Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Towards 2000: women and the future key note address to National Labor Women's Conference



Download PDFDownload PDF

TOWARDS 2000 : WOMEN AND THE FUTURE

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

TO

NATIONAL LABOR WOMEN'S CONFERENCE

BY

SENATOR THE HONOURABLE SUSAN RYAN

MI NI STER FOR EDUCATION AND YOUTH AFFAI RS

AND

MI NI STER ASSI STI NG THE PRIME MI NI STER

ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

ADELAIDE

29 JANUARY 1984

TOWARDS 2000 : WOMEN AND THE FUTURE

LAST TIME WF MET, IN CANBERRA IN 1 9 8 2 , WE WERE STTLl

LOOKING FORWARD TO GOVERNMENT.

WE HAD JUST RECOVERED FROM OUR DISAPPOINTMENT AT OUR LOSS

IN I 9 6 0 AND WERE REBUILDING AND RETHI NKING.

WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO REGAINING POWER AND PLANNING

THE POL I CI ES WE WOULD PUT INTO EFFECT WHEN THAT HAPPENED.

WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO WOMEN REGAINING A PLACE AND,

I THINK IT APPROPRIATE TO SAY, POWER IN THE RANKS OF

DECI SI ON-MAKERS.

WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO ENDING THE IGNOMINY OE BARELY

BEING RECOGNISED BY GOVERNMENT EXCEPT IN OUR ROLES AS

WIVES AND MOTHERS - OR, OCCASIONALLY, IN OUR ROLES AS VI CTI MS

OF POVERTY OR NEGLECT.

WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING MORE WOMEN ENTERING THE

PARLIAMENT AND PUTTING AN END TO THE PERCEPTION AND, AS WL

KNOW, THE REALITY 0Γ THE AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT BEING A BIT

OF A CLUB FOR MEN ONLY. PARTLY THROUGH THE EFFORTS OE LABOR

WOMEN, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN VOTERS CAME TO SHARE OUR ASPI RATI ONS;

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN, ALONG WITH

52% 0Γ MEN VOTED LABOR, AND WE WERE SWEPT TO VI CT ORY.

7 .

]N MARCH LAST YEAR, WHEN Wl WON OUR WONDLREUL VICTORY AGAINST

THL ERASER GOVERNMENT, OUR EXPECTATIONS ΟΓ POWER AND

REPRESENTATION WERE AT LEAST PARTIALLY REALISED.

THIRTEEN WOMEN NOW REPRESENT LABOR IN THE GOVERNMENT RANKS.

I WAS ELECTED TO THE MINISTRY BY MY CAUCUS COLLEAGUES AND

GIVEN A CABINET POSITION BY THE PRIME MI N I S T E R . THIS WAS

MUCH MORE THAN A PERSONAL TRIUMPH FOR ME; IT WAS A VICTORY

FOR LABOR WOMEN COLLECTIVELY.

I WAS ESPECIALLY PLEASED TO BE GIVEN THE PORTFOLIO OF

EDUCATION AND YOUTH AFFAIRS AND EVEN MORE DELIGHTED - EVEN

IF I WAS THE OBVIOUS CHOICE - TO BE ASKED TO BE MINISTER

ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN.

MY COMBINED PORTFOLIO RE S P ON S I BI L I T I E S NOT ONLY ALLOW ME TO

PURSUE POLI CI ES IN WHICH I HAVE HAD A LONG PERSONAL INTEREST,

FOR EXAMPLE I CAN CONTINUE MY CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE FOR

ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS, THEY PERMIT ME TO INFLUENCE THE

DIRECTION OF GOVERNMENT THINKING IN ITS ATTITUDES TOWARDS

THREE GROUPS WHICH IN THE RECENT PAST HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY

NEGLECTED BY GOVERNMENT.

I REFER, OF COURSE, TO WOMEN, TO YOUTH - ESPECIALLY UNEMPLOYED

YOUNG WOMEN AND MEN, AND TO THAT MUCH MALIGNED GROUP: THE 75%

OF YOUNG AUSTRALIANS WHO ARE STUDENTS IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.

3.

/

THE G O V E R N M E N T ' S POL I C Y C H A N G E S I N 1 Η Γ L A T T E R A R E A H A V E

A T T R A C T E D A L A R G E D E GR E E 01 UNI NFORMED P U B L I C COMMENT AND

U N F O U N D E D C R I T I C I S M - I AM A D D R E S S I N G T H E S E A T T A C K S - WH I C H

COME F ROM S U CH P R E D I C T A B L E Q U A R T E R S A S THE F E S T I V A L OF L I G H T ,

T HE A U S T R A L I A N P A R E N T S C O U N C I L , T H E WOMEN WHO WANT TO BE

WOMEN A ND THE DL P I N B O T H I T S F OR ME R A ND NEW G U I S E S , BY

C A R E F U L E X P L A I N I N G WHAT T H E G O V E R N ME N T I S A C T U A L L Y D O I N G ,

AS D I S T I N C T F R OM WHAT OUR P O L I T I C A L O P P O N E N T S SO O F T E N

M I S L E A D I N G L Y P O R T R A Y AS OUR P O L I C Y I N T E N T I O N S .

I AM C O N F I D E N T T H A T A P O L I C Y W H I C H R E D I R E C T S R E S O U R C E S TG

T HE N E E D Y I S NOT O N L Y ONE W H I C H D E S E R V E S S U P P O R T , B U T ONE

WH I C H H A S EXTENSIVE SUPPORT FROM THE HUGE PUBLI C EDUCATION

SECTOR, AND FROM THOSE FAI R- MI NDED AND HONEST POEPLE WHO I

AM HAPPY TO SAY, EXI ST I N THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN LARGE NUMBERS.

BUT DESPITE THE IMPROVEMENTS OUR EDUCATION AND JOB CREATION PROGRAMS

ARE STARTING TO ACHI EVE, NONE OE US CAN BE COMPLACENT ABOUT

THE TRAGEDY OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT .

