Women in Australian politics | All About Women 2019


[ Applause ] [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]>>Hi, everybody. Can I just say wow? I’ve never seen the concert hall from
this angle packed out like this before. It’s terrifying. I’m glad you’re not all here to
see me, but I’m very excited. There’s so much energy in this room. It’s fantastic. But, I do want to acknowledge
that circumstances that bring us here today are
not particularly positive. We have had a brutal year
for women in politics. We’ve seen a brilliant female
Foreign Minister be rejected as the potential leader for her party
and as our potential Prime Minister. We have heard reports of bullying and
misogynistic abuse surrounding the coup against Malcolm Turnbull last August. We’ve had a female Senator face the
kind of misogynistic abuse that’s so common now that we have
a fun new name for it. We call it slut shaming. She didn’t face it from some goon in
a pub or walking along the street. She faced it in her workplace, which
is also the Australian Parliament, and she faced it from a Senator, a colleague of hers who’s
an Australian Senator. We’ve seen an ongoing and
seemingly intractable argument about female representation in politics,
particularly on one side of politics. And, we have recently seen two very good
female women, two females leave politics because they wanted to spend more
time with their young families. I’m thinking of Kate
Ellison, Kelly O’Dwyer, and this week was really
my favourite week. We had the, favourite being a
somewhat mixed sort of ironic term. We had the Prime Minister, Scott
Morrison talk about abortion and rights to abortion as being too
political to be brought up in the context of
an election campaign. Go figure that. And then, on International Women’s Day, he said that he did want
to see women rise. But, let’s get the quote right. But not, quote “on the basis
of others doing worse”. Now, he didn’t specify
who those others were. I’m going to guess that he means men. I don’t know. We can [inaudible] that out. Anyway, we’re a tight, a
tough spot, but we are here to shed light and to bring hope. I have here four of the strongest female
leaders that we have in this country from all different parts
of the spectrum. They really need no introduction,
but I’ll do it anyway. I’ll introduce Julie first. She, of course, is, was the first
female Foreign Minister that we had. She’s been in Parliament since 1998, about to leave as the
outgoing member for Curtin. She was deputy female, the first deputy
female leader of the Liberal Party, and she held that position for 11 years. She’s held a range of portfolios,
and who knows what she might do next, but she might even tell us
or give us a hint today. [ Applause and Cheering ] We have Linda Burney who was
elected the Federal Labour Member for Barton in 2016. She, before that, she had a proud 14
year career in New South Wales politics. She was the deputy leader of
the opposition for a long time and held a range of portfolios
in opposition and in government. And, she’s a proud [inaudible] woman, and we’ve been practising
that pronunciation. I hope I got it right. Yay! [ Applause and Cheering ] On the far end, of course,
we have Sarah Hanson-Young, the Australian Green
Senator for South Australia. When she was elected in 2007, she
was the youngest woman ever elected to Parliament and the youngest
person ever elected to the Senate, which is quite an achievement. And, she’s held a range of
portfolios for the Greens, including the environment and
women’s issues and human rights. And, of course, we have Julia Banks. Oh, sorry. [ Applause and Cheering ] Yeah. So, we have Julia Banks who, of
course, famously was the only Liberal to pick up a seat in the 2016 election. The [inaudible]. No, but she got many
thanks for it in the end, but we’ll talk about that later. And, before then, of course,
she had a brilliant sort of 25 career in the corporate world. Formalities over, let’s go. [ Applause and Cheering ] I actually want to start by asking
you guys a personal question about what it was like having overcome
all the hurdles to being elected, what it was like to actually walk
through the halls of parliament, the doors of parliament,
on that first day into these famously blokey workplace. What was it like as a woman to do that? What were you wearing? Just joking. [ Laughter ] How did it feel? How is that subjective experience? Julie, can I start with you?>>A white suit.>>I knew you’d remember.>>I had come from the legal profession,
and in fact, my first campaign was within my law firm to be
elected the Managing Partner. And, I was in a partnership of
27, and I was the only female. I stood for election
as a Managing Partner against two male partners,
and I was elected. Who would have thought it’d be easier
to convince lawyers than politicians? So, when I arrived at Parliament
House, I was very familiar with a male dominated environment. I remember very well meeting the
member of Parliament in the office over the passage for me, and that was
Bruce Beard, and we became friends then. And, I believe we’ll
be lifelong friends. So, it has a very positive
memory for me in that sense. But, it was also at a time when
there were very few women in Cabinet. This is 20 years ago. There are still very few women in
Cabinet, and I was determined not to be defined by my gender. I didn’t want to be seen
through the prism of she’s the first female
member for Curtin. I wanted to be accepted for
my hard work, my integrity, my powers of representation
and advocacy. And, that was what I sought
to do, but I was, of course, very conscious of the fact that women in
leadership roles were still a novelty. Were, in fact, at that time,
whilst there were a couple of female, I can’t quite recall. I remember Jocelyn Newman
was a Cabinet Minister, but there were certainly no
women in the leadership team.>>Sarah, you were very young. What was it like for you? It must have been extra intimidating. You’re a baby.>>I think, thinking back now, I was
probably quite naive about it all. I was elected, and on that campaign
trail, my daughter was born. So, not something I’d
suggest, by the way. If you’re going to run for
Parliament, you know, perhaps, you know, space it out a little bit. But, actually, in a way, it gave
me a constant grounding focus. So, even though it was
quite intimidating, and I remember when first walked in. And, I remember what I was
wearing as well, Julie. And, it was a suit, and I
worked out very quickly, what the hell am I doing
dressing like a middle age man. This was not, I walked in
there thinking I had to kind of be something that I wasn’t. And, I realised that actually
I just needed to be myself. And, that meant dressing
like a 25, 26-year-old, not dressing like middle age man. And, yep. I had a baby on my hip,
and she’s just turned 12, by the way. Very proud of her. And, together, we have taken this
journey, and I think when I think about, you know, the representation of women
in politics, we need women of all ages and demographics and experiences. But, I would urge young women in
particular because you can do it. Cora and I have been on this journey
for 12 years, and we’re still, we’re running for reelection. We’re going strong, and I wouldn’t. Do it. If you want to do it, do it. [ Applause ]>>Linda, we were into the [inaudible]. That was your first experience
of politics, and got a somewhat mixed reputation
as a nice place for women. What was it like?>>I’ll tell you about that in a moment,
but can I join with Rhoda Roberts in recognising country and thank
her for her welcome here today? And, I recognise the Cadigal
people of the Eora Nation. I started out in politics,
everyone, in 2003. I was very familiar, actually,
with the political process. There was nothing magic about it. There was nothing mysterious about it
because I’d had a job prior to going into politics as head of a
