Institute of Public Administration Australia International Women’s Day
President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, Queensland and Director-General of the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, Ms Deidre Mulkerin; Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity, Public Service Commission, Dr Linda Colley; Australia and New Zealand School of Government Dean and CEO, Mr Adam Fennessy and Deputy Dean, Professor Catherine Althaus; Ipswich City Council CEO Ms Sonia Cooper and Services Australia Deputy CEO, Ms Michelle Lees; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
I am delighted to be with you this morning and, as Patron of the Institute of Public Administration Australia in Queensland, I congratulate the Institute and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government on collaborating to host today’s International Women’s Day celebration – and it’s a SELL OUT event!
Earlier this morning, I joined our Public Safety and Integrity Agencies in their celebration of International Women’s Day; this evening, I will attend a sunset reception at the Royal Flying Doctors Service Brisbane base to mark the occasion; and in recent days I have also attended the Red Rose Foundation’s high tea and hosted an International Women’s Day wellbeing walk at Government House.
The busyness of my schedule in early March every year demonstrates clearly that the community now recognises the importance of International Women’s Day in focusing attention on the issues that affect women and girls.
In keeping with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “cracking the code” to innovating and changemaking for a fairer and more inclusive future, today we look forward to some candid and thought-provoking discussions from our Stewards about their personal career journeys, overcoming barriers and effecting real change.
We all know that there is a battle to be fought and won before equity is fully embraced in Australia. Although the voices of women are heard increasingly in our nation’s boardrooms, we are still engaged in a slow battle of attrition that requires persistent and committed effort.
Discussions like those we are having in this room today, underpinned by big ideas and a willingness to lead with courage and authenticity, have the power to help break down gender inequality.
It is so important that we stand shoulder to shoulder, and I am therefore really delighted to see so many of you mentoring others—as friends and colleagues—guiding other women while they traverse this sometimes-rocky terrain.
Together, you are building alliances and helping us all to find ways of making the changes that will lead to a more equitable workplace and a more equal future.
I look forward to hearing about the experiences of our three inspirational Stewards and to a lively Q&A session.
Thank you again for the invitation to join you this morning. Before I conclude, I would also like to take this opportunity to present a certificate of Patronage to the President of IPAA Queensland, Ms Diedre Mulkerin. Happy International Women’s Day!