Girls get confidence from strong mentors

Nikkie Dobinson and Jayze Pollard get creative in the craft session.
Nikkie Dobinson and Jayze Pollard get creative in the craft session.

THE world is full of strong, successful women, and yet the 'she's just a girl' stigma seems to persist.

Proserpine State High School helped show their young women just how wrong this is last week, hosting their Girls' Day Out.

Throughout the day, students from Year 7, 8 and 9 participated in a series of workshops and speeches taking in everything from playing football to serving in the police force.

Whitsunday Kyokushin Karate Club instructor Belinda Woodham taught the girls how to defend themselves.

"We mainly go over the basic self defence skills that it doesn't hurt everyone to know," she said.

"No one ever really knows what's around the corner and even just thinking ahead and having a bit of a plan doesn't hurt."

However the sessions were about so much more than just new life skills, Ms Woodham said.

"(The mentors) inspire the girls to try to think of the big picture, and that they can do whatever they want to do if they put their mind to it," she said.

Whitsunday Regional Gallery director Jacinta Beatts, who held art workshops for the girls, agreed, saying the girls were invited up to act out the persistent negative stereotypes of women.

"For example, the saying 'you throw like a girl' - what we were trying to get across to them is that's actually putting every single one of us down," she said.

"It's about them getting up and being proud of being a girl.

"(The art workshop) was more of an enjoyable activity, but it also showed all of them that they can do it; they can do whatever they want."

Other mentors included local business owners, police officers, sportswomen, community servants and more.

Topics:  equality women

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