Ladies of the Red Hat Society celebrated International Women’s Day out on the town with a ‘Champagne and Shopping’ day in Kilmore.

Red Hat Society – originating in the US – is a global initiative to help women over 50 connect with their community and to just have fun.

It began as a simple gift of a red hat given to a friend and has grown into a universal symbol for women to celebrate their age and the process of entering a new phase in their life.

The society helps renew friendships and promote periods of ‘recess’ from the duties and cares of everyday life.

Members who have attained the fabulous age of 50 all wear red hats and purple clothing, while those under 50 wear pink hats and lavender clothing.


Rubies and Pearls of Kilmore organised the event with women from Bendigo, Geelong and Muckleford South joining the group first at Copella fashion boutique for a personalised shopping experience, followed by a lunch at Oddfellows Cafe in Kilmore.

Rubies and Pearls of Kilmore, Red Hat Society organiser Jan Childs, aka Queen Janesca, said she started the group about three years ago.

“We’re not a charity, it’s purely for ladies over 50 who want to go out and enjoy social activities,” Ms Childs said.

“You go through life and you’re someone’s daughter and then you’re someone’s wife and then you’re someone’s mum and someone’s grandmother and eventually you become invisible – other than being connected with someone else.”

Copella owner Christine Batskos said Ms Childs helped her organise the event.

“Jan is a regular customer here, and I told her I wanted to retire, and that’s how the whole thing started – she said ‘let’s have a champagne and shopping day’ so we did,” Ms Batskos said.

Ms Childs said events like the shopping day united women and allowed them to have a day to themselves.

“We’ve encouraged ladies here to come and join us. Being IWD it makes this particular event even more special.”

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