WINSC to Celebrate 20 years of History
It was in 1996 when a group of key women associated with the fishing industry in South Australia were brought together to explore opportunities for involvement of women in the seafood industry. They noted that traditionally there has been little acknowledgement on the role and contribution of women in the industry and wanted to make a change.
Leonie Noble, current President of the Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community (WINSC), said that the Board wanted to make better use of an ‘untapped resource’ to further develop Australia’s seafood industry.
“It was clear at the time of forming the organisation that women wanted to become more involved in their industry,” she said.
“So, in February of 1998, South Australia hosted a workshop, ‘capitalising on the Talents of Women in the South Australian Fishing Industry’, sponsored by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).”
“It was from that workshop that a national Board was convened and started work.”
She said one of the key outcomes from the workshop was the creation of an action plan for future operations of the women’s network, so it might best serve the needs of the seafood industry nationally.
“In June 2000, the national WINSC was incorporated as a Registrable Australian Body.”
Today, the not-for-profit, independent WINSC is the only national organisation in Australia which represents women of the seafood industry in each state. It is managed by an Executive Committee and controlled by a National Board of Directors, aiming to enhance the role of seafood women involved in this network for the benefit of the seafood industry as a whole.
“The organisation provides a unique network to one of Australia’s most valuable resources – women – across a variety of seafood sectors including professional fishing, wild-catch, aquaculture, processing, marketing, research, policy and resource management and all through the supply chain.”
Leonie said that it is a misconception that the seafood sector is male dominated – the exception being a small percentage make-up Board positions in the sector.
“55% of people in the seafood industry are women, but they make up only 5% of change management/board positions in the sector.”
WINSC is working on changing that figure by ensuring women who work in the sector are highly visible and acknowledged.
“If you are invisible then you are not in the mix,” she said.
“We encourage seafood women to sign up to WINSC, to have the opportunity to help make a difference, and be supported through mentoring, leadership learning opportunities, networking opportunities and lobbying,” she said.
WINSC 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner
Tickets are selling fast for the WINSC 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner. Held on Friday 19th October from 7pm until 11.30pm, the dinner aims to celebrate 20 years of the organisation and honour the contribution of women across the seafood industry. The ticket price ($110 non-members, $88 members) includes a 3-course dinner and beverages.
Key highlights for the evening will be the announcement of the first women to be inducted into the inaugural WINSC Women’s Honour Roll and a presentation from inspirational Gill Hicks. Gill began her career as a motivational speaker and author in the wake of the 7 July 2005 London Bombings. Today she is considered across the world to be one of the most inspirational and life affirming speakers.