Sisters looking to the future – HEU women’s conference activates, educates and inspires

HEU women workers from every part of the province come together for the union’s first women’s conference

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Eighty Hospital Employees’ Union women from every part of the province came together at HEU’s first women’s conference, held in Burnaby May 14 and 15, to celebrate sisterhood and work in solidarity to sustain each other, strengthen their locals and support their union.

Under the theme of “Sisters looking to the future”, participants spent two days sharing work experiences, developing skills, problem-solving, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s powerful keynote address on the opening day encouraged women to lift themselves and each other up and to think with their minds and hearts.

“If you build yourself up from the inside, we can create something beautiful,” she told an attentive and appreciative audience. Sainte-Marie’s words set the stage for a lively, thought-provoking, and frequently laughter-filled conference.

Special guest speakers, including HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy and HEU financial secretary Donisa Bernardo, brought even more perspective and passion to the sessions. They spoke on a range of subjects such as overcoming challenges, connecting with youth, caring for yourself in the face of multiple demands, and the mentorship of women who inspire.

The workshops took participants through a range of topics that drew out their mobilizing abilities and tapped into their knowledge and talents. And in an event filled with highlights, the conference’s gala evening took centre stage, showcasing a program of music, song and dance celebrating women’s culture.

Take a look at some of the faces and events from HEU’s women’s conference.