non-government organisation which required me to meet
with politicians and ministers of the day on a monthly basis. And, I soon realised that I
was just as smart as they were and probably could do that job. And, what do you know? But, what really struck me is a few
things that there were, I think, 16 or 17 Labour people
elected in the 2003 election, and one of them was one
Kristina Keneally. And, we had no idea, of course, that Kristina would go
on to do what she’s done. But, the overwhelming sense
for me was a bit like Julie. I didn’t want to be defined
by my originality. The three motivating factors for
me going into Parliament were, in not any order, my originality,
the fact that I was a woman, and that my entire life had been
around the pursuit of social justice. And, we’ve shared a board
position together. I don’t know if you remember it. At SDS for about [inaudible].>>We also did the Constitutional
Convention together.>>We did, too, yes. There you go, and what I remember,
everyone, is coming down the elevator, walking into the foyer of the
New South Wales Parliament to see a massive picture
of Captain Cook landing.>>Wow. Wow.>>Right. And, I’m pleased to say
now that on leaving that Parliament, the aboriginal and the [inaudible]
flag fly in both chambers, and the day is begun by
acknowledgement of country. Symbolic, but important. [ Applause ]>>Wow. Julie, you did it much more
recently, and you had a long career. And, what was Parliament like walking
in as a sort of former layperson?>>Well, yeah, all right. An outsider, in other words.>>Yeah, yeah.>>Called. So, I had a career in business. As a [inaudible], and it wasn’t like
it was smooth sailing in business from a women’s perspective,
particularly as I climbed the ranks, and it so happened that, for
example, when I was pregnant with my second child, I
went into premature labour. And, I was sort of thought, oh, that’s
a, that must be a Braxton Hicks. And then, it happened again, and I looked around the board
table, and they were all blokes. And, I thought, no. I’m not going to tell
any one of these guys. I just sort of.>>Sort of hide your labour, yeah.>>And then, I sort of snuck out, rang
my doctor, oh, it’s probably nothing. Julia, I’ll see you at the
Royal Women’s in five minutes. So, I got in a taxi, went
to the hospital, and.>>You on your own?>>I was on my own, yeah. And, my husband, working couple. And, I remember, so it all settled down. It all stopped sort of thing. And so, I thought, I’d better ring.>>Obviously.>>The Director, you know,
to say I can’t [inaudible].>>First order of priority, yeah.>>And, I said, “Blah, blah,
you know, early labour, you know, it’s all stopped now. It’s all okay.” “Yeah, yeah. Okay, Julia, but will
you be in tomorrow?” [ Laughter ] And, I said, “It depends
if I have a baby.” [ Laughter ] So, that was sort of
the, you know, I had my.>>That was your tough [inaudible].>>A long time ago, but yeah, and I’ve
seen the corporate world over the years. Like, that was the days of, you know,
12 months unpaid maternity leave and all those sorts of things. And so, there have been those
roadblocks from a woman’s perspective. So, but, the corporate world and the
business world has certainly changed because I left that corporate world
where targets had become a thing and big companies are increasingly
putting women in leadership positions. And, then, I joined the world
of politics, and I guess, my first experience after I was
pre-selected was there was an event going on in my electorate,
and the Liberal Party person who was organising it said,
“Well, I’m going to be speaking and Michael Crow will be speaking
and blah blah will be speaking.” I said, “Wait a minute. I’m pre-selected candidate. Don’t I get a gig here?” And, he said, “Oh, don’t worry, darling. Don’t you worry about that, darling. We’ll give you the raffle.”>>Okay. [ Laughter and Groans ] Hey, the barrel girl.>>Which should be an honoured role.>>Absolutely. Absolutely.>>Raffle girl.>>So, yeah, so winning the, I mean, no
one was really interested in Chisholm from the Liberal Party’s perspective because it was the Labour held
seat, the Labour held seat. And, it was, as you mentioned,
the only seat. We won in the election, and I
have to say but for the assistance of Julie Bishop and Kelly O’Dwyer, I
don’t think we would have won that seat. But, nonetheless, we won it, and my
first entry into the Liberal Party room, I just felt that it was like, and
I mentioned this the other day. It was sort of like that the business
world had gone on this future journey, but the Liberal Party
had stopped in time. And, I, and over time, I,
you know, in my three years, I felt like it was some sort
of hybrid TV show between “Mad Men” and “House of Cards”. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ] So, entertaining.>>No one looks like Don Draper. [ Laughter ]>>Yeah, entertaining
to watch on Netflix, but maybe not so much to
work in this workplace. Yeah. Once, okay, so you’ve
been elected to Parliament. You’re in, you’ve gained power. You’re in a position of power. And, you guys have all had differing
positions of power in government and opposition, and I want
to ask you know what it’s like when you get there,
once you’ve arrived. Do you automatically ascend to
a position of total equality? Julie, I want to start
with you because you’ve sat around the most powerful table
in the country that you set around the Cabinet table,
and you have eluded before to being mansplained to in that room. What’s it like?>>I think the phrase I
use is gender deafness. I was in a Cabinet of 19,
and I was the only woman. This is 2013. And, I would have an experience
during these Cabinet meetings where people would be talking, and then
I would intervene to say something, and there would be silence. And then, they’d just keep on talking, and then somebody would say
precisely what I’d said. And, all the guys would say,
“Gee, that’s a great idea. Why don’t we do that?” And then, I’d think,
but didn’t I say that? And, it was as if they hadn’t heard me, and it wasn’t until more women
were appointed to Cabinet where we would deliberately say, “No,
Julie just said that,” or “Kelly came up with that idea,” that they would
actually listen and acknowledge. That’s why it is so important
to have a diversity of views around the decision making forums. This is a global issue, and Australia
could lead the way in this regard. Whether it’s the Cabinet,
whether it’s the Security Council, whether it’s the boards
of the major companies. Men and women bring different
perspectives, different life experiences. They have different leadership styles. You don’t want one or the other. They complement each other, but
you need a balance of diverse, you need diversity more generally. But, you need diverse gender views. They describe women’s leadership
style as more transformational. Women are very good at building teams,
good at empathy, understanding the needs of individuals, being
sensitive to their needs. Men are far more transactional,
far more adversarial. Not interested in the individual,
but to hold the team to account. Now, I’m not saying one style is
better than another or I’m trying not to stereotype too much, but it is the
different leadership styles that lead to better outcomes if you’re a company. The evidence is there. Better bottom line, higher
morale, greater productivity. And, I think in politics,
the more diverse the views, the better the policy
development, the better the outcome, the better for the country.>>I want to talk about
political culture later, and. [ Applause ] Just on a personal level, before you
had your Kelly O’Dwyers, you know, your backup, your sisters in
Cabinet, was that lonely for you?>>In a way, yes. I’d experienced it before,
but many years before in law. As I said, I was the only female
partner in a 27 firm partnership. But, it was politics more generally. It’s not just being the
