Tuesday, 7 June 2022

It is Rod’s and my great pleasure to join you, for the first time in an official capacity, at the 112th and final Women’s Golf Annual Meeting.

We are pleased to be co-patrons of the Royal Adelaide Golf Club and under Chris Crocker’s expert tutelage hope soon to be able to call ourselves playing patrons.

It had been a long-held aspiration, particularly of Rod’s, that we should not only learn to play, but practise and play regularly – so in that respect we really are living the dream.

As we have heard from Vicki Jordan, arriving at this point where women’s golf is amalgamated into the broader club, has been many years in the making.

129 years, to be exact, since the ladies golf club asked to use the new course being established in the northern parklands.

Over these past months, Rod and I have discovered that learning to play golf is great training for playing the ‘game’ of life.

Golf requires a long view. It requires patience, persistence, determination, resilience and the ability to hold one’s nerve in the face of setbacks.

Throughout its history, the women of the Royal Adelaide have demonstrated these attributes in spades.

When it comes to being treated as equals, they – you – have simply refused to give up.  As tenacious off the course as on!

Every small change has built upon the previous one, and over the years and decades, this has produced substantial change.

So much so that the Royal Adelaide now enjoys the distinction of being the first of three Royal golf clubs in Australia – Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide - to bring women’s golf under the same governance body as men’s.

There is, of course, much more work to do before true equality is achieved for women in golf, and in all sports, at both the amateur and professional level.  Minjee Lee’s US Open win over the weekend will no doubt provide further impetus.

But today marks an important occasion for the Royal Adelaide Golf Club, and I commend the entire club community – especially its women members, past and present – for taking real steps to make positive change.

Firsts for women continue to be notched up and I have seen first-hand how impactful individual appointments, for example, can be.

I do think, though, that deeply rooted social and sporting change of the kind we acknowledge today – achieved over more than a century – is worthy of special celebration and Rod and I are delighted to be with you on this historic day.

You have set an example which other golf clubs and sporting clubs more widely should be encouraged to follow.

We look forward to working with you as active patrons in support of the Royal Adelaide Golf Club and hope to see out on the course sometime!