Progress and equality will be at the top of the agenda for next month’s International Women’s Day initiatives in Melton and Moorabool.

International Women’s Day will be marked worldwide on March 8, with this year’s theme being #PressForProgress.

Melton residents are being invited to a raft of events, including a panel discussion, community walk and celebratory dinner.

The panel discussion on March 7 at Melton Library and Learning Hub will feature journalist Sam Lane, entrepreneur Madeleine Grummet and police superintendent Lisa Hardeman, with author Nelly Thomas as host.

The discussion, organised by Melton council, is aimed at inspiring young people who are thinking about their futures.

Melton mayor Bob Turner said International Women’s Day was an opportunity to reflect on how women’s equality could be achieved.

“I encourage everyone to get involved in this year’s events and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive, to help press for progress,” he said.

Other highlights of the week will include the annual Women Making it Happen: Walk With Her community walk, kicking off from 10am on March 4 at Hannah Watts Park in Melton; and a free Bollywood dance class at Stevenson House from 10.30am on March 6.

Melton Zonta Club will host its International Women’s Day celebration dinner on March 6. It will highlight the achievements of 12 local women, who will be profiled on social media and posters around Melton.

Information and panel discussion bookings: bit.ly/2opHu6s