only woman in Cabinet. Parliament House is not a place
for making deep friendships, which is why I mentioned that I
actually did make a friend in politics. I didn’t have to buy a dog. And, yet, it can be a lonely place. You keep very much to
yourself as a woman. It’s, you don’t go out
drinking with the boys. We can, but it’s just
not the same camaraderie. And, yet, when I was a deputy leader, I would organise drinks,
and the other women would. You know, get the women together
because we just needed to almost connect with each other informally because it
can be a rather isolating experience. And, I don’t know whether the other
women on the panel felt that way, but it wasn’t just being the only woman. It was broader than that. Parliament House is not
a family friendly place. It’s not a place for making
deep connexions, more generally. That’s in my experience.>>Just go quickly around the rest
of the panel, your experiences of any inequality or any, you know,
once you actually gained power, Sarah, once you were actually in Parliament.>>I think a number of the
examples that Julie’s used, that example of when you put
forward an idea and three people after some bloke does and
all of a sudden, bingo. It’s taken up. I think that is something that
many women in levels of negotiation and debate often are confronted with. I think the idea of being
very conscious about it and calling it, at the
time, is important. Because afterwards, they’ve
already forgotten. Totally forgotten about it. So, we have to kind of use the
mechanisms we have to restate that our contribution is
worthwhile, that it is, that we do bring something different. Being in the Senate, I guess, one of
the things, as opposed to on the House of Reps, perhaps, we spend
a lot of time on committees. And so, those groups are even smaller. And so, you can have those
conversations a bit easier, perhaps, and we travel a lot around the country
with each other, so there’s kind of a, you get to work out pretty quickly who
to avoid, who want to be on a committee with and who you avoid
across the different parties. And, but also, there is a sense, very
much, of the behaviour in the chamber. So, when I first started, the behaviour
in the chamber was a lot better.>>Wow. Okay.>>And, it was the behaviour outside in
the corridors and in people’s offices that was confronting,
and over the years, the behaviour in the
chamber has gotten worse. And, when a lot of that kind of rose to,
I guess, public prominence last year, that had been the culmination
of things getting worse. And, I, frankly, you
know, absolute rubbish from the Prime Minister two
days ago about, you know, don’t get ahead of yourselves, ladies. You know, watch out. The boys will let you have. You can be equal, just not equal to us. But, that kind of attitude and that kind
of idea that bullying is simply part, and that kind of rough and tumble
nature is simply part of politics. I think what people are missing is that the public want all
of us to behave better.>>Yes.>>They want all of us to do better. [ Applause ] And so, if we started treating
women a bit better in politics, everybody would be treated
a bit better in politics, and the public might actually think
politicians are worth listening to again. And, it’s, it is actually in the
bloke’s interest for us to deal with this properly and
to cut out the, you know, the rubbish that is just
kind of soaking up time. It is, the attitude in the chamber,
the kind of, the fury that you see on the news shows, that’s all show. And, I think people are turning off
and, you know, we [inaudible] the worst as women because it is, there is
a specific gendered nature to it.>>Yeah.>>Let me be very clear about that. There is a very specific gendered
nature to the bullying and the combat that you get as a woman in politics. And, that needs to be called out, but
it’s not that we’re just not, you know, tough enough or we can’t roll with the
punches, as they said to you, Julia. Who was that that idiot? Craig Kelly. [ Laughter ] I’m not naming names.>>I think, we [inaudible].>>Actually, it would be much better
if we all behaved a bit better.>>Yeah, yeah. I want to talk, I want to pivot to
biology, and in particular, our wombs. Let’s just get right down to business. Because that is often used against us. It’s often used, our
women’s biology is often used as a reason why we’re fundamentally
unsuited to taking power. John Howard, I think speaking to the
Perth [inaudible], I think last year, said that, you know, equal female
representation in Parliament was going to be difficult to get to
because, I think, he said that.>>Women have to focus on
their caring responsibilities.>>Yeah, so women’s caring roles
would mean that they were naturally, they were going to be
limited in what they could do. He was lambasted at the time, but
wasn’t he just kind of calling, wasn’t he just, wasn’t he right? I mean, are we really honest about the
fact that it is extremely difficult to juggle a political career
with caring for a family, and particularly young children? And, Sarah, I mean, you raised a child
as you were doing your political career. I mean, how was that? I mean [inaudible].>>[inaudible] Don’t get me wrong. It’s extremely difficult. But, it’s extremely difficult
for every working mum out there.>>Exactly.>>Be honest. And, you know, politicians. [ Applause ] We, we’re just a reflection of the
rest of the community, and I think, we’ve got to get serious
about the caring perception and the caring roles in this country. We really want equality. We need men in our lives and in
our children’s life to do more, and we need their workplaces
to also embrace and celebrate and encourage that as well. It’s not surprise that,
you know, when people talk about the gender pay gap,
I’m not surprised at all. Because the sectors that women primarily
go into where those gaps are much, much bigger, they’re roles
that allow some flexibility. Now, I can tell you, if we had
more men in the caring profession, wages would be up, conditions
would be better, and you know, the at home care arrangement, whether
you’re caring for a child or caring for your elderly parents,
would be seen as something that we should get a tax
rebate or an incentive for. That’s what would be on the table. How about we pay super annuation
for moms who are caring for kids and elderly parents at home? That’s what I think. [ Applause ]>>Julie, you.>>What. [inaudible]>>[inaudible] say Sarah
has no doubt read the report of the government’s workplace
gender equality agency that was released last Friday, and this
report reflects the progress being made by our major companies across
the private sector in terms of gender equality, and
what people want, in my understanding is
equality of opportunity. And, until we change attitudes towards
what is a traditional family unit or what is a traditional
caring role, we will continue to see extraordinarily slow progress,
as evidenced by this report which showed that if we wanted to see parities,
say, in terms of the numbers who are in senior leadership positions,
including CEO positions, in Australia’s major companies,
on current projections, it will take until well
into the 22nd century. That is not in my lifetime. That is not in the next
generation’s lifetime. Is that what Australia
is capable of achieving? And, we’re talking about an area
in the private sector, in business, where we know that having more
women in leadership positions, in management positions, is
not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. So, thank you. So, why? [ Applause ] So, we need to change attitudes. As Sarah said, yes, it’s hard,
but Parliament House, for example, sits in Canberra, 20, 25 weeks a year. And, if you come from Western Australia
or northern Queensland or wherever, it takes you quite some
time to get there. You just can’t pop in for
the day and pop home again. Also, it’s extraordinary
