Reception in support of International Women’s Day
Ministers; former Governors; Judges; Members of the Legislative Assembly; Federal Member for Ryan; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather, with respect to Elders past, present and emerging, and in doing so, acknowledge the important role Indigenous women continue to play across Queensland, especially in our rural, regional and remote communities.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House this afternoon, as we once again celebrate International Women’s Day.
We welcome you all, and with special mention, if I may, to the students – aspirational, inspirational young women of now, and of our future.
The theme for this year’s day is Balance for Better.
In other words, if you better the balance, you better the world.
We can certainly apply this mantra to our own, daily lives.
When we, as individuals, learn to balance our time, our thoughts, our activities – even our diet – we are better able to contribute to the community of Queensland, and beyond.
Diversity, be it in our schools, workplaces, or our political structures, achieves a very similar outcome.
Indeed, gender equality results in better outcomes for our communities, because it brings about balance.
The suffragettes of the early 20th century certainly knew this.
And today, those women and men who continue to work tirelessly for the rights of women across the world know this too.
International Women’s Day first began in 1911 – in the wake of the suffragette movement – when the conversation of gender parity was really just beginning, at least as part of the wider public discourse.
Here we are, more than 100 years later and, though many challenges remain, our world is changing.
International Women’s Day has now grown to become an annual event which reflects upon the economic, political and social achievements of women across the globe.
This focus on achievement and contribution offers important inspiration for the citizens of our future world – whether male or female.
In Queensland, the theme for this year’s Women’s Week, which officially comes to a close on Sunday, is: Invest in women. Invest in the future.
You join us today representing a diverse array of industries and organisations.
But while your backgrounds are varied, you share a common set of values – you are all investing in women, and investing in the future.
As we turn our attention to the future, it is wonderful to see so many schools across our State coordinating events in celebration of International Women’s Day.
This focus on providing educational opportunities and encouragement for young women and girls, to ensure they are empowered to create a future of their own creation, is an integral part of restoring the balance, a Balance for Better.
This morning I joined 800 people, all of them great community contributors, at the Public Safety Business Agency IWD event.
It was on Monday morning last that Kaye and I joined 800 people – that was at an assembly at Pimpama State School – an absolutely heartwarming experience as you would imagine, heartwarming as this morning’s event was encouraging and reassuring.
Each occasion illustrated the great significance, beneficial significance, of balance through diversity, as does our gathering here this afternoon at Government House.
Welcome, and thank you!