Logan Reserve resident Grace Edward sees herself as caught between different cultures.
The playwright, director and creative producer has been reflecting on her life as she prepares to take part in the WOW (Women of the World) Festival in the City of Logan later this month.
Grace, a Abegi and Teremo woman from Yei in South Sudan who grew up in Kenya, will sit on the Being a Woman panel at WOW Logan on Saturday, July 16 at Logan Entertainment Centre (LEC).
This session is one of a series of bold, entertaining and conversation-provoking events on the program.
The two-day festival at LEC will feature performances, panels and workshops celebrating the achievements and talents of women and girls from the City of Logan and surrounding areas.
WOW Logan will kick off on Friday, July 15 with students from City of Logan high schools taking part in an inspirational program of interactive workshops and speed mentoring.
All-day workshops, conversations and local stories celebrating the lives of women will then be shared during the public sessions on Saturday, July 16.
City Lifestyle Chair, Councillor Laurie Koranski said she looked forward to welcoming WOW Australia to the City of Logan.
“Stereotypes about women will be challenged at WOW Logan which seeks to break down barriers and provide a welcoming space for ideas to be explored to promote equality, diversity and positive change,” Cr Koranski said.
“Roles and expectations of womanhood also will be highlighted and conversations sparked on topics of vital importance to local women and it will be wonderful to see these important discussions taking place.
“I encourage people to head along to WOW Logan to experience the amazing program on offer for the 2022 festival.”
Grace also worked on the production crew for WOW Australia as it travelled earlier this year to Longreach, Charleville and Cairns.
She said she was now looking forward to sharing the program with local residents.
“As I’ve prepared for my guest speaker role, I have been looking more closely at my journey to becoming a woman, especially through my cultural lens,” she said.
She will be drawing on her lived experience to talk about what joy looks like for African women.
Grace grew up in a mix of cultures and spent time in a refugee camp before being granted a humanitarian visa to come to Australia in 2003.
Since her arrival in the City of Logan at the age of eight with her parents and six older siblings, she has witnessed the struggles experienced by women.
Grace has channelled into her creative work these experiences and the self-confessed survivor’s guilt she feels over the family left behind in Sudan and Kenya.
She has written, directed and produced numerous theatre productions and has run workshops focused on the complexities of adapting to a new home.
Also taking part in WOW Logan is Queensland Maori Society Executive Secretary Nina Taukiri who will run The Healing Space.
Nina, a Bannockburn resident, said the women’s only space would showcase healing methods from a variety of cultures.
The Healing Space will run from 10am to 5pm and will feature workshops designed to allow people to sample different healing practices.
Nina encourages women and girls to try the different methods in a safe space to see what works for them.
“Healing and wellbeing practises help to settle and calm your energy enabling clarity and healing and we communicate and function more effectively from this space,” she said.
The full program can be found online at wowaustralia.com.au/wow
Bookings are essential for the festival weekend program and can be made at loganarts.com.au/event/wow-logan-2022/