Many Western Australian clubs have taken steps to support women’s health and well-being in the community. From addressing social issues and women’s health or just providing a space for women in the community to share their stories, two clubs have made a large effort to foster this message.
The Women’s Powder Room
The Women’s Powder Room (WPR) is a grassroots club founded in 2012 with the sole mission of empowering women. This community-driven club aims to promote, enhance and maintain the welfare, education and cultural needs of women. Their rooms foster a safe and inclusive space for women to gather, share their experiences and knowledge, and provide appropriate consultation on community issues.
Situated at the Old Maida Vale Kindergarten building, the club mainly provides their services to women in the greater Kalamunda region, but is open to everyone in the state. WPR members gather every Tuesday evening for craft sessions and every Friday morning for a cuppa.
As the WPR community has grown over the years, they have collaborated with several organisations in order to support their mission and assist with charity work. Sewing for Charity is one of the organisations that WPR supports by creating handmade items during their craft sessions. This empowers the community by donating these items to people suffering from distress, health crises, and other issues.
WPR are always looking to create a safe and beautiful space for their members to meet. The club rooms are currently undergoing redevelopment, which will provide an improved garden space and wheelchair accessibility. The refurbishment of the rooms will benefit partner organisations such as Rotaract and the Red Hatter Group for whom they provide a space to gather. These two organisations also support the empowerment and education of women in society.
The Women’s Powder Room is open to people from all areas. For more information about the club, visit their website or email them at email@example.com.
The Albany Roller Derby League
Bringing the 1930s back to life, the Albany Roller Derby League (ARDL) is a great place for men and women over 18 years of age to bring new life to an old sport. The club was founded in 2014 and is home to many people who are keen to participate in the sport, socialise, or raise money for charity.
While ARDL is open to both men and women, it provides programs to support women and their health. Skate Like a Girl is a roller-skating program open to girls between the ages of 12 and 17 and focuses on women’s mental health. This program is run alongside the guidance of Headspace Albany, who provide the club with mental health literacy for the skaters each term. Earlier this year, ARDL also participated in the Push-Up Challenge and helped raise $17,000 for mental health.
Club president Natalie Jarvis said that while COVID-19 has been a challenge for the club, they have continued to provide support for their members and the broader community. With no games to play in the 2020 league, the club maintained strong communication with their members by holding online events and eventually social gatherings at the club. These events helped raise money for the Albany Women’s Refuge and Wear it Purple Day. Amidst lockdown and isolation, ARDL stayed connected with their female and male members through their interactive Self-Care Bingo. This reinforced their mission to enhance the mental and physical health of their community members (pictured).
The Albany Roller Derby League hopes to restart their league in 2021. However, if you want to participate in other social events, you can find out more at their website (www.albanyrollerderby.com.au) or visit their roller derby track at 300 Roundhay Street, Albany.
How women have impacted the industry
There is no better example of the impact women have had in several industries than the Women’s AFL (AFLW). While Australian rules football is considered a maledominated sport, the introduction of AFLW proved to be a formidable movement for women in sport. Since its first year, AFLW viewership has increased significantly, and women’s participation in the sport has doubled from 30,000 to 60,000 between the years 2017-2018. These increases and traction have shown the positive impact of gender diversity in sport and has also created a new avenue of business as a result of its popularity.
Inclusiveness of both genders has proved to have positive impacts in sustaining the success of clubs and creating an equal playing field. The Women’s Powder Room and the Albany Roller Derby League have shown great initiative and support for women’s health and wellbeing across the state by providing inclusive opportunities for women and promoting changes that can last a lifetime.