Standing up for Canberra

Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter From Canberra

“There is no such thing as being non-political. Just be making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change. You simply entrench it.”

Former Premier of Victoria, the late Joan Kirner AC

On this year’s International Womens Day, women and girls around the world were encouraged to channel those words of a great Australian feminist and be bold for change.

It’s a call to action I admire and applaud, but it is more than just taking to the streets rallying for change.

It’s a call to get the building blocks in place to empower women around the world -  ensuring universal access to education, fertility control, financial independence - so that our disadvantaged, uneducated and disempowered sisters can take the steps to boldness.

Because without those fundamentals, a woman's life is limited, timid, controlled by their bodies, controlled by others.

That said, boldness can be a challenge even for women who have had every opportunity.

Because boldness is hard, particularly in a world that feels free to talk over women, that feels free to interrupt women, that keeps walking in a straight line down the street, forcing women to move out of the way.

Boldness means developing a view and, most importantly, asserting that view. It is a state of mind.

And it is liberating.

It means acknowledging that asserting that view will garner supporters and gather detractors.

And with that difference of opinion will come the haters. Those haters who are gonna hate.

So being bold means being prepared to lose some skin in the call for change.

It means asserting yourself, even if you are shaking, even when you are up against aggressive thrusters.

It means asserting your right to have a space and to claim your space.

To help women be bold for change, each week I’m featuring words of wisdom from strong and courageous Canberra women on my Facebook page.

It’s a way of empowering women to exert power over their own lives and to change and improve the lives of others.