ALTHOUGH THE I NDI CA T I ON S FOR THE ECONOMY ARE ENCOURAGING

AND EMPLOYMENT I S R I S I N G , WE S T I L L FACE THE FUTURE WITH

LARGE LEVELS OF UNEMPLOYMENT I N PROSPECT. THE GOVERNMENT,

AND ALL OF US, MUST DEVELOP NEW STRATEGIES TO PROVIDE

LONG TERM, NOT JUST TEMPORARY, SOLUTIONS.

4 .

THEREFORE WE HAVE TO MOVE. TOWARDS THE YEAR 2000 - AND 1

MUST SAY I PREFER I I AS A BENCHMARK FOR THE FUTURE TO THE

HACKNEYED AND UTTERLY OVERWORKED " 1 9 8 4 " METAPHOR -

ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE HAVE LEFT THE WORLD WE KNEW AND

GREW UP WITH AND WE HAVE TO FACE A FUTURE WHICH IS BOTH

UNCERTAIN AND I N V I T I N G .

MOST OF US HAVE UNDERGONE A DEGREE OF POLI TI CAL TRANSFORMATION -

AS LABOR PARTY MEMBERS AND AS WOMEN - BUT EVEN THAT POLI TI CAL

EDUCATION HAS NOT AUTOMATICALLY EQUIPPED US TO DEAL WITH

WHAT LI ES AHEAD.

1 BELIEVE THAT WE IN THE LABOR PARTY, AND IN SOME WAYS

ESPECIALLY WE WOMEN, ARE BETTER EQUIPPED TO FACE THE FUTURE

THAN MANY OF OUR FELLOW AUSTRALIANS.

UNLIKE OUR CONSERVATIVE OPPONENTS, AND THOSE WHO SPEAK FOR

ESTABLISHMENT INTERESTS, WE ARE NOT TEMPTED TO SEEK A RETURN

TO THE SO' ε . PROFITS AND EMPLOYMENT MAY HAVE BEEN HIGH THEN

BUT THOSE FIGURES CONCEALED MANY SOCIAL INJUSTI CES AND

I NEQUI TI ES WHICH ESPECIALLY EFFECTED WOMEN, MIGRANTS AND ABORIGINES.

AS WE FACE THE FUTURE WE HAVE TO I DENTI FY NOT JUST WHAT WE

WANT - BUT WHAT WE WOULD LI KE TO AVOID.

WE MUST CONTINUE TO REFINE OUR IDEAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT

IS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE C0NS1RA1NTS OF THE ECONOMY, THE CHANGED

TECHNOL OGICAL ENVIRONMENT , AND OUR IMPROVED AWARENESS Of THE

CLAIMS TO EQUALITY 0Γ VARIOUS DISADVANTAGED GROUPS.

Bi n wr MUST ALSO s ee k to SUGGFST NF W WAYS, 10 BREAK THROUGH

OLD THOUGHT PATTERNS, 10 MAKE THE I MPOSSIBLE SEEM WI THI N

REACH .

AND WE HAVE CAUSE FOR OPTI MI SM.

A FEW YEARS AGO I T SEEMED I MPOSSIBLE THAT THE LABOR PARTY,

THE SO- CALLED PARTY OF MALE DOMINANCE, WOULD PIONEER

AFFI RMATI VE ACTION WI THI N I TS OWN RANKS.

IT DI D NOT SEEM POSSIBLE THEN THAT LABOR WOULD SOON LEAD

THE WAY WITH RECORD NUMBERS OF WOMEN CANDIDATES - AND RECORD

NUMBERS ELECTED.

IN THE LATE S I X T I E S AND EARLY SEVENTIES LABOR WAS NOT THE

PARTY WHICH WAS SEEN BY FEMI NI STS GENERALLY AS THE PARTY

WHICH WOULD BECOME COMMITTED TO POLI CI ES FOR WOMEN WHICH

MATCHED THE WAYS WOMEN ACTUALLY LI VED THEIR L I V E S , AND

WHICH WOMEN THEMSELVES WOULD FORMULATE AND PUT INTO EFFECT.

BUT WOMEN I N THE LABOR PARTY HAVE MADE THESE THINGS HAPPEN

AND, AS THE PRIME MI NI STER ACKNOWLEDGED YESTERDAY, THE PARTY

NOW ACCEPTS THAT THE EFFORTS AND THE VOTES OF WOMEN MADE OUR

VICTORY ON MARCH 5 LAST YEAR A CERTAI NTY.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Π NOW SEEMS THAT I T I S OUR ROLE WI THI N THE LABOR PARTY TO

BE THE FORGERS ΟΓ NEW I DEAS, TO BE THE STANDARD-BEARERS

OF THE FUTURE.

I HOPE IT I S A ROLE WHICH WE, COLLECTI VELY, WILL WI L LI NGL Y

ACCEPT .

AS A SHARED STARTING POINT EOR OUR FUTURE STRATEGIES

I WANT TO SPEND SOME TIME TODAY TELLI NG YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT

THE GOVERNMENT I S DOING TO MEET OUR R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S TO WOMEN.

IN DOING SO I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE ROLE OF MY M I N I S T E R I A L

AND CAUCUS COLLEAGUES, INCLUDING THE MEN, I N TRANSLATING OUR

POLICY INTO ACTION AND PROGRAMS.

OUR POLI CY FOR WOMEN I S SO BROAD AND ALL-ENCOMPASSING THAT

IT COULD NOT BE IMPLEMENTED BY ANY SI NGLE M I N I S T E R , EVEN THE

PRIME M I N I S T E R , WITHOUT THE ACTIVE COOPERATION OF THE ENTIRE

PARLIAMENTARY PARTY .

YESTERDAY THE PRIME MI NI STER HIGHLI GHTED OUR RECORD.

HE L I S T E D THE I N D I V I D U A L POLI CY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OR MOST OE

THEM - I AM DELIGHTED TO BE ABLE TO SAY THAT THE LI ST I S

BECOMING TOO LONG TO BEAR REPEATING WITHOUT THE RISK OF

LOSING EVEN SUCH A RECEPTIVE AUDIENCE AS YOURSELVES.

