Parkes celebrates International Women's Day with luncheon

In Quota's celebration of International Women's Day in Parkes, two brilliant local speakers enthralled and encouraged 200 women, including several local high school students, to make the most of their talents and opportunities, and not to allow others to discourage them.

Hannah Hawker, a former Parkes Showgirl winner, became the Parkes High School's first Wellness Head Teacher last year.

This role involves a multitude of things which encourage resilience and self-belief, vision and empowerment in our young women.

Hannah also teaches English and is involved in sport, saying that she was very lucky that in the equestrian world - her chosen sport - males and females have always been on equal footing.

Hannah said was lucky to have always had tremendous love and support from her family to follow her ambitions, and that we need more women in powerful positions so that all women can do what they want.

Helen Magill, Parkes tennis champion, Parkes Tennis Club president and amazing coach, is someone who has smashed the glass ceiling.

Helen believes we all have our own personal calling which we should follow, and hers is tennis.

In coaching, Helen teaches her students decision making and respect and said that character development is most important for success.

In 2010 she was the first female to be named NSW Coach of the Year and doors have been opening ever since.

For the last eight years she has been telling coaches from all over the world about how we do it in the bush, and they all listen.

Like Hannah, Helen has had unconditional support from her family.

She encourages everyone to be adventurous, saying life is about using the whole box of crayons and that every shade of every colour adds to its meaning and richness.

International Women's Day celebrates the progress women have made in being treated equally, but also how much still needs to be done, both at home and in the rest of the world.

But on this Sunday (March 10), it was mainly celebration - as we also enjoyed Nancy Cayo Colca and her friends demonstrating the exercise fitness program Zumba, her daughter Hannah Dun - who was a runner-up in this year's National Busking Championships - singing and making us wonder why she wasn't the winner.

Cr Barbara Newton also enchanted us with her beautiful singing.

Then there was all the chatter and laughter.

Not only do we have great talent in Parkes, none of the celebrations in the "Big Smoke" could have been any better.