You can’t value what you can’t see

You can’t value what you can’t see

On International Women’s Day, the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC) recognised the contributions of three of its foremothers by naming three classrooms after them.

Yarra Mayor Claudia Nguyen spoke and unveiled the new classroom names, and the event was attended by Yarra Cr Amanda Stone.

The centre manager for 23 years, Mary Parfrey; the further education manager for 25 years, Sarah Deasey, and community development worker for 30 years, Panayota Miller, collectively contributed 78 years to CNLC and the Carlton community. They left a legacy of a thriving Neighbourhood House that continues to provide relief and support to people in need.

By renaming the classrooms after these women, CNLC honours their contributions and their significant role in shaping the organisation and improving the lives of people in Carlton. The Mary Parfrey Room, The Sarah Deasey Room and The Panayota Miller Room will serve as a reminder of their dedication and commitment.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year was “Embrace Equity”. The campaign theme was to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. Equity means creating an inclusive world and recognising and celebrating the contribution of women.

According to a 2020 analysis Melbourne has at least 53 public statues and memorials dedicated to men, compared to only six dedicated to women. Historically, many buildings and landmarks in Melbourne have been named after men. In recent years, there has been a growing movement to recognise and honour more women and people from diverse backgrounds in the naming of buildings and public spaces.

You can’t value what you can’t see. And you can’t be what you can’t see. The recognition of these women is a timely reminder of the importance of acknowledging the work and contributions of women.

Our current and future students and clients will be able to learn about and appreciate the valuable impact of these three women as we acknowledge and celebrate the women who have paved the way for us and who continue to work tirelessly to create a better world. •

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