02 March 2020
Women are usually the first to celebrate the success of other women and to feel inspired by their achievements, but when it comes to our own successes we tend to see self-promotion as fairly unctuous bragging, and most prefer to downplay their work and to avoid bringing attention to their successes. Humility is a trait with many virtues, and it's a trait which many of us in this House could do to remember more often, but while we still live in a world where women are earning 14 per cent less than men for the same job, whilst doing 28 per cent more of the unpaid care of our littlest citizens and oldest citizens, we cannot afford to let each other be silent about our hard work and our success.
The habit of steering clear of self-promotion is a learnt behaviour and is driven by societal, gender-based norms that expect modesty in women. It contributes to the self-promotion gap in Australia, where there is a perception that men in the workplace are more successful not because they actually are but because they are much better at telling each other, their colleagues and their bosses that they are. Before getting elected to this place, I used to work at a workplace with an 80 per cent women workforce, and I still found that stat to be true each and every day. I see the that member for Curtin is nodding. Obviously it is a truth universally common from east to west coast.
We need to change how we look at talking about our achievements. Maybe the way to do it is to see making our work visible as an ultimately altruistic and supportive offering to other women that will encourage other women to speak up about their own successes, because only once we are willing to highlight our achievements can we be properly recognised for them. Today I stand in this place to celebrate and pay homage to the women in my electorate of Lilley who have been recognised by their peers for their dedication to community service and were part of the 2020 Lilley honours list.
Rosslyn Davies has worked as an early childhood educator at C&K kindergarten in Nundah for over 30 years. Ros is passionate about getting her kindy kids out in nature and learning through play. She regularly goes above and beyond her duties as an educator, often spending hours of her own time at home getting art projects and lessons ready for the next day. When I met her, she was busy spending each and every evening gluing photo frames together at night in front of the television in order for the kids to paint for Father's Day gifts. Ros has done a great job getting families and the local community involved in the kindy by organising regular family picnic days and working bees to maintain the kindy gardens and facilities. In doing so she also maintains our community's cohesion. Ros, thank you for everything that you have done for our littlest citizens.
Elma Amberger is a teacher at St Kevin's Catholic Primary School in Geebung. As if being a primary school teacher isn't admirable enough, Elma uses her weekends and holidays to work on making Saint Kevin's a more environmentally sustainable school. Some of the initiatives she has implemented at Saint Kevin's include promoting nude food to reduce single-use plastics, a tin can recycling system, composting, worm farms for garden fertilisers, sustainable gardens that produce crops and a chicken coop that encourages the kids to bring in scraps to feed their chickens. Elma, thank you for doing your part to save our planet and for thinking locally while acting globally every single day.
Lizzie Ashton is a former employee of Wesley Mission in Chermside. Lizzie had barely retired in 2015 before she came back to volunteer at Wesley Mission. She runs 'cooking with Lizzie' twice a week to get residents involved in cooking, as well as regular bingo games, quizzes and fundraisers. Lizzie injects enthusiasm and energy into the life of the residents at Wesley Mission. Lizzie, thank you for bringing a smile to the faces of some of our eldest citizens on the north side.
Carmela Baxter has used her entrepreneurial savvy to open the Silky Oak Espresso in Chermside West, a place I came to cherish while on parental leave. The cafe trains and employs vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community who are trying to get back on their feet—like survivors of domestic violence, young adults transitioning from foster care and people who have been otherwise struggling to find work. Carmela, thank you for using your business to bring support and purpose to our young people on the north side, who often feel forgotten or left behind.
Colette La Frantz has spent her career as a teacher and principal. Colette is also an active member of the Lions Club of the Brisbane inner-north chapter and a driving force behind some of the club's youth projects. She has spearheaded bravery awards for children with special needs and their supportive siblings. Colette, thank you for mentoring our next generation of activists and leaders.