Adjournment Speech - Supporting Women

Adjournment Speech - Supporting Women

One of the things I feel really strongly about is making sure that women like me—the working mums who are juggling all the competing demands of getting their work done, paying the bills, getting kids to school and to swimming, making sure homework gets done, making sure appointments are attended—have the confidence that, while they are occupied with making sure their family is getting ahead, they have, here in Canberra and throughout the country, a Liberal-National government with the values that mean we've got their back through all of the challenges of their every day. 



I know, because I've got girls of my own but also because of all the people I speak to in our community, that, on a day-to-day basis, families aren't thinking about what goes on in this place. They're thinking about how they are going to get through the day's work without an attack of the mother guilt. They're thinking about how they are going to make sure that their child gets the help they need, either with speech pathology or with a bit of occupational therapy, or how they are going to help make sure they're learning to swim in a way that keeps them safe as summertime approaches. These are the things that occupy the minds of our families, but they need to know we've got their back. It was really good on this International Women's Day and the week that followed it to talk to, appreciate and really showcase some of the great women we're backing as they do their very best to improve the lives of others.

Jo Mason from WorkHaven is an incredible lady. She is a senior marketing professional. She found herself shocked to be in a domestic violence situation. She has used living through that terrible experience to develop new ways to break the cycle of domestic and family violence. She has produced a tool that allows women emerging from that experience to be supported, assisted and encouraged for a three-year period following that traumatic event. It gives them all the information and tools—on everything from their legal situation to safety, housing and health—that will help them keep moving forward even once the crisis resources are no longer with them. It's about helping to keep these women in work and getting them back into work if they have fallen out, because we know that that economic security is really important to help vulnerable women move forward. I was so impressed by Jo and the work that she's doing that it was only a matter of moments before I knew I had to connect them with the Attorney-General's Department to find ways to help them to scale their service delivery so that they can help more women get ahead.

Another great woman I've been working with recently is Selena Gomersall. Ten years ago Selena was a Brisbane based psychologist. She was invited to provide intensive support to a group of women and children in Far North Queensland. Ever since then she has been working tirelessly with bush communities to develop a unique model that empowers people in the bush to take control of their physical and, even more so, their mental health. Out of that experience Outback Futures was born. It is delivering results that break the mould of what we expect for rural health. It helps people in remote communities to understand the services available to them, to seek them out and to advocate for their own mental health. Outback Futures works with people in the bush to help them understand the services they need, make sure that they're available and tailor programs that work to the needs of that individual and their families. Their model is so effective that the councils of every western Queensland community they have worked in are so enthusiastic that they have given their endorsement, and all the neighbouring councils are begging them to come to town to help. The evidence based impact of what they're doing is massively changing the lives of all people, particularly women and children throughout rural Queensland. She's no stranger to my office, and I've loved bringing her down to Canberra this week so that she can share her great work for Queenslanders with this entire nation, its women and its children.