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Cessnock Leagues Club to host International Women's Day dinner on March 5

SUPPORT: Belinda Goodwin, Lotta Jackson, Tara Naysmith, Natalie Kelly, Crystal Duncan and Anthony Burke with some of the items that will be collected for refuges.

SUPPORT: Belinda Goodwin, Lotta Jackson, Tara Naysmith, Natalie Kelly, Crystal Duncan and Anthony Burke with some of the items that will be collected for refuges.

An impressive lineup of inspirational women will speak at Cessnock Leagues Club's International Women's Day dinner on Thursday, March 5.

The keynote speaker will be Melissa Histon, founder and CEO of Newcastle-based charity Got Your Back Sista.

After experiencing a number of life-altering events, Ms Histon created an online community called The Sista Code in 2014 with a dream to see women empowered, happy and connected.

Two years later she founded Got Your Back Sista, a charity that helps women and children who have fled domestic violence to get back on their feet and live independently.

She went on to be named Newcastle Woman of the Year in 2017, and started The Sista Code podcast in 2019.

Speakers will also include Cessnock City Council general manager Lotta Jackson, country singer Tara Naysmith, swimming coach Ellena Morris, and Crystal Duncan, general manager of Miruma (Cessnock Correctional Centre's residential program for female offenders with mental health and drug and alcohol abuse issues).

Cessnock Hospitality Group marketing manager Natalie Kelly said men and women are encouraged to attend and celebrate this year's International Women's Day, 'Each for Equal'.

"The evening will cover a variety of topics that will resonate with anyone who has daughters, mothers, sisters, nieces and wives," she said.

"The speakers are women from this area who have had massive achievements and confront the tougher issues that women face."

Ms Kelly said the event will help raise awareness of the issues inequality can lead to in the community, such as domestic violence.

"It's about lifting each other up, and having a compassionate point of view," she said.

Got Your Back Sista will receive $10 per ticket sold at the dinner, and guests are invited to donate personal care items that will be given to local women's refuges, Jodie's Place and Carrie's Place.

Anthony Burke will be the master of ceremonies, and entertainment will be provided by local up-and-coming singer Trinity Woodhouse, dancers from Kirsty Gunther Academy of Dance, and comedian Emma Zammit.

Tickets for the two-course dinner are $65 per person, and are available via outix.com or by calling the club on 4993 2655.

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