6 .

THI S MORNING I WANT I D GO BEHIND THE LI ST AND SET OUT IN SOME

DETAI L HOW THE GOVERNMENT I S ACTUALLY SETTING ABOUT PUTTING

INTO EFFECT I TS POLICY ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN.

7 .

THE STARTING POINT I S OF COURSE OUR LABOR PARTY POLI CY.

THE NEXT STEP I S THE P O L I T I C A L PROCESS: THE ROLE OF THE

CABINET AND THE CAUCUS, AND WI THI N CAUCUS, THE IMPORTANT ROLE

OF MONITOR AND CATALYST PLAYED BY THE WOMEN'S SUB-COMMITTEE

OF THE SOCIAL POLICY COMMI TTEE.

I TS CONVENOR, PAT G I L E S , I S OF COURSE WITH US THIS WEEKEND

AND I WOULD L I K E TO PAY TRIBUTE TO HER TI RELESS WORK ON BEHALF

OF WOMEN NOT OUST WI THI N THE CAUCUS BUT ROUND THE COUNTRY.

WE ALSO NEED TO SEEK INFORMATION AND ADVICE REGARDING POLICY

IMPLEMENTATION FROM THE BUREAUCRACY. I T I S HERE THAT

GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS, AND ESPECI ALLY THE OFFICE ΟΓ THE STATUS

OF WOMEN I N THE DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MI NI STER AND CABI NET,

COME I N .

AS SOON AS WE GAINED OFFICE WE INCLUDED I N OUR ADMI NI STRATI VE

ORDERS ARRANGEMENTS THE INSTRUCTION THAT THE OFFICE SHOULD BL

RETURNED FROM I TS POSI TI ON I N THE UNFORTUNATELY NAMED DEPARTMENT

OF HOME AFFAI RS TO THE TOP P O L I C Y - A D V I S I N G DEPARTMENT, THAT OF

THE PRIME MI NI STER AND C A B I N E T .

8 .

CABINET MADC AN EXPLI CI T DECISION IN APRIL LAST YEAR TO

UPGRADE THE OEEICE TO D I V I S I ON A L S I Z E , WHICH GAVE IT MORE

STATUS AND, WITHIN PUBLIC SERVICE HIERARCHICAL TERMS, MORE

AUTONOMY THAN IT HAD PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED AS A BRANCH - IN

OTHER WORDS MORE CLOUT IN THE BUREAUCRATIC BATTLES.

I WAS DELIGHTED WHEN, ALTER WE ADVERTISED THE POSITION OL

FIRST ASSISTANT SECRETARY TO HEAD THE D I V I S I O N , ANNE SUMMERS

WAS SELECTED FOR THE JOB.

ANNE'S APPOINTMENT HAS BEEN WARMLY WELCOMED BY ALL SUPPORTERS

OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS, AND HAS RECEIVED BI PARTI SAN POLI TI CAL

ENDORSEMENT .

SHE AND I HAVE RECEIVED THE EXTRA ACCOLADE OF A BROADSIDE

FROM THAT EMINENT GROUP, THE NORTH-WEST TASMANIAN BRANCH OF

THE AUSTRALIAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION WHICH CIRCULARISED MEMBERS

OF THE OPPOSITION WITH THE DIRE PROPHESY THAT TOGETHER WE

WERE GOING TO TRANSFORM THE PUBLIC SERVICE INTO A MARXIST -

FEMI NI ST DI CTATORSHI P.

THEY CERTAINLY HAVE AN INFLATED OPINION OF OUR INFLUENCE'

ANNE ALSO ATTRACTED AN ATTACK FROM THAT " L I T T L E AUSSIE

BATTLER" BRUCE GOODLUCK ON P. M. DURING THE WEEK AND NO DOUBT

SHE WILL SOON BE TARGETED ALONGSIDE ME IN PRESS ADS SPONSORED

BY MRS ELAINE NI LE OF THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AS SPEARHEADING

AUSTRALI A' S SECOND "RUTHLESS FEMINIST JUGGERNAUT".

Γ OR1 UNA Τ Γ L Y SUCH ATTACKS DO NOT COME CRUM RESPECTED OR

I NFLUENTI AL QUARTERS AND ONE REASON FOR THI S ΟΓ COURSE

I S THAT THERE I S SUBSTANTIAL BI PARTI SAN AGREEMENT , ESPECI ALLY

FROM WOMEN IN THE OPPOSI TI ON PARTI ES - OR MOST OF THEM ANYWAY

THAT WHAT WE ARE DOING ON WOMEN'S POLICY I S LONG OVERDUE.

ANNE HAS, AT YOUR I N V I T A T I O N , ATTENDED THI S CONFERENCE AS AN

OBSERVER AND I HOPE THAT THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO PUT VIEWS

TO HER AND WHO HAVE NOT YET MET HER, TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY

DURING THE REST OF THE CONFERENCE TO DO SO.

SHE WI LL BE KEEN TO RECEIVE INPUTS FROM YOU TO HELP HER IN

FORMULATING POLICY ADVICE TO THE PRIME MI NI STER AND MYSELF.

THE OFFICE HAS BEEN GIVEN THE VERY BROAD BRI EF BY THE

GOVERNMENT OF MONITORING ALL GOVERNMENT POLI CY FOR I TS IMPACT

ON WOMEN.

MUCH OF THE O F F I C E ' S WORK I S OF COURSE UNDERTAKEN IN

PRI ORI TY AREAS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, CHILD CARE, LEGAL RI GHTS,

EDUCATION AND T R A I N I N G , AND INCOME SECURITY ( I NCLUDI NG

EQUITY WI THI N THE TAXATION SYSTEM) .

HOWEVER, I T WILL ALSO BE I NCREASI NGLY CONCERNED WITH

PLANNING AND DEVELOPING P O L I C I E S FOR WOMEN I N THE BROADEST

POSSIBLE WAY

1 0.

IN THi fUTURE 1 BELIEVE WE SHOULD INTEGRATE WOMEN'S POLICY

AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE INTO GENERAL POLICY.

