Can I welcome each and everyone of you to this morning’s event.
It’s a pleasure to be here once again as we kick off a week for women, promoting women and also inspiring women.
I also want to acknowledge that there are some very good men in this room as well and it’s wonderful that they are here to support International Women’s Day.
Since I last joined you, we’ve witnessed some incredible accomplishments of Queensland women.
Katarina Carroll became the first female Police Commissioner in Queensland.
The Brisbane Broncos women’s team won their second NRL Premiership.
Ash Barty became world number one tennis champion and named the 2020 Young Australian of the Year.
And Queensland Great Kay McGrath signed off from the Channel 7 news desk after 40 years.
Thankfully, Kay has come on board in our fight against domestic and family violence and is now co-Chair of our new Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council.
I know that one of the UN Women’s priority areas of work includes ending violence against women and girls.
It’s definitely one of my priorities as well.
Since I was last here, I announced we had implemented all 140 recommendations of the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report that was handed down by Quentin Bryce.
And we are two years ahead of that.
While Queensland is leading the nation when it comes to the work we’ve already done, our work never stops – not until the violence stops.
Tragically, the recent deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children have left our state and our nation incredibly sad, shaken and appalled.
We know that reform never ends, and we must continue on our march to stamp out domestic and family violence.
Last Friday I announced I will be convening a domestic and family violence Summit to see what more we can do, and I want to make sure we have as many voices as possible around that table.
Fundamentally, equality starts at home.
It starts in schools and it starts in our workplaces.
We all have to be respectful of one another.
All of that underpins this year’s theme – Generation Equality. That every girl, every woman has equal opportunities to learn, earn and lead and live lives free from violence and discrimination.
I know we have a lot of young students here in the room today and it’s wonderful to see that you’ve made the effort to come today, because generational change does happen.
And every generation I see more and more change in my lifetime.
We need to make sure we inspire you to become the leaders of the future and never ever stop.
Inequality is out there, inequality is real.
In our schools we encourage our students, our girls to do anything and achieve whatever they want to do.
We’re teaching STEM and just last week our science literacy results showed our year sixes recorded their best ever results in Queensland, making us the top performing state in the country.
We’re making sure that young people get the opportunities with skills and training.
We’re offering free TAFE and investing $25 million in female facilities for increased participation in sport.
I don’t think it’s acceptable in this day and age for women to get changed in a shed while the men have all the changing facilities, so we’re fixing that.
Talking about earning, we still know that women out there are discriminated against and women still get paid less than men in some workplaces, so we need to make sure that we continually fight and make sure that women are getting paid just as much as men.
When I became Premier – just 31 per cent of women were on Queensland Government boards.
In October last year, we reached our 50 per cent target and Minister Di Farmer informed Cabinet just yesterday that we are now at 52 per cent of Women on Boards.
That’s a pretty good achievement.
Finally, I want to say this.
Every single one of you today are leaders.
You’re leaders in your workplaces, in your schools, in your communities, in your corporate organisations, but we always need to be at the forefront, bringing the next generation forward.
We need to be inspiring.
I look back twenty years ago; I’d walk into a room in government and there would be all men sitting around the table. I didn’t think that seemed very fair.
I walk into rooms now and I might have three or four of my ministers - because we have 50 per cent women in our Cabinet - and we can have a meeting where it’s entirely women.
I sit back sometimes, and I think, that is great change.
I don’t think anywhere else in Australia where we have that level of equality being demonstrated at the highest levels of office of the Cabinet that runs this state.
So, I say to everyone, you can all lead changes in your workplaces and schools, you need to continue to inspire and to bring that next generation through.
Our fight is never done, our fight is never done because there are still people out there being discriminated against.
There are still the results of cyberbullying having huge impacts on our young children and we need to be forever vigilant.
Thank you for taking the time to come out here this morning, I know you’re going to be inspired by the speakers, just as I am each and every year.
Enjoy International Women’s Day.
What a week to celebrate women and our amazing achievements.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk