Lord Mayors Reception Room, 13 September 2012
The launch of Women's Agenda is timely. It comes in an era when Australia has a number of women in high-profile positions in government, business and the arts and media. Yet the denigration of women - particularly women in powerful positions, like the Prime Minister - resounds like a growl from the caves of the Neanderthal.
Despite this truly ugly behaviour, we need to ensure more than ever to have more women in leadership.
To provide access to child-care and the sort of flexible working conditions that make it possible for women to have careers outside the home, and importantly, we must achieve equal pay for equal work.
Women's Agenda is an on-line forum bringing those issues to the fore, asking women across Australia to identify specific goals for employers to deal with the challenges for women wanting a career.
It also offers advice - particularly on investment strategies; information about on-going education, technology, networking, travel and culture and clearly fills a gap in the market.
I hope it will give many women the sense that they are not alone in wanting to pursue a career, or indeed, a public life.
A quality women need is persistence and the courage of our convictions, to go on your path, whether others support you or not. I recall one of my early Labor Party critics in South Sydney: "If only we'd given her the grass for the park," he said, "she would have gone away!"
Well, I didn't go away then, and I'm not going away now, so long as I believe I can make this City a better place, not for one interest group, but for all the men, women and children who live, work, or get their education here and as long as the City community supports.
I'm delighted to see so many of you here today, and I look forward to seeing the difference that you will make.