Dancing on a Glass Ceiling

Popular event Women Say Something returns for a new installment at the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Dancing on a Glass Ceiling

Image: An inspiring evening at Women Say Something

Female icons, frontrunners and innovators will be highlighted when Women Say Something: Dancing On The Ceiling (WSS) opens at Sydney Town Hall on Friday February 28 as part of the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras .

‘We’re celebrating women who have been successful in their chosen fields,’ said WSS Founder Steph Sands. ‘It’s an empowering yet entertaining event, where people can hear individual stories and be inspired by other women who have “made it” regardless of any adversity they have had to face along the way.’  

‘The event is all centred around the theme of dancing on the ceiling, which is really a pun on that idea of breaking through a glass ceiling. We thought dancing would be a fun take on that theme.’

Celebrating the achievements of women from all communities, the return event which sold out in 2013 will be presented as an evening of inspiring conversation, entertainment, engaging film and fine dining.

Sands is excited to reveal that the first group of women to be announced for this year’s event will be led by Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor, the highest ranking transgendered officer in the Australian Army. ‘She has been very instrumental in pushing an agenda in the Australian Army regarding unacceptable behaviour, predominantly against women. Her story of transition while continuing to serve in the Army is very inspirational. She is one of only six transgender people serving in the Army.’

Joining McGregor and making a special appearance at the event with her partner Libby O’Donovan will be Australian country music sensation Beccy Cole, who has released eight albums, with three reaching the ARIA Albums Chart top 40, and received nine Golden Guitar trophies at the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia.

‘Beccy Cole came out eighteen months ago as a same sex attracted women to a country music audience,’ said Sands. ‘She’s done a lot to promote acceptance of same sex relationships and marriage equality to a regional audience and has become a role model for regional youth.’

Also on the panel will be Merryn Johns, Editor in Chief of Curve Magazine, America’s best-selling lesbian magazine and founder of Australia’s LOTL Magazine and fourth generation wine maker Lisa McGuigan, who was recently named one of the 21 Most Influential Liquor Identities of the Past 21 Years by her peers in the industry.

Beach Volleyball player Natalie Cook will also be joining the event. Natalie is the first Australian athlete to compete at five Olympic Games and has won several medals for Australia. Finally, Australian classical musician Sally Whitwell, whose  three solo albums have all reached top five on the ARIA Charts' Classical Albums, and winner of two Aria Awards, will deliver a finale that will leave the audience gasping. 

More speakers and entertainers will be announced in the coming weeks and Sands said these will not disappoint.

Sands added that WSS connects extremely well with the unifying theme of the Kaleidoscope, which has been used to develop the vibrant 2014 Mardi Gras program. ‘Kaleidoscope is the perfect theme for Mardi Gras and helps brings together a very diverse community of people. WSS lends itself to that theme quite well having always assembled a diverse line-up over our past twelve events. The theme certainly highlights that there are many facets to our community, and this applies to our female community as well.’

Women Say Something: Dancing on the Ceiling, presented in partnership with IVFAustralia, will be held on Friday February 28 2014 from 6.30pm at the Town Hall, 483 George St Sydney.

This fully accessible event celebrates the achievements of women from many diverse backgrounds in an evening of conversation, entertainment, film, fine food and wine and lavish spectacle.

For more information including ticket bookings visit the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras website.

Troy Nankervis

Thursday 23 January, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis