International Women's Day

Teacher Monica Bufill with her students

Picture: Teacher Monica Bufill with her civil engineering students. Monica will be guest speaker at TAFE Illawarra's International Women's Day celebrations.

TAFE Illawarra is celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women for International Women’s Day (IWD).

The annual day will be marked with a special event at TAFE Illawarra Wollongong on Thursday 10 March, which aims to start conversations on this year’s IWD theme: Pledge for Parity.

Lucy Arundell, TAFE Illawarra’s Relieving Institute Director, says the role of women in the workplace, industry, the community and society is vital.

“International Women's Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action."

“We constantly see our female teachers and students challenge traditional stereotypes and become pioneers in their fields,” says Ms Arundell.

“One of the ways in which we celebrate this is with our annual Trades and Technology Faculty International Women’s Day event, which brings staff and students together to hear from a special guest speaker at our Wollongong campus.”

This year's guest speaker is Civil Engineering Teacher, Monica Bufill, whose presentation will cover her inspirational life journey of breaking into and succeeding in a non-traditional industry.

"I've been working in the Civil Engineering field for over 30 years in various roles covering research, consulting and working for the likes of Sydney Water and international organisations.

“I did my first degree in my home country Argentina, my Master’s Degree in London and then came to Australia to do my PHD at the University of Wollongong, where I was the first-ever female to graduate with a PHD in Civil Engineering – so I can certainly share some insights into this year’s theme Pledge for Parity.”

Monica says achieving parity is all about changing the perceptions of what an industry is ‘supposed’ to look like.

“I’ve been teaching for five years now, and what I enjoy most, is being a role model for my female students – showing them that you don’t have to be ‘blokey’ to work in the field.

“I’ve certainly seen a growth in the number of women entering non-traditional fields over my long career.

“When I first started in Argentina, only 2% of the workforce were women. I’ve also worked in countries like India where there are huge numbers of women in Civil Engineering, so all countries are different.

“A lot has changed over the years, but there’s still growth to be made in Australia.”

Want to hear Monica speak about International Women's Day?

Come along to the Trades and Technology International Women's Day celebration:


  • When: Thursday 10 March, 12.30pm
  • Where: TAFE Illawarra Wollongong, Painting and Decorating Workshop, Building O, Foleys Lane