WE MUST CONCERN OURSELVES WITH POLI CI ES ON STRUCTURAL

ADJUSTMENT , TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ,

INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE, I MMIGRATION, TAXATION AND - IT GOES

WITHOUT SAYING - GENERAL ECONOMIC POLI CY.

IN ALL OF THESE MATTERS THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE WORKING

CLOSELY WITH THE A . C . T . U . AND I HOPE THE OFFICE CAN DEVELOP

A STRONG CONSULTATIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH WOMEN IN THE TRADE

UNION MOVEMENT.

I SEE THE OFFICE PLAYING A PRIME ROLE IN INTEGRATING OUR

POLICY CONCERNS.

I EXPECT IT TO PROVIDE EXPERT POLICY ANALYSIS SO THAT IT CAN

ALERT THE GOVERNMENT IN ITS POLICY DELI BERATI ONS, BE IT ON

THE BUDGET OR ON ANY I NDI VI DUAL DECI SI ON, OF THE POSSIBLE

IMPACT ON WOMEN.

FOR THE OFFICE TO PLAY SUCH A BROAD ROLE, HOWEVER, IT NEEDS

INPUTS, ESPECIALLY FROM LABOR WOMEN, ON HOW POLI CI ES SHOULD

EVOLVE .

I AGREE WITH THE PRIME MINISTER THAT WE HAVE TO EXPAND OUR

THINKING ON WHAT CONSTITUTES "WOMEN'S ISSUES" .

PERHAPS I N 1HE PAST Wt HAVE C0NCLNTRA1ED RATHER 100 MUCH

ON WLLFARE ISSUES.

THI S I S 0Γ COURSE BECAUSE OF OUR SOCI ALI ST PERSPECTIVE ON

THE RAW I NJUSTI CE 0Γ THE POVERTY IN WHICH SO MANY RECI PI ENTS

OF WELFARE HAVE BEEN EXPECTED TO TRY TO SURVIVE .

WHILE WE MUST NEVER ABANDON THE DETERMINATION TO RAISE THE

STANDARD OF L I V I N G OF ALL AUSTRALIANS L I V I N G I N POVERTY OR

IN RELATI VE DEPRI VATI ON, AND HERE I WOULD L I K E ESPECI ALLY

TO MENTION SOLE PARENTS STRUGGLING TO BRING UP CHILDREN WITHOUT

ANY OF THE SUPPORTS WE S T I L L EXPECT TO BE AUTOMATICALLY

PROVIDED BY THE TRADI TI ONAL NUCLEAR FAMI LY , WE MUST ALSO DETERMINE

TO MOVE INTO THE FUTURE WITH A WIDER V I S I O N .

WE MUST REMEMBER AS THE PRIME MI NI STER POINTED OUT YESTERDAY

THAT WHILE THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO EXIST ON

WELFARE ARE WOMEN, THAT MOST WOMEN ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON WELFARE.

WHILE I T I S TRUE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCI AL SECURITY

ADMI NI STERS POL I CI E S SUCH AS FAMI LY ALLOWANCES AND CHILD-CARE

THESE ARE NOT STRI CTLY SPEAKING WELFARE ISSUES SINCE THEY ARE

BENEFI TS WHICH ARE, OR SHOULD BE, AVAI LABLE TO WOMEN REGARDLESS

OF THEI R EMPLOYMENT STATUS.

11 .

12.

Wl MUSI lHLRCrOFU INSURE. 1 HAT OUR ANALYSIS ΟΓ WOMEN'S ECONOMIC

NEEDS I S AS BROAD AS POSSIBLE AND EXTENDS BEYOND SOCIAL SECURITY,

HOWEVER WIDELY D E F I N E D , TO ENCOMPASS ALL AREAS OF GOVERNMENT

POLI CY.

AS THE PRIME MI NI STER MENTIONED YESTERDAY, THE OFFICE OF THE

STATUS OF WOMEN I S PREPARING A PAPER ON THE IMPACT OF THE

TAXATION SYSTEM ON WOMEN.

I BELIEVE THAT PAPER WILL EXAMINE ISSUES SUCH AS THE

INTERRELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SOCIAL SECURITY AND TAXATION

SYSTEMS, AND 1 HOPE THAT IT WILL ASSIST IN THE PROCESS OF

BROADENING OUR PERSPECTIVE ABOUT WHAT ARE "WOMEN'S ISSUES" .

MEANWHILE, WE AS LABOR WOMEN SHOULD BE TAKING THE LEAD IN

ADDRESSING THE POLICY I MPLICATI ONS FOR WOMEN OF THE CHANGING

WORLD IN WHICH WE L I V E .

WE HAVE TO ADDRESS WHAT TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE MEANS FOR

WOMEN - NOT JUST IN THE RATHER NEGATIVE SENSE OF ONLY FOCUSSING

ON THE LOSS OF JOBS IN TRADITIONAL AREAS OF WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT

WHICH THE ELECTRONIC O F F I C E , AND BANK, AND AI RL I NE OFFICE

AND NEWSPAPER MEAN.

WE SHOULD NOT BE BENIGN ABOUT THE ILLNESSES THE NEW EQUIPMENT

CAUSES OR EXACERBATES: TENOSYNOVITIS AND EYE STRAIN AND THE

SHEER ALIENATION THAT DAY-LONG " RE L AT I NG" TO A MACHINE CAN

PRODUCE.

13.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE MUST BE ALERT TO THE P O S S I B I L I T I E S

THAT THE NEW TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES EOR BREAKING DOWN THE

SEGREGATION OF THE LABOUR MARKET AND OPENING UP OF NEW JOBS

FOR WOMEN. .

I F WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF THE NEW AGE WE CAN MARSHALL I TS

P O S S I B I L I T I E S .

PERHAPS IT I S NOT TAKING THINGS TOO FAR TO DRAW AN ANALOGY

WITH THE TYPEWRITER AND HOW I TS INTRODUCTION COINCIDED WITH

WOMEN MOVING INTO OFFICE WORK FOR THE FIRST T I M E .

