- It is an historical day for Australia, with Julia Gillard becoming the 27th Australian Prime Minister and the first woman appointed to the highest office of the land.
Prime Minister Gillard is expected to quickly establish her differences with the Rudd administration by pledging a more consultative leadership, and action to resolve such vote-shredding issues as the stalemate over the Resource Super Profit Tax.
This historic moment comes on the heels of another historical occasion for Australian women. After 30 years of campaigning Australia has its first universal paid parental leave scheme, catching up with the rest of the developed world.
In her first speech to Parliament on 11th November 1998, Ms Gillard said:
‘For far too long public debate in Australia has failed to nourish or inspire us. For far too long it has been limited to the day-to-day monitoring of the health of our economy rather than the morals and goals of our society.
Ms Gillard also said; ‘Australia cannot afford to waste talent’
Women look to Prime Minister Gillard to honour these sentiments by improving the equality of women in Australia in all aspects of life where their contribution to the nation continues to be undervalued.
This is particularly the case in the lifelong economic security of women. Discriminatory compensation across the majority of employment sectors continues to be a significant challenge for women, which leads to a waste of talent to the life and future of the nation. Pay equity is about basic justice and fairness and also basic family economics.
Lifelong economic security enriches all aspects of women’s lives including their education, health, employment, personal safety and financial security over their lifetime. Australian women call on the Prime Minister to ensure a livable for women so that they can live with respect and dignity.
Kevin Rudd will be remembered well for his committement to social justice and women, some of which included; the apology to the Stolen Generation, the signing of the CEDAW Optional Protocal and of course Paid Parental Leave. The role of high office requires dedication and tenacity and the sacrifice of time to personal realtionships and pursuits and Kevin Rudd is repected for his committment to serve Australia. He was an important and significant leader that leaves legacies that he can be proud of and appreciated.
What were you doing when you heard that Australia has its first female Prime Minister ?
I was having a meeting in a cafe when I got a message from my daughter (who was sitting on the internet as well as listening to the radio so she could let me know as it happened). I then immediately got a text from my other daughter in New York…. historical news travels fast.
The cafe happened to be filled with women. When I told the news to those next to me, it went around the cafe fast and there was an immediate celebration.
It had nothing to do with political affiliations – it was just good news for women !
what were you doing and what are your thoughts ?