that in this day and age, we have to have physical voting. You have to physically be present.>>Yeah, actually in the chamber.>>In order to vote. I was in Ukraine years ago. They have electronic voting in Ukraine.>>Yes. Yeah.>>And, we can’t seem to
manage it in Australia. We don’t use teleconferencing or
and video conferencing in any way. You physically have to be there,
and I think these are the kinds of attitudes that have to change. And, men and women have
to drive this change.>>I want to ask, particularly
the conservative politicians. So, Julie and Julia, there is
a lack of female representation in westernised democracies
all around the world, but it’s worse in conservative parties. We know this, and that’s
the case in Australia. There are people who say that conservative politics is
fundamentally just, you know, there’s a structural flaw there which means they’ll never
achieve gender parity because conservative politics
is based on a conception of the family unit that
is very traditional. And, putting more women into position
of power means upturning that. And, what do you say to that?>>Well, in fact, the Liberal Party
was founded by Robert Menzies who said, “I call it the Liberal Party
because we want to be progressive. We want to be experimental. We’re not reactionary. We’re not a socialist [inaudible]. But, we are a progressive party.” John Howard described
it as the broad church. You have a moderate wing,
you have a conservative wing. And, I’m not talking about
religious conservatism. We’re talking about political
conservatism, and I think it’s very misleading
for some to try and impose on the Liberal Party that we’re a
religious, moral conservative party. We’re a political conservatives. We are political liberals, and
we make up the broad church. Now, as Menzies said,
we are progressive. So, you look at the traditional
family unit today, and it should be about equality of sharing
responsibilities and caring responsibilities. It can be single moms. It can be two men raising children. The traditional family
unit has moved on. As long as, and this is what
conservatism really means. We hold dear the institutions
of traditions and values, but the institution of the family
doesn’t mean there is no change in the definition. It’s just that the definition
is much broader. It’s the same as the
institution of marriage. I, as a Liberal, can
support same sex marriage because the institution is
stronger if it’s more inclusive. So, that’s what I think the Liberal
Party should be standing for.>>Julie, do you think that it’s
anathema to conservative values to have more women in
positions of power?>>Yeah, well, first, I think
I’ve made it pretty clear that I’ve moved on from
the Liberal Party.>>We know. [ Applause and Cheering ] Do you still identify as a political
conservative or a small l liberal?>>I do.>>By the way, I’m very
disappointed that you have. I just want to put that on the record.>>Thanks, Mac. In the sensible sense, without a doubt. And, I think what’s happened is
the right wing conservative arm of the Liberal Party have become
reactionary in that sense. So, if you don’t, and, I mean,
Scott Morrison himself has said that John Howard is his mentor.>>Yeah.>>You just, as you just quoted
John Howard said, you know, a couple of years ago that we will
never get 50/50 representation in our Parliament because women have to
focus on their caring responsibilities.>>Said they would always
have limited capacity.>>Yes. Oh, you forgot leadership in the
Liberal party saying, looking at women through this prism of the
traditional picket fence. Whereas, the world has moved on,
and you know, and women are working, and they do, you know, that traditional
family model which is, I do believe, in the right wing conservative faction
of the Liberal Party or conservative arm of the Liberal Party, is
really cemented by these views that are very strongly held by
many of the blokes in the party. And.>>I was actually going to say,
Julia, that there’s a recent report by the World Economic Forum on
the global gender gap report, and it looks at the gender
gap in every facet of society. And, the greatest gender
gap, at 77%, 0% being parity, is in political representation
worldwide. That is the worst element of.>>Yeah, yeah.>>Gender parity in the world. It’s in political representation.>>Yeah.>>So, Australia, a highly
sophisticated, first world, developed country, highly
regarded around the world, should be able to lead the
way in aiming for greater.>>Representation.>>Female representation
in our Parliament.>>And, I think.>>And so, I do think there’s
a party that’s doing that. [ Laughter ] [ Applause and Cheering ]>>[inaudible] goes again. [inaudible] you know, the
Labour Party quota system.>>Well, and I think the
quota system, I mean, that is the only thing that can work.>>Let’s, okay.>>Only thing that can work. [ Applause and Cheering ]>>I think we know Julia’s in
favour of quotas, and by quotas, I’m assuming I’m talking about hard
quotas like the Labour Party has where there’s actually a consequence
if you don’t meet your target. Because, of course, the Liberal
Party does have a target. It’s just not looking like it’s
going to get there any time soon.>>I think they.>>And, I do want to, sorry. Go ahead.>>And then, I’ll.>>I think that the idea that somehow
targets came about easily is not true. I remember being at the 1994
Labour Party National Conference, and the wonderful [inaudible]
were there. And, we got, I think, the 30%,
then progressively, it’s gone up. And, after the next election,
we will be 50% [inaudible].>>Win all the seats.>>Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. But, the, but I’ve always had a
view that targets were important. I know that there are other views
that exist, and I respect those views. But, a target or a CPI, doesn’t matter
whether it’s in your employment contract or whether it’s in female representation
in various parts of society, including the Parliament, it does
give you something to aim for. And, what’s really important, and I
think everyone would agree with this, that we’re all from different
political persuasions, different political parties, with
different structures and different way of getting to that representation. But, at the end of the day, Parliament,
and everyone would agree with this, Parliament should reflect the people
that we’re representing, and it doesn’t. It doesn’t. [ Applause ]>>[inaudible], you wanted
to say something.>>And, final point I’ll make, sorry, is
that what’s really helpful for the party that I come from, the Labour Party,
is that we have not only amazing women in leadership positions, but
also men in leadership positions that are highly supportive
of affirmative action. That’s important. [ Applause ]>>Julie. [ Applause ]>>I have said on a number of
occasions that I don’t believe in mandatory quotas, but I
believe firmly in targets because I’ve seen the perverse
outcome of a mandatory quota. But, I’ve also seen the
positive outcome of a target. The example is the Turnbull Cabinet
in 2015 decided on a 50% target for the government boards
and committees and councils. There are about 5000 positions where
the federal government appoint people to these boards. And, the male/female ratio was not good. And so, we set a target of 50%, and what it meant was ministers
were held accountable for the names that they put forward for
consideration by Cabinet. So, if you had the, you know, National
Library Committee or something, and they turned up with four men on the
list, they would be asked to go away and come back with a list
that reflected 50/50. And, what it meant is that you just had to work a little harder,
dig a little deeper. The women were there. The pool of talent was there, but often, women don’t put themselves
forward in the same way. Or, they are not as confident
about their ability to do the job or they don’t think they’re as