THEN, THE MEN WHO HAD USED THE QUILLS WERE DISPLACED AS

SECRETARIES - AND BECAME THE MANAGERS, OR AT LEAST THE

SENIOR OFFICE STAFF.

IF WE LEARN FROM HISTORY , WE CAN DO OUR BEST TO ENSURE THAT

THE NEW GENERATION OF OFFICE EQUIPMENT DOES NOT FURTHER

ENTRENCH WOMEN'S GHETTOES IN EMPLOYMENT.

THE GOVERNMENT'S PA RTI CI PATI ON AND EQUITY PROGRAM AND ITS

COMPUTER EDUCATION PLAN ARE BOTH DESIGNED, IN PART, TO

HELP EQUIP THE GIRLS OF TODAY TO DEAL WITH THE TECHNOLOGY

AND WORK WORLDS OF TOMORROW.

3 4.

LAS 1 YEAR, 3 ANNOUNCfD OUR PARTI CI PATI ON AND EQUITY PROGRAM

( P E P ) .

PEP WILL FORM THE CENTREPIECE ΟΓ OUR YOUTH PO L I CI ES , SO THAT

ALL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS IN THIS AREA WILL BE GUIDED BY COMMON

AIMS AND DIRECTED TOWARDS A COMMON END - THE BEST POSSIBLE

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE TO GET EFFECTIVE USEFUL

EDUCATION AND SUCCESSFULLY PREPARE FOR THE NEXT STEP, BE IT

WORK OR FURTHER EDUCATION OR TRAI NI NG.

OUR NEW COMPUTER EDUCATION PROGRAM WILL PROVIDE EQUAL ACCESS

FOR GIRLS AND BOYS. WE ARE DETERMINED TO SEE THE END OF THE

DAYS WHEN GIRLS GET A LESSER CHANCE OF F A M I L I A R I S I N G THEMSELVES

WITH THESE VI TAL TOOLS OF OUR WORLD, OR ARE CONFRONTED WITH

A MASS OF INAPPROPRIATE AND DISCOURAGING LEARNING MATERIALS.

INSTEAD OF BEING CONSIGNED TO HOME ECONOMICS OR SECRETARIAL

COURSES, AS SO MANY OF MY GENERATION WERE , I WANT TO DO

EVERYTHING WITHIN MY MI NI STERI AL POWER TO HELP THE GIRLS OF

TODAY DEFINE AN UNLI MI TED FUTURE FOR THEMSELVES - AND HAVE

THE TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW AND CONFIDENCE TO FULFI L THOSE

EXPECTATIONS.

ON THESE MATTERS AS IN ALL MATTERS AFFECTING WOMEN AND THE

FUTURE, WE WANT YOUR VIEWS AND THE VIEWS OF OTHER WOMEN.

YOU KNOW THAI WL HAVE DECIDED TO PHASE OUT THE NATIONAL

WOMEN'S ADVISORY COUNCIL . DURING THE PERIOD OE THE NEGLECT EUL

AND UNRESPONSIVE ERASER GOVERNMENT, THE N . W . A . C . WAS A

USE E UL AND IMPORTANT VOICE REMINDING GOVERNMENT OF WOMEN'S

NEEDS. BUT THE EXTENT OF OUR COMMITMENT TO WOMEN, AND THE

RANGE OE OUR P O L I C I E S , MAKE IT APPROPRIATE EOR US TO DEVELOP

A MORE AMBI TI OUS CONSULTATIVE STRUCTURE.

AS WE MOVE TO DO SO, I WOULD LI KE TO PLACE ON RECORD MY

APPRECI ATI ON OF THE WORK OF THE N . W . A . C . AND OF THE WOMEN WHO

SERVED ON I T AS CONVENORS AND MEMBERS.

WE WILL I NSTI TUTE A NEW MUL T I - T I E RE D SYSTEM OE CONSULTATION

WITH WOMEN.

WE HAVE DECIDED TO CONVENE A 20-MEMBER CONSULTATIVE BODY,

WHICH WI LL CONSIST OE REPRESENTATIVES OF WOMEN'S ORGANISATIONS

AND INTEREST GROUPS.

THE BODY WILL CONCENTRATE ON ONE VI TAL TASK - TO INFORM THE

GOVERNMENT ON THE VIEWS ΟΓ MEMBER ORGANISATIONS ON POLICY ISSUES

OF RELEVANCE TO WOMEN.

I T WI LL BE CONSULTED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON ISSUES WHICH WILL

HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON WOMEN AND THE GOVERNMENT OF COURSE

WI LL BE RESPONSIVE TO ANY ISSUES WHICH THE BODY ITSELF CARES

TO PLACE BEFORE US ON THE PUBLI C AGENDA.

16.

THROUGH THIS BODY, 1 BELI EVE THE GOVERNMENT WILL ESTABLI SH

DIRECT CONTACT AND DIALOGUE WITH KEY GROUPS ΟΓ COMMITTED AND

EXPERIENCED WOMEN, AND WILL GAIN THE BENEFIT OF THEIR

EXPERTISE AND KNOWLEDGE.

I WILL BE WRITING IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE TO MAJOR WOMEN'S

GROUPS AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS WITH INTERESTS OF RELEVANCE

TO WOMEN - FOR EXAMPLE, PENSIONER AND MIGRANT GROUPS - I N V I T I N G

NOMINEES TOR POSSIBLE INCLUSION ON THE NEW BODY.

WE WILL THEN CHOOSE THE MEMBERS ΟΓ THE BODY WITH AN EYE TO

OBTAINING THE APPROPRIATE MIX 0Γ GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE.

THE CONVENOR WILL BE NOMINATED BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND

MEMBERS OF THE BODY WILL HAVE TWO-YEAR NON-RENEWABLE TERMS.

THE BODY WILL DC GUARANTEED AT LEAST TWO MEETINGS A YEAR WITH

ME, INCLUDING BEFORE THE BUDGET. WE WILL OF COURSE BE

RECEPTIVE TO REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL MEETINGS.

