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RESPECT for Women seminar

Thursday 9 September 2004

Welcome

Ms Elizabeth Ho, Director, The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, UniSA

My name is Liz Ho, I'm the director of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at the University of South Australia, I'm your host today, and I'm very pleased to see all of you here. I would like, firstly, to acknowledge and indicate our respect for the Kaurna people, on whose land we meet today.

You are all aware that this forum is designed to give us all an update on the status of women and current issues both here and globally, and also that we hope at the end to have a summary that may be applied for policy and action consideration. We have an interesting mix of people attending, representing many walks of life.

I think it is most important that I dispense with the normal formalities, because we are very fortunate that Irene Khan is able to remain with us for a brief time this morning before flying off to the Sudan to deal with a very difficult situation there. So I'm going to be a little less formal than I normally am and just get our program under way.

I will issue a warm welcome to our first speakers, beginning with Kate Lennon, Lowitja O'Donoghue and Amnesty International leader, Irene Khan, who will set the scene for us, and we have included their biographical information on the reverse of the program so that you can understand the very important roles that they have played in their various spheres of influence.

Last night a thousand of us had the privilege to hear Irene deliver her Annual Hawke Lecture address, "Security for Whom." Her address stimulated me to remember this quote from Benjamin Franklin, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security."

The address really galvanised our spirits, and I trust will raise support for the AI cause. We thank her for being with us today. Events in the Sudan mean that Irene will leave early, but I would like you to think of questions now, concise questions, because we will be having a brief question session straight after her address, and the revised program is on your tables if you haven't seen that.

To those who are joining our panels today, we thank you for sharing with us your expertise and insight. We will introduce you in person as we progress through the morning. However, may I particularly thank Pru Goward, Libby Lloyd and Georgina Costello for travelling interstate to be here today.

To the audience, you are a wonderfully diverse audience, as I've said, and in this world of specialisation I hope today will really offer you a broader insight into those issues that are affecting the status of women nationally and globally.

I would also just like to briefly acknowledge the fact that we have received very generous support from the Honourable Stephanie Key, the Minister for the Status of Women, and also from the South Australian Office of the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, the Women in Leadership Program at the University of South Australia and a lot of assistance along the way from Amnesty International. So I would to just acknowledge those people who have supported us today.

So, without further ado, I'm going to call on Kate Lennon, with a limited introduction, Kate, but a biography in front of you, and invite her to set the scene for us.

Thank you

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