qualified, when, of course, they are. And so, over time, this accountability and transparency led to
a significant increase. When I left Cabinet, I
think it was about 44%. My department had hit 50%,
and so the target worked. And, I think that in that
way, people were looking for the right women to fill the job.>>So, I guess.>>As opposed to having a quota that
said we have just got to stick a woman in there because the quota said.>>I guess what a lot of people, I
would just say I guess what a lot of people don’t understand is if
a Liberal government can do that and do it very quickly, why can’t
it do it for its own parties?>>Exactly.>>Exactly.>>Exactly.>>I mean, that’s, but why? I mean [inaudible].>>That’s my point.>>Did hear the Prime
Minister the other day.>>Is that the reason? I mean.>>There is.>>In your opinion, Julie,
is that the reason? Is it because you don’t have a man or a
person in power who actually will go out and be like, “Find me a woman,”?>>Well, that’s why I have
become the patron of a group in Western Australia
called Emergent Women. And we are identifying young women
in business, in community work, NGOs, professionals, identifying young
women who are interested in politics, and women between 25 and 40
because it takes time to get women to think am I qualified for this. Do I want to do this? How can I arrange my family life,
my professional life, and the like? And, we started it last year. As at last count, there were 60 young
women who’ve joined this emergent women group. I haven’t asked them to become
members of the Liberal Party because for work reasons and other
reasons it’s, they don’t want to or they may not want to. But, over time, I will help mentor
them so that they have an understanding of what’s involved and encourage
them, yes you can do it. Yes, you can make a contribution. Because I happen to believe
entering public office is one of the highest callings, and that if you
can contribute your efforts and energies and enthusiasm and ideas to the
betterment of your community, your state, your country,
then that’s one of the greatest contributions
you can make. So, I want to see more
women in the Parliament.>>It’s a pipeline.>>We, yeah, it’s very much a pool
of women that can become part, but not all of them will
want to go into.>>The pipeline can get blocked.>>Yeah, right. The Liberal [inaudible]
selector can get plugged.>>Can I just point out, though,
that one of the ridiculous arguments about this, you know, that the Liberal
Party couldn’t possibly have a quota is there are, you can’t have a quota for
women, apparently, but there is a quota, of course, for in the coalition
for the national party. The only reason [inaudible]. [ Laughter ] The only reason Barnaby [inaudible] is about to be Prime Minister
is because there was a quota. I mean, if it’s good enough for
Barnaby but not good enough for George.>>I do think. [ Laughter ] [ Applause and Cheering ] I do think that it’s really important
to, I mean, you’ve got a group of four pretty fabulous women
speaking to you this afternoon.>>Glad you didn’t stop at pretty.>>Pretty fabulous, I think. I think the thing to also understand, that political life is
not for everybody.>>Sure.>>And, it is very demanding,
particularly if you’re a woman and particularly, it is true
if you’ve got a young family.>>That’s the truth.>>That goes for the men, too.>>But, that doesn’t
apply to them as much.>>No, but you and I had both had
examples in our respective parties of men with young children.>>Sure.>>They both happened to
come from Western Australia, and the geographic distance
does [inaudible].>>They quit to spend more
time with their families. Real.>>It’s a rough, it is the
adversarial nature of politics that I think is a challenge, and
you have to be a particular person to be able to understand that, to
be able to deal with it, of course, and to also retain your feminist
inner self in that context.>>And, Julia [inaudible] used to talk
about that a lot, that she, you know, that she just sort of had an armour,
I suppose, and she relied on her own, she had a lot of self reliance. I want to go to that, though. Do women just need to
harden up because politics.>>No, no.>>Is an adversarial and
aggressive and hostile environment? Or, does politics need to change?>>I think that is such insulting terms.>>So do I.>>Yeah.>>So do I.>>I mean the thing that
you would expect from, I think that’s what we’re all
saying is decent behaviour, treating each other well and
respectfully because, as Julie said, you know, being elected is
an enormous responsibility. You are carrying the aspirations of tens
of thousands of people into that place. And, there is such honour in that. I know that that sounds
trite, but it is true. And, it’s an enormous responsibility. But, I do think that it is really
crucial that women are collectively in that environment, and that is the
power of women in that environment.>>I think, too, that, I mean, I
do think politicians go on a lot about themselves and how life is
in Canberra and how bad life is as the politician because there
are millions of women out there.>>True.>>Who work full-time
in very demanding jobs. They’re away from home, and
their jobs can be from, you know, the senior executive role who
travels a lot, to shift workers, doctors, nurses, professionals. There are all those people do have that. I think the problem in
our body politic is that we don’t have equal representation
across the board, and that we have, you know, and we’re, hopefully,
after the next election, going to have a number of
independents in that sensible centre. Because. [ Laughter ]>>Anyone in particular.>>Well, but I do believe
that, you know, numbers is not the answer to everything. It’s about the culture, and when
you get that equal representation, you change the culture of the place. It’s not the [inaudible].>>And, more women will be attracted.>>It will create, that the
outcomes will be created.>>I have [inaudible].>>Julie Bishop wants to say something.>>Yeah. In her way.>>I’m dying to pick up on
that point because we’ve talked about Parliament being adversarial. Yes, it is, and it’s ingrained in
the system, the Westminster system, where you have a formal
executive government and you have a formal opposition. Unlike the United States, for example. So, the job of the opposition is
to hold the government to account. And, the opposition wants to take the
government out so that they can get into government and implement
their policies. And, the government wants
to get rid of the opposition so that they can continue to govern. The culture of the place
has been developed by men because it was an all male
Parliament for so many years.>>Yeah.>>So, the attitudes and
the culture, the convention, the precedence have been set when men
were in control of the Parliament. And, question time is a great example. Question time is all this theatre, and
as a minister or as a shadow minister, you were expected to
take your opponent down. You’re expected to have a hit on them so that they would be
politically destroyed. And, you were judged on your
ability to be a warrior. Now, I was no angel. I’ve been part of all of
that, but I soon learnt, when I became Foreign Minister in
particular, that if you’re trying to be a man, it is a waste of a woman. [ Applause and Cheering ]>>I want to, I do, we’re going to
have to go to questions soon, and I, there’s a few things that I
want to cover off on first. We’ve had a bullying culture
for a while now, in Parliament. I think, I can sort of
trace it back to the, to Julia Gillard’s Prime Ministership. She faced a lot of misogynistic abuse. Now, Julie, when she gave her famous
misogyny speech against Tony Abbott, you were his loyal deputy,
and you stood up after that speech, and you defended him. And, you said that it was wrong of
Julia Gillard to call him misogynist and that she should apologise to him. Have you changed your views
