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Greens Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi is pleased to invite you to join her for the Fifth Annual International Women's Day Breakfast. 
This series has become renowned for an honest and radical discussion about gender and race. The breakfast privileges the voices of women of colour. This year's IWD theme from the UN is 'Think equal, build smart, innovate for change'. 

Special guests
This year we will be joined by the inspiring writer and academic, Roanna Gonsalves, Bandjalung woman and community leader Vaness Turnbull Roberts and spoken word poet Aishah Ali. 

Dr Roanna Gonsalves was born in Mumbai, India, and came to Australia as an international student in 1998. She is the author of The Permanent Resident which won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018. Roanna is a sought-after presenter at literary festivals, community events and schools. She also teaches at several Australian universities. 

Roanna’s series of radio documentaries on the ABC, On the tip of a billion tongues, is an acerbic socio-political portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings. 

Roanna can be found at and on Twitter @roannagonsalves

Vanessa Turnbull Roberts is a proud Bundjalung woman. At the age of 11, she was forcibly removed from her father and placed in out-of-home care. She has used her personal experience as a driver for her motivation to study law. Vanessa is an active member of her community, advocating against forced adoptions legalisation and its process of being a continued stolen generation. Vanessa also speaks out about  the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in incarceration and black deaths in custody.

Vanessa also advocates for asylum seekers and minority groups. She states, ‘As a First Nations woman, I’ll always show my solidarity with minority groups and individuals placed at harm from the institutions that are failing us. I’ll hold resistance and  resilience that has always been held with my people since Sunrise to the very last Sunset’.

Aishah Ali is a renown spoken word poet from Western Sydney who will be performing two poems for us at the breakfast.

Aisha is a law/political science student of Fijian-Indian descent. Her work aims to deconstruct and champion her Muslim Australian identity, as well as societal perceptions of ‘brown-ness’ and femininity.

Aisha’s poetry has been published in collections and a number of magazines. In 2018, she and her team won the largest poetry slam ever held in Australia – the Bankstown Poetry Slam Grand Finals. Aishah has recently has directed her second film in collaboration with Amnesty International commemorating the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

An event for women
This is an autonomous event for all people who identify as women. Please respect this and only book if you meet this criteria.

The Tea Room is on Level 3 of the QVB and is fully accessible but please contact us on 0403 589 722 if you require any special assistance on the day.

Dietary needs
Breakfast will be vegetarian (including eggs). For other dietary needs, please email no later than Thursday 28 February 2019.

Seating will be allocated so please contact us at if you would like to sit with another person.


8th March, 2019 7:30 AM   through   10:15 AM
The Tea Room Queen Victoria Building

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Event Fee(s)
Single Ticket $ 55.00
Concession or unwaged $ 25.00

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