The documentary, Strong Female Lead, about my time as Prime Minister, is bound to generate debate and questions.
I haven’t seen it, but I am aware of the content, as of course, I was there.
Already, I have received questions from those who have seen previews.
A number of the women reaching out have been distressed and worried about me and how I’m going.
Thank you for making contact, and I want to assure everyone I’m doing fine.
When I reflect back on my time as Prime Minister, my predominant emotion is one of gratitude for the opportunity.
Being Australia’s first female Prime Minister will always remain the greatest honour of my life.
I live my life according to the mantra we can’t change the past, but we can change the future.
That doesn’t mean the historical record is irrelevant, because it is only by analysing it that we can glean the lessons that will help us shape the best tomorrow.
The Strong Female Lead documentary will play a positive role if it is watched in that spirit, and spurs more gender equality activism.
My lived experience, which is encapsulated by this film, has motivated me to do what I can to ensure that women leaders are not defined by gender stereotypes or unfairly held back.
That’s why I established the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, where our talented academics produce detailed research grounded in facts, with the aim of eliminating the barriers in the way of women leaders.
It’s why I co-wrote a book on women and leadership which presents readers with advice from those who have had the privilege of leading, including me.
In doing this work, I am energised because there is a broad, deep and galvanising discussion about leadership in Australia occurring right now.
A new generation is interrogating how we have traditionally done politics and leadership in our nation; and they are demanding profound change and a future of gender equality.
I commend the brave young women leading this debate. You are inspirations.
However, I also know that there may be those who watch this documentary or listen to the commentary and find themselves dispirited.
It is understandable that women contemplating their own leadership path would ask themselves the question, ‘If it’s going to be like that, why should I do it?”
My message to you is please do not be dissuaded.
There is a joy in leadership, in getting to put your values into action and the more women who come forward, the easier it will ultimately become.
I want to see the best and brightest future leaders strive for the highest offices.
And I want to see another female Prime Minister of Australia in my lifetime.
Please pursue your goal excited about the opportunities that await and always remember that it is a privilege to serve the Australian people.