about Tony Abbott since? [ Laughter ]>>Let me put it in context. The debate was about the Labour Party
putting Peter Slipper in as the Speaker. And, I think Julia would admit that
that was, perhaps, a misjudgment, and Peter Slipper as
Speaker was the debate. And, she quite skillfully deflected.>>Yes.>>What should have been a
huge political disadvantage and damaged Labour almost irreparably. She skillfully turned it back on
us by attacking Tony Abbott, and I, as the deputy, of course, had a role to
play to defend the leader which I did.>>You did your job, yeah.>>I did my job. And so, it was a political
play, but her speech went viral. And, the issue at hand which was the
utterly inappropriate appointment of someone from our side to the
Speaker’s role in circumstances where it would mean that she could
stay in government as opposed to face an election, it was, you
know, pretty cynical politics.>>Okay, but to answer the question. [ Laughter ] Let me put it another way. Do you think Tony Abbott was a good
champion for women as Prime Minister, and as Minister for Women, which he was?>>He was the Minister for Women. Yes, he appointed himself as the. [ Laughter ]>>Do you think he was a
good Minister for Women?>>My personal view was that
it would have been preferable for a female Cabinet Minister
to be the Minister for Women. [ Applause and Cheering ]>>Just quickly, because we are
going to go to questions soon, I want to ask your, all of your views
on Scott Morrison’s formulation, and this is a serious question
because he said just, you know, the other day that he
wanted to see women rise but not at the expense of others. Now, that’s a very, it’s
laughable, but it’s also serious. It’s deeply serious because it shows a
binary point of view, I would say, that, you know, one person can succeed only
at the expense of another, and it also, to me, is a tacit admission that men
have risen at the expense of women. Sarah, what’s your view on that?>>I think it says everything
about Scott Morrison, actually. And, either who the hell
is briefing this guy, or perhaps he should
stick to the script. One or the other, and frankly, I think
it’s quite alarming, actually, that we, on International Women’s Day, the
Prime Minister, who is leading a party which is engulfed in a crisis
of how they engage with women in their own party and the
voters, would go out and say this and not even think twice about
the message that that was sending. [ Applause ] But, the biggest problem I
think I have with it is the idea that somehow we can have equality
but just not real equality. That’s what he was saying. Equality is good for everybody. It’s, of course, it’s good for, you
know, as women, we need to advance, but it is good for everybody. And, anyone who thinks differently
is not committed to the idea that men and women should be treated
equally across the board, and that should never be represented
by a Prime Minister in 2019. [ Applause ]>>Julie, you can be frank now. What do you think?>>I can be frank.>>[inaudible], I think the other two
should get it off their chest first.>>All right.>>I have.>>Linda.>>I have to say that I have always
felt very respected, very listened to, and my views sought by the members of
the Labour Party, the party I represent. I have not felt bullying or the
sorts of things that, perhaps, some other of my fellow
panellists might have experienced. And, I think in terms of the
Prime Minister’s comments on International Women’s Day,
completely misguided and a known goal. It’s almost as good as a replica of
the Endeavour standing around Australia as an act of reconciliation. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]>>Julia.>>Look, when I heard
that, I thought two things. The first thing was I thought it just
replicated everything everyone’s telling me which is they’re fed up with the
combative politics of the major parties. The second thing I thought
was thank God I’ve left. Actually three things. And then, I did something. I just thought about my other
fellow three independent, sensible centre women, and what
I did was I went for a walk and played my favourite song of
the moment which is Eurythmics’ “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.” [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]>>Julie.>>Jackie, it would be very [inaudible]
of me to complain about my treatment in the Liberal Party because I was the
first woman to be elected to the seat of Curtin which is a very strong
Liberal seat in Western Australia. It will be [inaudible] of me not
to acknowledge that I was elected by my colleagues as the deputy
leader of the party year after year in opposition and in government. And, I had 11 years as the
deputy of the Liberal Party, and then what was the most
challenging and rewarding and fulfilling career opportunity I
think any parliamentarian could have was to be Australia’s Foreign Minister. And, I was so proud of the fact that I was the first female Foreign
Minister in our country’s history. And, when Marise Payne
as Defence Minister and I as Foreign Minister would turn
up at these two plus two meetings, these meetings that you have
in diplomatic architecture where the Foreign Minister and the
Defence Minister of countries meet, and when two women from Australia
would come to these meetings in our very senior roles and Foreign
Minister and Defence Minister, it invariably caused an
enormous amount of comment. Because people would say we thought
Australia had a blokey culture. This is extraordinary to see
two women in these roles. And so, symbolism and numbers do matter. It changed people’s perception of us. So, I believe that it’s
about changing attitudes. If we really believe in equality
of opportunity and ensuring that we can embrace more
women in all roles, then Australia will be better for it. No nation will reach its potential
unless and until it fully engages with the skills and ideas and
energy and talents of the 50% of its population that is female. [ Applause ]>>And, do you want to
comment specifically on, do you want to comment
specifically on Scott Morrison’s? [ Laughter ]>>The Prime Minister was asked
about his comments yesterday, and he explained what he meant.>>She’s such a diplomat.>>Can I, I can be a little bit.>>[inaudible] privacy bit.>>I can be a little bit
more honest about that.>>Yeah.>>I mean, Scott Morrison has said
himself that John Howard is his mentor. I think that statement
came from his heart. [ Laughter ]>>Take of that what you will. Okay. We are going to turn
over to audience questions now, and everyone can ask the
questions that I neglected to. But, I will need the lights up, so.>>There’s a lot of you.>>We’ll try to get through everyone.>>Wow.>>Watch out, ladies. This is the Q and A part. Do we have anyone? Okay. Let’s go over here
to microphone number two.>>Hello. This is a question
for Julie Bishop. I just wanted to know what
your plans are post politics. [ Laughter ]>>Well, I had 20 years
in a legal career. I’ve now had 20 years
in a political career, and I think I need another 20
years in a third fulfilling career. There are many issues that I
would like to be involved with. The private sector, philanthropic
causes, and I hope to continue
to make a contribution. A number of people have been
speculating about ambassadorial roles. Well, I’m already an ambassador
of ocean respect racing which put together the first
professional all female crew to do the Sydney to Hobart.>>I think they might be here.>>I think there’s [inaudible]
in the audience.>>Go, girls. And, then, secondly, I’m the
ambassador for ovarian cancer research which is an insidious cancer. It kills about a thousand
women each year in Australia. The survival rate is about
45%, where with breast cancer, for example, it’s about 95%. There is no early detection
test, and there is no cure. So, I want to spend time assisting the
Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. [ Applause ]>>Julie, can you tell us, you’ve
