At our 2023 LWLL – International Women’s Day Event, Kirsty shared with the attendees an incredible poem by Maya Angelou.

Maya primarily wrote “Still I Rise” about self-respect and confidence. In the poem, she reveals how she’ll overcome anything through her self-esteem and how nothing can get her down. The poem is about rising to any occasion and how nothing will hold her back – not racism, adversity, identity or boundaries.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear – I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear – I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.

I rise.

I rise.

The poem was a beautiful reflection for International Women’s Day and had the room in total silence, with each attendee taking in the words, some in tears, while others reflected. It was a beautiful moment and one that I think many will remember.

International Women’s Day Empowerment Panel.

Julia Mann – Fiona Holmstrom – Mary-Ann Strelow

LWLL Hosts – Kirsty Fields & Jo Stevens

About the IWD long lunch: 

The sellout event was held at Cloudland in Fortitude Valley on Friday 3rd March.

The 2023 movement theme for International Women’s day was EMBRACE EQUITY.  

International Women’s Day is a powerful reminder that women have achieved incredible things throughout history, despite facing seemingly insurmountable challenges. As we celebrate women’s achievements, we must also acknowledge the ongoing struggle for gender equality that so many women still face today. This year’s theme of embracing equity is a call to action for all of us to do our part in creating a more inclusive and diverse world where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. By working together to overcome barriers and promote equality, we can foster a sense of unity and harmony that benefits us all. So let’s embrace equity and create a better future for women and for everyone.

Meet our Empowerment Panel.  

Julia Mann is a soul-led business coach, go to authority in lash training, best-selling author of “Business is simple” and multi-award winner, training thousands of lash artists worldwide. Her passion for beauty and lashes started after having a terrible set of lashes applied. As a result, Julia’s made it her mission to bring the best of the best training, as well as trainers to the whole world!  

Julia is most well known for her online lash courses, brand of professional products, social media presence & business knowledge within the Lash industry – but away from her role as CEO of Lash Tribe, Julia is a pastry and coffee-loving mum of two. 

Fiona Holmstrom is the Co-Founder and Director of STEM PUNKS which develop programs to inspire kids and adults to learn about STEM in a fun and interactive environment. Of particular interest to Fiona is ensuring equity in education for girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).  

Working on projects globally, Fiona’s recent projects include interviewing women from across the globe in a mission to inspire more girls to enter into STEM fields and STEM Scholarships to remote and regional communities, ethnic groups, minorities, marginalised students, underprivileged school students and historically underrepresented minority groups. 

Mary-Ann Strelow is Co-Founder and Executive Director of FleetCrew and Alderley Automotive. Her depth of knowledge and 35+ years experience working in national fleet services for cars, rentals and four wheel drives allows her to provide leadership and strategic direction to the companies she’s Co-Founded. 

On any given day, Mary-Ann might be found attending a rodeo, travelling around Outback Queensland, supporting great causes and women in business, all whilst aiming to become the leading provider of light commercial fleet rental, leasing and maintenance solutions to the Queensland market. 


About Ladies Who Long Lunch:

Created by Kirsty Fields the Creative Director of Social Ocean and Jo Stevens the Founder of Quirky Habits, the Ladies Who Long Lunch concept is for you if you a woman:

  • who needs friendships and connections,
  • who needs to take time out of the business for themselves,
  • who is looking to make genuine connections in business.

These events are not just for women still active in the work force or running an empire. They’re also for woman who recognise the importance of self-care and the social impact of spending time with others who inspire, support, and fill your cup.

Your Hosts Kirsty and Jo both run business networking groups in Brisbane and Redcliffe and are passionate about helping women to take time for themselves to create connections both socially and professionally with other like-minded business women.

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Country across our region. We also acknowledge and pay our respects to the Kabi Kabi, Jinibara and Turrbal Traditional Custodians, and their elders past, present and emerging.

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