WE BELIEVE THAT BY I N V I T I N G ORGANISATIONS TO NOMINATE

REPRESENTATIVES THE NEW CONSULTATIVE BODY WILL BE TRULY

REPRESENTATIVE OF WOMEN IN THE GREAT VARIETY OF ORGANISATIONS

TO WHICH THEY BELONG.

17 .

01 C0UR5L , 1 AM VERY CONSCIOUS OF 1 HE TACT 1 HAT THEKL ARC

ALSO MANY WOMEN IN THE COMMUNITY WHO DO NOT BELONG TO OR

I DEN T I F Y WITH SUCH ORGANISATIONS. THERE I S ALSO THE VIEW THAT

BY BEING A C T I VI ST S OR BY BECOMING WELL-KNOWN PUBLIC FI GURES,

MANY PROMINENT WOMEN HAVE UNAVOIDABLY LOST CONTACT WITH

"ORDI NARY" WOMEN AND THEIR NEEDS AND INTERESTS.

AND PERHAPS THERE I S MORE THAN A GRAIN OF TRUTH IN THIS

FEELI NG.

THEREFORE I HAVE DECIDED TO COMPLEMENT THE NEW CONSULTATIVE

BODY BY ESTABLI SHI NG DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH WOMEN,

WHEREVER THEY HAPPEN TO BE.

I HAVE ASKED THE OFFICE OF THE STATUS OF WOMEN TO DRAW

UP FOR ME A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM OF TALKBACK RADIO AND

PHONE-IN A C T I V I T I E S IN EVERY CAPITAL C I T Y , ON MAJOR ISSUES

OF CONCERN TO SO-CALLED "ORDINARY WOMEN" .

I WILL UNDERTAKE TO MAKE MYSELF AVAI LABLE FOR A PHONE-IN

FOR WOMEN IN EACH CAPI TAL CITY WITHI N THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS.

THE ADVANTAGE OF SUCH PHONE-INS IS THAT I T ENABLES WOMEN TO

EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS DIRECTLY TO ME AS MI NI STER FROM THE PRIVACY

AND SECURITY OF THEIR HOMES OR OFFI CES, WITHOUT THE FEAR OF

PUBLI C EMBARRASSMENT.

1 8.

1 HL SC. TWO CONSUL 1 AT 1 VI MECHANISMS WILL DL IN ADDI TI ON TO

THE ALREADY EXTENSIVE PROGRAM THE GOVERNMENT HAS F OR DIRECT

CONSULTATION WITH COMMUNITY GROUPS AND I NDI VI DUALS ON POLICY

AREAS SUCH AS WELFARE, ETHNIC AFFAI RS, ABORIGINAL AFFAI RS,

YOUTH POLICY AND SO ON.

AS WELL AS CAREFULLY DEVISING OUR POLI CI ES FOR THE PRESENT AND

THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE WE SHOULD BE LOOKING WELL AHEAD - BEYOND

THE YEAR 2 0 0 0 , AS THE THEME OF OUR CONFERENCE INTENDS US TO

DO.

WE ARE ALREADY AWARE THAT WE MUST LEARN TO COPE WITH RAPID

CHANGE.

SOCIAL CHANGE, TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE , CHANGES IN EDUCATION

AND TRAI NI NG, IN EMPLOYMENT, IN HEALTH AND OCCUPATIONAL HLALTH

MATTERS, AND IN COMMUNITY PATTERNS AND VALUES, ARE INCREASINGLY

AFFECTING OUR LI VES AND THE WAYS WE PLAN FOR THE FUTURE.

WE HAVE ESPECIALLY IN THE PAST DECADE LEARNED THAT PERSONAL

RELATIONSHIPS AND THE STRUCTURE OF BASIC SOCIAL GROUPS,

INCLUDING THE TRADITIONAL F A M I L Y , CAN ALSO BE SUBJECT TO

CHANGE,

MANY 0Γ THESE CHANGES HAVE UNIQUELY CHALLENGING I MPLICATI ONS

FOR WOMEN

19 .

SOME o r THEM WE SOUGHT OURSELVES: FOR INSTANCE THE SHARING

ΟΓ DOMESTIC R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S . OTHER CHANGES HAVE !

LEET US WITH R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S POR WHICH OUR UPBRINGING DID

L I T T L E TO PREPARE US: POR I NSTANCE, HAVING TO BRING UP CHILDREN

WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OR SUPPORT OF A SPOUSE.

THE NUCLEAR FAMILY WHICH MOST OF US GREW UP I N , WE KNOW FROM

HI ST ORY, HAS BEEN AN EVOLVING AND CHANGING I N S T I T U T I O N .

TODAY CHILDREN ARE GIVEN CARE AND EDUCATION AND ARE NOT

EXPOSED TO THE WORKFORCE AT A VERY EARLY AGE AS THEY ONCE

WERE.

WOMEN'S ROLE WITHI N F A M I L I E S HAS EVOLVED FROM THE DAYS WHEN

WE LOST NOT ONLY OUR NAMES BUT ALSO OUR RIGHT TO OWN PROPERTY

OR EVEN TO KEEP THE WAGES WE EARNED FROM OUR OWN LABOUR.

OUR ROLES ARE CONTINUING TO CHANGE, AND TO EXPAND AND THE

PROCESS HAS OF COURSE BEEN PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCED BY FEMI NI ST

THINKING AND ANALYSI S.

BUT THE CHANGED NATURE OF THE LABOUR MARKET, AND THE DEMAND

FOR AN INCREASED WORKFORCE DURING THE RAPID ECONOMIC EXPANSION

OF THE 1 9 6 0 ' s , ALSO INFLUENCED THE CHANGING ROLES FOR WOMEN.

WHEN WE THINK HOW MUCH OUR ROLES HAVE CHANGED IN THE PAST

DECADE, LET ALONE IN OUR L I F E - T I M E , IT I S PERHAPS DI FFI CULT

TO LOOK AHCAD AND ENVISAGE WHAT WE WILL CONSIDER TO BE JUST

AND DESIRABLE IN THE YEAR 2 0 0 0 .