got your next job lined up, though, don’t you?>>My next job, it’s, you’re
putting it in a singular. There are so many things I want to do.>>She’s too coy for us. We’ll go over here to
microphone number one. This lady.>>It’s Eva Cox.>>Oh, it’s Eva Cox. Hi, Eva. [ Applause and Cheering ]>>My question, as you might
guess, is probably fairly broad. It’s all very well talking about
getting more women into Parliament, but how do we ensure that you
actually stick to a feminist agenda and don’t get taken over by the blokes? [ Applause and Cheering ] At least enough of you to
make a serious difference. Would be hard to assume you’re
all going to be feminists.>>Okay, so.>>Perhaps I could put
forward this perspective. When I became Foreign Minister, the
first woman to hold the position in our history, I embraced
gender equality and gender equity in our foreign aid programme and
focussed on the Pacific which is where the majority of
our aid is invested. And, ensured that every dollar we
spent was seen through the lens of what it would do for
women and children. And, we also ensured that our policies
drove economic empowerment of women, leadership empowerment of women,
and focussed on eradicating sexual and gender based violence against women. No country is immune, but it
is prevalent in the Pacific. So, we embedded female
empowerment and gender equality in the foreign aid policies. So, it can be done.>>And, you go ahead. Do you other women feel that
you are, have a duty to, yeah? [ Multiple Speakers ]>>One way we could have done that
and stuck to a feminist agenda, and that would have been to elect Julie
Bishop as our next Prime Minister. [ Applause and Cheering ] I think it’s actually very important
for us as women in Parliament to look at each decision that
we make with a view of whether we’re advancing
the feminist agenda. I think it’s actually really important
because if we don’t do it, no one will. That’s the reality. And, I also think that
across party lines. One of the interesting things out of the
last 12 months had been the acceptance that across all parties that we
need more women in the Parliament. We need to be working together more, and
we’ve kind of, a number of us have put down our bows and arrows and actually
started working a bit more closely together, publicly and privately. And, I think that is
really, really important. Despite all the crap that’s happened
over the last 12 months in Canberra and all the stories that have
come out and the treatment that people have gone through, I
actually think, I feel quite positive and I feel quite hopeful
that in this next term, there is going to be very real
advancement for women in politics, but also for what we present
to the women of Australia. And, it’s up to us to do it, and I don’t
really care what political party we’re from, I want us to work
together to develop and deliver a proper feminist agenda. [ Applause and Cheering ]>>Hi, Eva. How are you? I’ve never felt compromised on my feminist positions,
never felt compromised. I think it’s about women
supporting each other. The most powerful thing that
we can do as women is the way in which we network and
mentor each other. That’s incredibly powerful. And, you should also, I guess many
people would understand that just because you’re from the Labour Party
or the Liberal Party or the Greens or Independent doesn’t mean
that you don’t have connexions with each other across party lines. And, that’s a feature of
surviving Parliament in many ways. But, the power of collective action
is what we have to stick with in terms of women, and that’s how you protect
your feminism, collective action, working together, and also
always having in my mind, Eva, and you know me quite well, is
the understanding that the way in which you hold the positions that
we hold is not on your own effort. It’s usually on the shoulders
of other women. And, that’s something you remember.>>And, can I? [ Applause ]>>Can I just build on what Linda
was saying that I think, again, it comes back to the numbers and
equal representation because, like my business life, if you
have a focus on something. So, if you have 50/50 men and women,
for example, in our Parliament, then you establish a focus. So, for example, the first parliamentary
friendship group of women’s health, that came from, I launched that. But, the reason it got launched
was because of the collective power of all the amazing organisations like
breast cancer, BCNA and ovarian, OCRF, and all those amazing organisations. So, that collective power
of the community of women is really, really vital. [ Applause ]>>We’ll go up to number three. We’ll get through the questions
as quickly as possible up there.>>Hi. Thank you, ladies, to everybody. My name’s [inaudible], and with
a number of board members here, we run a nonpartisan group that
helps to inspire and train more women to move into public office. I am really interested to
hear the panellists’ view. If you were designing a course
on how to train more women to move into public office. And, let’s assume there’s a number
in the audience that would want to do that in the coming years,
what two skills do you think that they should focus on honing in
the coming period to give them success?>>Great question. [ Applause ] Sarah, do you want to go first?>>Very, very good question. I think it’s hard to
choose two, but I think one that is very important is knowing when
to listen and knowing when to speak. And, I don’t mean based
on what men think. I mean based on listening to your
electorate and listening to the people around you, being able to read
the room and then have the courage and the ability to stand up and say it. And, right now, with everything that’s
going on and people’s view of politics, the public are crying out for
politicians who do what they say and say what they do, and I
think being able to be very clear about what you believe but
also being able to listen to other people and know
when to speak up. If you want to, as a woman
in politics, you hone that, and you’ll be long on your way.>>Julie.>>The ability to negotiate. So much of what we do in Parliament
as parliamentarians, as ministers, as shadow ministers is
negotiating outcomes. It’s often a compromise, and there are
negotiating skills that can be learnt. So, I would encourage that. Also, the ability to speak clearly,
concisely, and to the point. Polly waffle has had its
day, and people are listening for eloquence and clarity and coherence. My one tic would be if you
were going into politics, don’t let others define you. Don’t let others set benchmarks for you that they can’t or won’t
meet themselves. Be authentic. Be yourself. Believe in yourself. Don’t let others tell you
what you can or can’t do. [ Applause ]>>The two suggestions that I would make
is particularly, and I say this always to young women that I’m speaking to. The most powerful thing
you can be is be yourself. Don’t try and copy someone else. Don’t try and be a bloke
like the blokes. Just be you because you are
the most powerful person that you can be if you just be yourself. And, that second bit of advice
is take every opportunity. I think as women, as other
people have said, we often say, “I’m not qualified enough,” or maybe, “I
haven’t got time,” or “I can’t do that.” Just grasp everything and
have a crack is my advice.>>Julia? [ Applause ]>>Two words that come to mind for
me are the two things, authenticity. Be your authentic self. Because people see right through a PR
campaign or, you know, [inaudible] grabs or anything like that,
the six word slogan. So, stay authentic. And, the other one is resilience. You really, it’s just resilience in
leadership applies to men and women, and I think you need
resilience in politics. And, someone gave me a metaphor
which I could share with many of you. So, many women, particularly, in public
