This book evolved from a conversation between myself and Toni Tapp Coutts about an out of print book ‘The Quiet Achievers’ stories of women from the Katherine Region 1997–2002, sponsored by the Women’s Crisis Centre, Judy Holt and June Tapp.
We talked about the importance of capturing these stories as a cultural history of our town and how much women have contributed in their own quiet way to making Katherine the vibrant multicultural community it is today.
This first discussion in June 2016 followed by a call-out on social media and hundreds of volunteer hours later of reading, editing and proofing, these 56 stories is the result for this great collection ‘What a Woman’.
These stories are about women who have come from many places around the world to live in the Katherine region, women who made the most of their situations and called it home.
They have lived life in this outback town, on cattle stations, and in remote bush camps. Others were born here and lived through some of the toughest times while facing adversity and tragedy.
Never losing sight of their journey, all these women have contributed to the social and cultural fabric of the town through hard work and generosity, volunteering many years of service and supporting their families to make a better life.
Many women willingly gave their time for fundraising causes and caring for others in similar situations while growing the foundations of community.
These heartwarming stories tell of how they dealt with problems of isolation that came with living in a small town and a harsh tropical climate that only has two seasons, Wet and Dry. Low economic living conditions added to their daily troubles as they faced the challenges of adapting to their circumstances to make a home and often this meant going without electricity.
The strength that they gathered from other woman while supporting their husbands out working in rough conditions, made early Territory life not for the faint hearted, and it has enriched our history and our multicultural community.
Katherine has always been a hub of multi-cultural diversity, beginning with the traditional people of this land. The community of Katherine has welcomed Chinese, Russian, Italian, Greek, Timorese, Filipino, Thai, Malay, Indian and many more nationalities that makes Katherine such a unique place to live.
Katherine is now a vibrant town of 11,000 people and life is much easier with its modern schools, hospital, large shopping centre and an abundance of sports and recreational grounds and entertainment areas where many women still contribute so much in their own quiet ways.
We are thrilled and proud to be able to deliver this collection. ‘What a Woman’ goes some way to celebrating and recognising the contributions of Katherine women past, present and future.
This project has been made possible by the funding assistance through a community benefit grant supported by the Katherine Town Council, The NT Office of Women’s Policy and hundreds of hours of work by volunteer writers and from the Katherine Region of Writers (KROW).
“What a woman” will be launched at a morning tea at the Katherine Museum on Saturday, September 23 at 10am. RSVP to the museum 8972 3945 for catering purposes.