Friday, 7 October 2022

My husband Rod and I are pleased to welcome you to Government House, during National Safe Work Month, for the presentation of the Augusta Zadow Awards.

Along with other pioneering women, Augusta Zadow dedicated her life to improving women’s circumstances and ensuring opportunity.

Her appointment as South Australia's 'First Lady Inspector of Factories' in 1895 was the culmination of her years of advocacy.

As a delegate to the United Trades and Labour Council, and later as an inspector, she inspected factories and workshops and set the standards for work and health and safety for generations to come.

Today, we have come a long way in protecting the health and safety of women and young workers since Augusta’s time.

Yet it is important to reflect that issues such as gender equality and casualization of the workforce, particularly among young people, continue to demand our attention.

Awards such as these serve to remind us of the need to continually carry the legacy of the pioneers forward.

Since their inception, the Augusta Zadow awards have granted close to $350,000 for 33 projects that aim to secure better conditions for workers.

I commend the 17 proposals received, from across the state, for the 2022 awards and I thank the applicants for the time and energy they dedicated to preparing these submissions.

By wanting to make a difference, you are continuing the proud legacy of Augusta Zadow.

Congratulations to the shortlisted recipients here with us this evening, for your proposals that contribute to the wellbeing of South Australian workers.

They aim to:

  • address mental health among young constructions workers,
  • improve safety for young agriculture workers,
  • study student workplace violence experienced by nursing students, and
  • raise awareness of endometriosis and how it impacts women in the workplace.

I look forward to the announcement of the winners a little later in proceedings.

I thank the staff of SafeWork SA for their commitment to coordinating these awards and to promoting them in our community.

And I thank the expert judging panel for bringing their knowledge and experience to the important task of selecting our winners.

Friends,

On 11 July 1896, the Chronicle newspaper reported the death of Augusta Zadow and published a tribute to her life and work.

The article describes Mrs Zadow as one of the most “noble-hearted, constant, indefatigable workers” for the physical and social betterment of those she supported.

To our award nominees, and everyone here this evening who works to improve conditions for working women and young people, thank you for your noble-hearted, constant and indefatigable efforts.

You are part of a fine South Australian tradition, and may it continue long into the future.