International Women's Day

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year and AIATSIS proudly acknowledges the outstanding contributions and achievements made by Indigenous and non-Indigenous women around the globe.

Whether it be women in their local communities and regions, women on the international stage or women who strive to make a difference to the lives of others.

AIATSIS have produced and distributed a free poster to celebrate International Women’s Day since 2012.


Laurie (Gawany) Baymarrwaŋa (c.1917 – 2014) is featured on the 2019 AIATSIS International Women's Day poster in a painting by artist Gill Warden.

Laurie or Big Boss as she was affectionally known, was a senior Yolŋu leader from the Crocodile Islands, North-East Arnhem Land who was instrumental in preserving the endangered Yan-nhaŋu language. 

Baymarrwaŋa passed away on Murruŋga in August 2014 and will always be remembered for her vision, wisdom and tireless struggle to follow the law in care for kin and country, for the benefit of all Australians.

It is fitting that in 2019, the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages, that we honour Laurie Baymarrwaŋa for her outstanding work preserving Yan-nhaŋu language and educating future generations about the importance of language and culture.

International Women’s Day poster 2019
2019 AIATSIS International Women's Day poster featuring Laurie Baymarrwaŋa


International Women's Day posters
2012-2018 AIATSIS International Women's Day posters


Shirley Ann Williams Award

We also present an award each year as part of our celebration of International Women’s Day, which is named in honour of AIATSIS staff member Shirley Ann Williams who passed away in November 2010.

This award is presented to a female member of staff to recognise her outstanding contribution and work at AIATSIS and is presented by members of the Williams family.

  • 2019 - Kylie Simpson
  • 2018 - Jude Barlow
  • 2017 - Lisa Fuller
  • 2016 - Kylie Robinson
  • 2015 - Shiane Lovell 
  • 2014 - Grace Koch
  • 2013 - Pat Brady
  • 2012 - Alana Harris
  • 2011 - Jacqui Lambert