Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome you to the Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu’s traditional International Women’s Day reception.
I’m particularly delighted, as this is the first time for us to hold the reception in Chongqing, and I am honoured that we have in attendance today:
- Chongqing Foreign Affairs Office Deputy Director General, Ms WANG Wen
- Chongqing Commerce Commission Deputy Director General, Ms WANG Jue, and
- the President of the Chongqing Women Talents Research Institute, Ms ZOU Xiaoping
The official theme this year is “More Powerful Together”. It recognises the importance of partnerships between women, men and gender diverse peoples, in creating a world where women and girls everywhere enjoy equal rights and opportunities. So it is very appropriate that we are here today, united, to hear from our guests their views on the role of women in being change-makers in our society.
In Australia, the empowerment of women is a key priority of our foreign policy, economic diplomacy and development program. Australia’s Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy, for example, commits to an ambitious target requiring that 80 per cent of all Australia’s aid, regardless of objectives, effectively promotes gender equality. In 2017-18, we delivered $1.3 billion in development assistance that targeted gender equality and women’s empowerment; of which $450 million was dedicated to the Pacific.
Internationally, Australia is committed to advancing gender equality and the rights of women and girls, both bilaterally and multilaterally, through the United Nations and other fora. In our first year on the Human Rights Council in 2018, Australia made multiple statements on gender and women’s empowerment, including;
- statements on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)
- ending violence against women
- sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
- women and girls with a disability
- and women’s political participation.
Today, Australia’s diplomatic efforts are led by a female Foreign Minister;
- a female Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and
- 26 female Australian heads of mission around the world, including our Ambassador to China.
We also recognise the role that men have to ensure women and girls can enjoy equal rights and opportunities. In Australia, the Male Champions of Change Institute works with Australia’s most senior public and private sector leaders to redefine the role men have in taking action on gender
For example, there are more than 200 influential male leaders who are Male Champions of Change. They include CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Boards of Directors, Government Department Heads, University Chancellors, as well as Australia’s most senior military leaders – using their individual and collective leadership to elevate gender equality as an issue of national, international and economic importance.
In southwest China, the Australian Consulate-General is very fortunate to have close partnerships with some truly inspirational women. We recognise that it is those who inspire us who have the greatest impact on who we want to be and what we want to achieve.
With this in mind, I am very pleased to announce the launch of the Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu’s “She Inspires Me” photo competition, in partnership with photo sharing platform Fotor. The competition will be an opportunity to recognise women from all walks of life who have inspired us, and a chance to reflect on efforts to realise gender equality in Australia and China. The competition is open to Australian and Chinese citizens residing in either Australia or China. One grand prize winner from both Australia and China will win flights between Melbourne and Chengdu. I encourage everyone to think about the women in your life who have been truly inspirational, and enter the competition!
Speaking of inspiring, today we are incredibly fortunate to have with us a very accomplished young Australian who has also been a strong champion of women in leadership. Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders to execute change.
说到启发，今天我们有幸邀请到一位非常优秀的澳大利亚女性，她也是女性领导力的 支持者。Holly Ransom是Emergent公司的首席执行官。Emergent公司是一家创新战略公司，主要帮助领导者提升变革能力。
An accomplished global keynote speaker, in 2016 Holly was appointed to Co-Chair the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs. In 2018, she was personally requested by President Barack Obama to moderate an hour-long conversation during his only engagement in Australia. Holly will be delivering a keynote speech today on Leading Change.
We are also honoured to have with us Professor ZHOU Xuexin, Deputy Superintendent of Education, Chongqing School of Administration. Professor Zhou has particular interests in women in leadership and entrepreneurship and will present after Holly. I look forward to hearing their insights today.
Finally, a special thank you to our partners for this event:
- the Chongqing Society of Women Talents
- the Chongqing Association Women Entrepreneurs
- and the China Chamber of International Commerce Chongqing.
Without such organisations around the world, working together, we would not have witnessed so many achievements in advancing women’s rights and empowerment, as well as gender equality, over the years But of course, there is still a long way to go.
So without taking any more of your time, Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Holly Ransom.