TWO young Bathurst women will be meeting Foreign Minister Julie Bishop next week during a special trip to Canberra.
And one of them, recently graduated Bathurst High student Eve Currie, says she can’t wait.
“She [Ms Bishop] is an absolute icon of female empowerment and leadership and I could not think of anyone more prominent in leadership as a female,” Ms Currie said this week.
Ms Currie, 18, and All Saints’ College student Rose Denovan, 17, are two of the 15 winners of Country to Canberra’s annual Leadership Competition, which aims to help young rural women reach their leadership potential.
Winners were chosen from all over Australia and this year, unusually, Bathurst supplied both the young women selected to represent NSW.
To win their place on the trip to Canberra, Ms Currie and Ms Denovan each wrote an essay on creating pathways to power for women.
Ms Denovan said she wrote about removing cultural barriers to empowerment at primary and high school levels, while Ms Currie said she wrote about how young women are already empowered.
“We need to get rid of the stereotype that women can't be powerful, they can't do the same things as men,” she said.
During their three-day trip to Canberra, which begins on Sunday, they will work on their communication skills, attend a Powerful Women’s Breakfast, tour Parliament House and, of course, meet with Ms Bishop.
Ms Currie said she had been shown by her mother, her grandmothers, her aunties and her teachers that there is nothing women can’t do or achieve.
“All you have to do is put in the work,” she said.
“Female empowerment has always been demonstrated to me. I never thought that I should not be empowered.”
Ms Denovan said her interest in the topic had grown as she got older and she saw female friends discouraged from pursuing traditionally male fields like science or technology, which she said was “ridiculous”.
Country to Canberra, which was founded in 2014, is an Australian not-for-profit organisation.