20.

ALREADY 1HL SOCIAL NORMS OF OUR COUNTRY ARE BEING ALTERED

BY THE INCREASED MIGRATION FROM ASIA AND OUR OBSERVING OF

DIFFERENT AND EXTENDED FAMILY FORMS. WE HAVE LEARNED FROM

THE ORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS TOO THAT THE NUCLEAR FAMILY FORM I S

NOT THE ONLY ONE WHICH HAS A LONG TRADI TI ON IN AUSTRALI A.

WE CAN BENEFIT I F WE LEARN FROM THE CARE AND KI NSHI P WHICH

ABORIGINES EXTEND TO THEIR BLOOD RELATIONS AND THEIR WIDE

RECOGNITION OF F A MI L Y .

WE CAN ESPECIALLY LEARN FROM THEIR WAY OF LOOKING AFTER THEIR

ELDERLY PEOPLE - ABORIGINES DON'T CONSIGN THEIR AGEING PARENTS

OR GRANDPARENTS TO THE CARE 0Γ STRANGERS IN NURSING HOMES

THE WAY SO MANY OTHER AUSTRALIANS DO.

GROWING NUMBERS, ESPECI ALLY OF YOUNG PEOPLE, ARE CHOOSING

ALTERNATIVE STYLES OF L I F E AND FAMILY ATTACHMENT.

YOU ARE PROBABLY AWARE THAT THE PRIME MINISTER HAS A PERSONAL

INTEREST IN SUCH ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF L I V I N G AND WORKING AND

I S KEEN TO GIVE GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO HELP THIS MOVEMENT

WHERE IT IS CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE.

AS WE MOVE TOWARDS THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WE MUST NOT BE

AFRAID OF CHANGE I N EITHER OUR PERSONAL OR WORK-RELATED

LI VES BUT WE MUST TRY AND ENSURE THAT WHATEVER CHANGE I S TO

OCCUR I S NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF PEOPLE AND ESPECIALLY OF WDMFN.

1 WOULD HOPL THAI ALL Of US HERE TODAY WOULD BRING OUR

SPECIAL QUAL I TI ES OF PERCEPTION, EXPERI ENCE, UNDERSTANDING

AND V I S I O N TO THE TASK OF TAKING ON THE FUTURE.

MOST OF US HERE TODAY HAVE GOT SOME OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE

DECI SI ONS AND IN THAT RESPECT WE HAVE SPECIAL R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S

TOWARDS WOMEN WHO ARE WITHOUT POWER AND I NFLUENCE.

MANY OF US, WHETHER BY VIRTUE OF FAMI LY CIRCUMSTANCE OR

THROUGH OUR OWN EFFORTS, HAVE HAD THE BENEFI TS WHICH FLOW

FROM EDUCATION, T R A I N I N G , EMPLOYMENT, INDEPENDENCE AND A

VOICE I N THE DECI SI ON- MAKI NG STRUCTURES OE OUR SOCI ETY.

WE MUST SEEK TO EXTEND THESE PRI VI L EGES TO ALL WOMEN, REGARDLESS

OF THEI R CIRCUMSTANCES.

THI S CONFERENCE I S PERHAPS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS CAN BE DONE.

OUR LABOR WOMENS CONFERENCES ARE SO MUCH MORE OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE

THAN OUR FORMAL STATE AND FEDERAL CONFERENCES AND SHOULD PROVIDE

ALL WOMEN WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TU SPEAK.

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN MANY LABOR WOMEN THEMSELVES FELT POWERLESS

WI T HI N OUR ORGANI SATI ONS. AS A RESULT OF OUR OWN EFFORTS THAT

21 .

HAS CHANGED.

WE ARE NOW I NFLUENCI NG THE DI RECTI ON THE PARIY 1AKES. OUR

INFLUENCE WITH THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES AND WI T HI N THE

PARTY STRUCTURES I S GROWING ALL THE T I ME . AS LABOR WOMEN

EACH OF US HAS A DIFFERENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE PARTY , AND

COLLECTI VELY WE COVER A RANGE OF VIEWS.

WE DO NOT ALL AGREE ON EVERY DETAI L OF POLI CY, WE MAY EVEN,

IN THE FI NEST TRADI TI ONS OF THE L EFT, HAVE SUBSTANTIAL

DIFFERENCES WITH EACH OTHER FROM TIME TO TI ME. BUT NOW THAT

THE LABOR WOMEN'S CONFERENCE HAS BECOME AN ESTABLI SHED BI ENNI AL

EVENT AND WE ALL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THREE SUCH CONFERENCES

I THINK WE COULD DEVELOP A COLLECTI VE VIEW ABOUT THE ROLE

OF THIS CONFERENCE I N THE YEARS LEADING UP TO THE TWENTY-FIRST

CENTURY.

MY SUGGESTION I S THAT THI S CONFERENCE SHOULD BE A CATALYST

FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MORE PROGRESSIVE P O L I C I E S , THAT I T

SHOULD PROVIDE A FORUM FOR C R I T I C A L REVIEW OF THE PAST AND ,

THAT I T SHOULD BE ORGANISED SO AS TO BE OPEN TO PARTI CI PATI ON

BY ANY RANK AND F I L E WOMAN I N THE PARTY.

OF NECESSI TY, GIVEN THE SI ZE OF OUR PARTY WITH I T S STATE AND

TERRI TORI AL ELEMENTS, THE FEDERAL CONFERENCE 15 STRUCTURED

FORMALLY AND THE CHANCES OF MOST RANK AND F I L E MEMBERS GETTING

TO BE A FEDERAL CONFERENCE DELEGATE I S VERY SMALL . THI S I S

THL CASE EVEN THOUGH THE CONFERENCE I S NOW GREATLY EXPANDED

I N SI ZE AND WOMEN ARE GUARANTEED REPRESENTATION.

22 .

23.

IN CONTRAST , THIS CONFL RL NCt IS ARRANGE D 5U THAT ANY WOMAN

RANK AND Π Ι Ο MEMBER WHO CAN GET HERE CAN COME AND PARTI CI PATE

FREELY.

