Last year I started this message with how proud I am of the women I grew up with and have around me every day. From my grandmothers, my mother; my sisters, aunts, colleagues and friends and now my beautiful daughter — they are all independent, strong, outspoken women who have made me the person I am today.
But while glass ceilings are shattering, we still have a long way to go. Revelations in recent weeks about abuse towards women in our highest offices have given me much pause. This is a moment of reckoning for institutions in Australia. And I hope from the testimony of these brave women we can work towards a building a culture of believing survivors and stamping out harmful behaviour at the source.
What these events teach us is that there is power in bravery and in truth-telling. Never forget you have a voice. If you see something, say something. The more women who come forward and share their truth, the closer we get to true equity.
This makes me immensely hopeful. Every day on the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse wards I hear stories of courage and compassion amongst our patients and staff. I am so proud of the community we have built. How we elevate and support each other. And how we continue to be an employer of choice for all women.
I hope you all have a fabulous International Women’s Day and that you celebrate each other’s achievements over what has been one of our most trying years. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse continues to celebrate the diversity of its women traversing lines of class, race, creed, religion, sexual and gender identity. Finally, I ask that each of you continue to care wholeheartedly for each other, and to embrace and act upon these values of care and compassion here in our Lifehouse Community.