Friday, 15 March 2024

Soroptimist International Port Pirie IWD Luncheon

It is my great pleasure to join you for your annual luncheon to mark International Women’s Day and to be patron of the Soroptimist International Region of South Australia.

I am pleased to be in the company of Soroptimists here today, as well as women, men and young people from the broader community.

Over the past fortnight I have attended a number of IWD events, and it has been heartening to witness commitment from across our society, women and men, to progress gender equity. I have observed a positive disposition towards taking action to achieve needed change.

I thank you all for being here today and for your openness to being part of this movement.

Today’s luncheon is about coming together to share stories and experiences and to inspire one another.

It’s also about offering each other and all women practical support, today and every day.

As is often the case, when we look back at the past year, progress has been made, but yet more is needed.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress’.

The economic empowerment of women is of crucial importance.

As figures released recently demonstrate, the gender pay gap in corporate Australia persists.

Women remain underrepresented in leadership roles, and they often carry a disproportionate burden of unpaid work.

There is still a long way to go.

But when we take determined action in our personal and professional environments, we can, especially when we join together, create greater change.

In my own career as a diplomat, and now as Governor, I have learned a great deal about how we may work towards gender equity and inclusivity in our workplaces and in society.

  • DFAT and the growth in the number of female ambassadors
    • from Dame Annabelle Rankin in 1974 to today
  • The importance of symbols
    • Portraits and Mirrors exhibition
    • Adelaide City Council portrait unveiling
  • the business case – recent regional visits
  • inclusion – every voice heard
    • school leaders, debating, Duke of Edinburgh, young citizens of the year


Thank you for the kind invitation to join you today.

I thank the Port Pirie branch of Soroptimists International for its commitment to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations, and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.

Congratulations to the branch on its recent achievements, including celebrating your 40th anniversary last year, supporting local women’s shelters, as well as funding a range of awards and donations.

Happy International Women’s Day to you all.

Equality is something for every day, not just 8 March.

Coming events