ON THAT LAST POINT OF COURSE THE THING THAT STOPS MANY WOMEN

COMING I S MONEY. I AM SURE THE ADELAIDE ORGANISERS HAVE

HEARD FROM MANY WOMEN THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA WHO SIMPLY COULD

NOT AFFORD TO JOI N US.

DESPITE F I NANCI AL SUPPORT BY THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE, THE

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BRANCH AND SOME SUB-BRANCHES, WE ARE ST I L L

UNDER FUNDED.

PERHAPS AT THIS CONFERENCE WE CAN GIVE SOME THOUGHT TO

ORGANISING ONGOING FUND RAISING A C T I V I T I E S 50 THAT THE

CONFERENCE I TSELF WOULD HAVE MONEY TO ASSIST THE BROADEST

POSSIBLE PART I CI PAT I ON BY LABOR WOMEN NEXT TI ME.

GIVEN THE R E A L I S T I C EXPECTATION OF MANY YEARS OF LABOR

GOVERNMENTS TO COME THI S CONFERENCE WITH I TS FEMI NI ST

PERSPECTIVE AND DEMOCRATIC CHARACTER HAS A UNIQUELY DYNAMIC

ROLE TO PLAY.

F I N A L L Y , WE MUST ALSO ENSURE THAT HOWEVER IMPORTANT DOMESTIC '

ISSUES ARE, WE DO NOT FORGET WE ARE PARI OF A WIDER WORLD.

1 HI OBJECT IVES ΟΓ PC ACC AMD DISARMAMENT ARE BEING ACT 1VCL Y

PURSUED BY INCREASING NUMBERS OF WOMEN, INCLUDING LABOR

WOMEN. YOU WILL BE F A M I L I A R WITH THE SUPPORT THAT I HAVE

GIVEN THESE CAMPAIGNS AND THE STEPS THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS

TAKEN, INCLUDING THE APPOINTMENT OF A DISARMAMENT AMBASSADOR,

THE SUPPORT FOR A NUCLEAR-FREE SOUTH P A C I F I C , THE DECI SI ON

TO ESTABLI SH A PEACE STUDI ES I NST I TUTE AND TO DEVELOP PEACE

STUDIES CURRICULA FOR SCHOOLS.

ALL THESE STEPS I KNOW ARE WELCOME. BUT I ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE

THAT THERE ARE SECTIONS OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT, INCLUDING SOME

LABOR WOMEN WHO ARE DI SAPPOI NTED WITH OUR DECI SI ONS CONCERNING

THE FUTURE MI NI NG AND EXPORT OF URANIUM, AND WHO RELATE THESE

DECI SI ONS TO THEIR CONCERN THAT ANY FEEDING OF THE NUCLEAR

FUEL CYCLE RESULTS I N INCREASED NUCLEAR ARMAMENTS AND AN

INCREASED DANGER OF NUCLEAR WAR. WITHOUT TRAVERSING THESE

ARGUMENTS HERE, I WANT TO SAY T H I S :

I ACKNOWLEDGE THE RI GHTS, AND INDEED THE R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S OF

RANK AND F I L E MEMBERS TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS AND C R I T I C I S M

TO GOVERNMENT. GOVERNMENT MEMBERS, AND ESPECI ALLY CABINET

MEMBERS ARE CONSTRAINED I N THEIR APPROACH TO THESE (AS IN ALL)

P O L I C I E S BY A WEB OF INTERCONNECTED NATIONAL AND INTERNATI ONAL

R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S AND COMMITMENTS. WE DO NOT HAVE THE SAME

FREEDOM AS RANK AND F I L E MEMBERS TO ADOPT UNQUALI FI ED POSI TI ONS.

HOWEVER, 1 REGARD I T AS ESSENTIAL THAT THE DIALOGUE ON THESE

I SSUES BETWEEN RANK AND FI LE AND THE GOVERNMENT REMAIN FREE

AND OPEN. 1 BELI EVE THAT LABOR WOMEN WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT

VIEW FROM THE GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO CONTINUE TO ARGUE THEIR

CASE, AND WE WI LL CONTINUE TO L I S T E N . I N THI S WAY, OUR SHARED

AND ULTIMATELY S I G N I F I C A N T OBJECTIVE OF WORLD PEACE CAN BE

PURSUED TOGETHER.

BUT I AM SURE YOU WI LL ALL AGREE WITH ME THAT THE COURSE

OE PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE I S SET BACK BY ACTS OF VIOLENCE SUCH

AS THE PRIME MI NI STER WAS SUBJECTED TO YESTERDAY. THAT I S

NOT OUR WAY.

THE DIALOGUE ON URANIUM WILL CONTINUE BUT I HOPE THAT

I T WILL NOT DIVERT ALL OF OUR ENERGIES NOR BE AT THE EXPENSE

OE AN APPRECI ATION OF THE GOOD AND CONSTRUCTIVE CHANGES

WHICH ARE HAPPENING UNDER THI S GOVERNMENT.

JUST AS YESTERDAY' S ACT OE VIOLENCE TOOK THE MEDI A' S ATTENTION

AWAY FROM THE VERY SI GNI F I C AN T COMMITMENTS THE PRIME MI NI STER

MADE TO PERSONALLY ENSURE THAT WOMEN'S ISSUES HAVE A HIGH

PRI ORI TY WITH THI S GOVERNMENT, WE WOULD BE SELLING OURSELVES

SHORT I F WE ALLOWED ANY ONE ISSUE TO DOMINATE OUR PERCEPTIONS

OF WHAT THE GOVERNMENT I S ABOUT.

THE LABOR PARTY POLI CY ON WOMEN J_S OUR POLI CY, WE MADE I I ,

IT I S A SOUND, PROGRESSIVE POLICY AND IT J_S BEING I MPLEMENTED.

26

THIS IS JUST THE BEGI NNI NG: 1 HOPE WE WILL MAI NTAIN THIS

PACE OF ACHIEVEMENT FOR WOMEN TO THE YEAR 2000 AND BEYOND.