Friday, 20 October 2023

Reception to present the 2023 Augusta Zadow Awards

I am delighted to welcome you all to Government House for the presentation of the Augusta Zadow awards.

South Australia was established through the pioneering vision of exceptional people committed to building a society where people could flourish, where barriers to opportunity could be dismantled and injustice, in the parlance of our era, called out.

Among those pioneers was Augusta Zadow, whose relentless work in fighting for the work health and safety rights for women and young workers in clothing factories has indelibly shaped our commitment to equity in workplaces today.

August Zadow dedicated her life to improving women’s circumstances.

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 set standards for work and health and safety for her time and future generations.

To that end, her legacy through these awards, reminds us that while we have come a long way since then, we must always be vigilant and prepared to make change where change is needed.

As Governor, gender equality is a priority for me, and I have been heartened to witness within our community a generosity of spirit amongst people in identifying needs and stepping up to facilitate change.

This is particularly so as we continue to grapple with issues such as equity, the gender pay gap, everyday sexism, unconscious bias, casualisation of the workforce particularly among young people, or undervaluing of traditional female occupations.

I congratulate the award winners on their commitment to securing better conditions and better systems for workers.

While the three projects each have their own focus, at the core of all of them is a commitment to upskill people, empower them to cope with the demands of the workplace, or provide better system frameworks.

I thank SafeWork SA and the various judging panels for their stewardship of these awards since 2005 and for raising awareness of work, health and safety for women and young workers.

Importantly, thank you to the award winners for your determination to improve working conditions for women and young people.

Through you, the legacy of Augusta Zadow endures.

Coming events