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News > Past Student News > International Women’s Day Celebrations with Maggie Wu (’16)

International Women’s Day Celebrations with Maggie Wu (’16)

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women globally. With its focus on attaining global equality for all women, the day is an important one in the St Margaret’s school calendar.
Maggie Wu (’16)
Maggie Wu (’16)

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women globally, regardless of differences. With its dimensional focus on attaining global equality for all women, the day has become an important one in the St Margaret’s school calendar. Students adorn purple ribbons on their middy collars, with purple signifying strength, power, loyalty, justice, and dignity.

With these values in mind, it was natural that this year’s guest speaker was Old Girl and Director of St Margaret’s School Council Maggie Wu (’16), who powerfully embodies all these attributes. Maggie graduated from St Margaret’s in 2016 and went on to study a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Business at the Queensland University of Technology. During her studies, Maggie was actively engaged in student organisations, holding leadership positions in the QUT Law Society and QUT United Nations Association. She proudly volunteers for the Women’s Legal Service Queensland, and in 2023 was a committee member of the Girls’ Ball Association, raising money for “So Brave.” In 2023, Maggie was admitted as a lawyer to the Supreme Court of Queensland and is currently an Associate at the Fair Work Commission.

Maggie spoke of how her own time at St Margaret’s fostered a strong sense of empowerment in both the individual, but also in the collective – inspiring inclusion amongst all St Margaret’s girls, through the annual Interhouse Swimming Carnival:

“The day is an excellent example of where everyone embraces each other’s strengths – whether that be in the pool or in the stands – and rallies together … To me, I think inclusion is when you feel a sense of belonging and feel seen, heard, and valued.”

Maggie’s analogy of a cheer squad is a perfect example of the inclusion and empowerment St Margaret’s girls are fortunate enough to be surrounded by, and how each of them need to be a cheer person for all women globally. Understanding one’s individual strengths, and how these can be used to include and support other women, was a powerful undercurrent of Maggie’s speech.

“For example, in a cheer squad, each member brings their unique talents, skills, and energy to the team. And when it comes to building a cheer pyramid, some people are the strong lifters at the base of the pyramid holding up their teammates, while others are the flyers who perform at the top of the pyramid … Despite their differences, the cheerleaders all come together with a shared goal: to support one another and achieve success as a team.

“Similarly, we all come from different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. It’s our individual characteristics, perspectives, and experiences that we uniquely contribute to society. Inclusion, much like the spirit of a cheer squad, is about embracing that diversity and celebrating the strengths of each individual. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels that their differences are valued and respected.” 

Maggie highlighted the importance of taking the lessons of inclusion, support, and empowerment from St Margaret’s into the real world, and particularly into the workforce:

“For women to be able to succeed and lead at the top, we need women to support and encourage each other to get there. Because where there is inclusion, there’s often better decision-making, productivity, and increased innovation and creativity.”

Students walked away from Maggie’s powerful speech with clear insight into how they, too, can come together to combat inequalities by educating themselves on unconscious bias, encouraging all young women to be passionate and ambitious in their goals, and fighting to create more opportunities for women to be able to succeed.

The most powerful of Maggie’s words, however, were those regarding the power of female relationships and empowerment, and how the friendships formed at St Margaret’s will carry all students, past and present, successfully into the future:

“When women invest in women, we create a positive ripple effect. Because when you feel empowered, you can better empower others.”

The heart of St Margaret’s ethos is the holistic education of each girl – educating the whole child. A central part of this approach is empowering the future generation of female leaders to be strong in their convictions and firm in their beliefs, and we are proud to celebrate both past and present students each and every day.

By Lizzie Fowler (’19)
Relationships and Mentoring Manager

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