Photo: Artist Robyn Booth and Cr Cayla Pothan (Brianna O’Rourke)

The Yass Valley Council and Sutton Village Gallery hosted an International Women’s Day morning tea last week at the local art spot.

It coincided with the gallery’s Their Impact & Inspiration exhibit which featured all-female artists focusing on the theme of the women who have impacted and inspired them throughout their life.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme was Break the Bias – A gender-equal world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Yass Valley Councillor Cayla Pothan spoke about her own challenges overcoming adversity throughout her life and said bias for her, was all an internal game. After a tough childhood, Cayla earned her black belt in karate.

“I went and learned how to defend myself and that mindset was all about trying to de- fend myself if something happened to me as a teenager or an adult, because I was always scared of being hurt, particularly by men.”

“I feel like I’ve broken a lot of biases and discriminations that I had set up in my own head and my own heart around the world being a bad place that’s unsafe.”

Cayla has recently claimed the title of international bestseller on Amazon across four countries (America, Canada, Australia, and Japan) for her book Building in Bronze: Creating the Future through Healing the Past.

The Councillor and local artist said her book was about her history, where she’s come from, feeling unsafe, feeling different, and fighting that in herself.

“Now I’m in a space where I embrace it and I love to be different, and I love to be just me.”

The Their Impact & Inspiration exhibit is open from March 3 to March 27 and features many stunning works by both local and interstate artists.

By Brianna O’Rourke