International Women's Day award winners

Thursday 08 March 2018

young lady djing at a community event

We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to nominate all of these fantastic women who have contributed something amazing in our community. A big thank you also goes to everyone who made this morning's event such a success. It was great to see all of your support in celebrating International Women's Day. 

The Inspirational Women of Yarra Award celebrates and acknowledges the unique and significant contribution women make to our city. Each year, an inspirational woman and group of women are recognised for their efforts and awarded this award.

In the individual category, Yvonne Gardner received the award for her significant contribution to the Yarra community for more than 3 decades. At the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis more than 30 years ago, she founded Positive Attitude Inc, a not for profit organisation that supports people living with HIV/AIDS. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership by supporting and providing comfort to people living with HIV/AIDS since the '80s, when many of those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS suffered from extreme stigma, isolation and discrimination.To this day, each Friday, Yvonne prepares a nutritious 3-course luncheon for people living with HIV at the old Fitzroy Club Rooms. At 76 years of age, Yvonne is a tireless volunteer and advocate for the LGBTIQ community, and we congratulate and thank her for her incredible commitment, drive and passion for her work with in the City of Yarra.

Yarra City Council Mayor Councillor Daniel Nguyen with award winner Yvonne Gardner and Deputy Mayor Councillor Misha Coleman

In the group category, it was difficult to choose between two incredible groups, so a big congratulations goes to our two award winners, The Multicultural Centre for Women's Health Bilingual Health Education Team and Fitzroy High School Feminist Collective!

The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) Bilingual Health Education Team is a group of remarkable migrant women who work in Yarra. They deliver evidence-based and engaging women’s health education and promotion in over 20 languages, and provide exceptional leadership to migrant women across Victoria. Together, they have accomplished some incredible achievements and each is an inspirational leader in her own right, making them wonderful recipients of this award. We thank them for their inspirational work.

Award winner posing with award

The Fitzroy High School Feminist Collective are a group of students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills by advocating for gender equality within their school and broader community. They have designed and delivered an independent feminist teaching resource which is freely available, designed to help teachers open up a dialogue about gender inequality and address the issue of rape culture. The collective has a sustained focus on activism and being change makers in their community by questioning the system and challenging others and we congratulate them for all they do in Yarra. To learn more about the group watch their video.

Thanks again to everyone who nominated an inspirational woman for an award today and congratulations to all our nominees. View the shortlist of all our wonderful nominees from today.

The week of celebrations is not over. Yarra will be hosting a number of community events until Sunday 11 March, including inspirational women guest speakers and panel discussions, DJ performances, art exhibitions, girls’ and women’s sports clinics, fashion shows and events supporting women in business. Find out how you can get involved in International Women's Day in Yarra by visiting the full program of events.

For further information on International Women’s Day, contact our Gender Equity team on 9205 5555 or email us at


Search for news