create her new body of work that will be featured in Illuminate, in an unlikely place. Her works explore sexuality and ideas of love in the future, and for her latest piece, she used her children’s Duplo set to cast her plaster, breast-like moulds. A cottle (its official term) is typically a custom-cut wooden object, designed to hold plaster as it dries into a specific shape.

“I just grabbed the nearest thing as quickly as possible,” Cherry said. The final work is an iridescent installation under black lighting. Alicia says Cherry’s Duplo cottle gives an idea of how artists juggle more than one ‘hat’ in their life. “It’s interesting to reflect on the connection in this work, which teeters between functional and sexual, and was created out of functional objects in her everyday life,” she said.

Pictured: Cherry Logar with her work in progress.

The XX Factor pottery exhibition features “upsized” works by 13 potters, all over half a metre in size.

The official opening is from 3pm – 5pm, Sunday March 3. All welcome, free entry, cash bar available. The exhibitions continue until 2 April. The Butter Factory Arts Centre is at 11A Maple St, Cooroy, open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

WINDO is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to honour, celebrate and advance women's talents, innovations and endeavours across all facets of life. This festival coincides with International Women’s Day and Queensland Women’s Week, and has been a collaboration with councils, community and business organisations, leaders, schools, educators, artists and high-profile and progressive local and interstate speakers.

WINDO founder and president Jeanette Dal Santo says she hopes the festival will inspire and connect the community to explore possible solutions for the future. “Thought leadership opens both women and men to important and innovative perspectives,” she says. “The arts allows them to feel. It’s a different way to empathise, heal and advance our understanding that isn’t necessarily possible through thought alone. “Men’s and boy’s perspectives are fundamental to this conversation and we invite them to both speak and participate in the WINDO International Women’s Week Festival.”

See more at

Main image: Alisha Todd will perform at the Steppin' Out Variety Show, photo by Attila Csaszar