office put up with 50 times the sort of social media trolling and the
comments and all that sort of stuff and treat it as if you’re a
bullfighter and you’ve got the red flag. Red, that colour again, Jules. You’ve got the red flag,
and you just take it away and go forward with resilience. [ Applause ]>>I like that metaphor. A matador of that trolling over here. Number four.>>Yeah, hi. I’m just sort of interested, as a 50
year old woman who has an interest in politics and has done for
many years but is not affiliated with a political party as to how
or what suggestions you would have in regards to, perhaps,
taking that next step forward.>>I think you have to have something
that you feel passionate about and a connexion as to your
community or an issue. And, surely, in politics, and
Julie said this before, you know, one of the highest callings,
but that’s because we want to serve our community
and we want outcomes. We want to make the place better. It doesn’t matter what
political party you’re in. We all come into politics with the view
that we want to make the country better. We’ve got different ideas about how that
happens, but that’s why we come to it. And so, and that’s what you need to know
first is what it is that you want to, why being in politics, what
difference are you going to make? And, there will be something, of course. But, I think going into politics
for politics, you won’t last long. You have to have something in your
heart and in your gut that drives you.>>Can I, perhaps, give you
some very pragmatic advice? Write a list. Why do you want to go into politics? Do you want to be in national
politics or state politics.>>Local politics.>>Or, local politics. Do you want to be in the Senate
or the House of Representatives? Is there a political party whose values
and outlooks and ideas align with yours? If there’s not, do you want to
be an independent, and if so, what are the chances of you
getting sufficient support to be it? So, you need to ask yourself
some pretty searching questions, and I suggest write it down. Write a list, and then evaluate it. Find yourself a mentor, male, female,
somebody whose judgement you trust and who looks out for your interests. And, run these ideas past them. Speak to some people in politics,
whether it’s local, state, or federal, and gain as much information as you
can as to whether politics is for you. Linda said it’s not for everybody,
and that’s absolutely right. But, if you have a passion and energy
and can answer those questions, then politics may well be
the next career for you.>>Well, my advice is keep
doing what you’re doing. If you’re interested,
if you’re passionate. You’re obviously a good
community advocate or you wouldn’t be asking this question. And, there are many ways that you
can influence the political outcome without being a member of Parliament. There are many opportunities,
particularly for women within the political spectrum. Not many people end up member of
Parliament, but there are lots of people behind you that do incredibly
important jobs, whether it’s media or policy or being a member of a
local branch of a particular party. They’re the sorts of
things that I would suggest. Stay an active, committed
community activist.>>Julia?>>Well, I entered politics at 52, so and basically what drove me
was all throughout my career, my business career, I fought
and worked in relation to gender and cultural equality. That’s what I stood for then, throughout
my career, and to have that opportunity on the broader platform in that
House of Representatives is, was an extraordinary honour. And so, I would say to
you if you want to, you’re clearly in the sensible
centre, so become an independent. [ Laughter ]>>We’re pretty much out of time,
but we’ll just take one more question from number two down
there, and then, yeah.>>Thank you. [inaudible] I’m wondering how we
make leadership safer for women. So, I’m in the final year of my teaching
degree, and I can’t wait to start. I know one day I’d like to serve
my school communities as a leader, but I’m conscious that violence towards
principals is actually increasing. A recent survey showed that 32% of male principals experienced
physical violence last year, but 40% of female principals
experienced physical violence last year. And, this is across the board in
other front line services, too. So, how do we make it safer, aside
from me teaching the next generation to do better and taking
self defence classes? How do we make it less acceptable for violence towards female
leaders to be a thing?>>I’ll have a crack at that.>>Yeah, go, Linda.>>It’s staggering that
there’s violence against any.>>That’s a huge statistic,
but my suggestion would be, not just for yourself to create a
safer place for women’s leadership. But, one of the things that I think we
can do is that’s the most empowering thing for ourselves is
know how we were made. Know how you were put together. Know where you’ve come from. Understand your family’s history. Understand the sorts of things
and strengths that you draw from what’s made you, and if
you do that, if we all do that. And, we’ve all got incredible
stories, every single one of us. Then, that’s self-empowerment flows out.>>That is a shocking statistic
that 32% of male and 40% of female principals are
subjected to violence. Any violence against either men
or women is utter unacceptable, and it comes down to taking
responsibility for your own actions. Individuals, the students, I’m
assuming the violence comes from the students not from.>>Parents.>>Parents.>>From the parents.>>Students.>>Can be students or parents.>>Well, students.>>Other school community members.>>It’s utterly unacceptable, and
there has to be a culture of respect. And, it can be learnt. It can be acquired. If it’s not innate and ingrained as one
would hope, it can be an issue that has to be put out there in the
open, the light shown on it, and people taking responsibility
for their behaviour. I am shocked by those statistics, and
I don’t see it through the gender lens. I see it through a lens that there’s
that level of violence by students or parents against teachers, against
principals whose job it is to nurture and educate their children. Because, as a former Education Minister,
I know that the most powerful influence on a child’s educational outcomes,
after parents, are their teachers who should be treasured and
respected members of our society. [ Applause ]>>Just wrap up quickly, I suppose, with
a broader point about how to withstand that kind of, you know, violence, abuse,
the really heavy stuff that gets thrown at women in leadership positions.>>Well, I think, you
know, more broadly, because those statistics are horrific. But, you know, being a woman in
politics or a woman in public life, it’s not unusual to receive
threats and abuse. It just isn’t. And, of course, I think, as women,
and I started to do this myself. I’ve stopped pretending
that it doesn’t happen. I’ve stopped pretending that
that’s just internet trolls. I’m naming it. I’m calling people out, and I think we
have to not be the ones who stay silent or are silenced by these
type of behaviour. I actually think we have
to push back and say no. It’s not on. It’s not acceptable,
and shame the trolls. [ Applause ]>>Actually think that’s
kind of a great note to end on because here we are
proclaiming it, you know, on the stage of the concert
hall in the Sydney Opera House. We’re coming up to an election year. I, in many ways, feel a little bit
pessimistic about our political culture, but certainly listening to you ladies
today makes me feel more optimistic. And, I think there’s so much resilience
here that I think we’re, you know, we have only good things to come. I want to thank our female panellists
so much, and thank you to the audience. You guys have been great. Such an incredible experience
to be here. [ Applause and Cheering ]




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