I remember the marriage equality debate. The hate speech against members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The behaviour of Lyle Shelton. The divisiveness which, in the end, was drowned out by the success of the postal survey, stamps turned into the sparkling confetti of happiness.
I also remember the extraordinary outpouring of support from corporate Australia. Yes, of course, Qantas was first to come out. Alan Joyce, quite rightly, recognised the personal had to be political. ANZ Bank installed besequinned ATMs, which it called GayTMs, in 2014. It backed the glorious Mardi Gras.
Anyone who wants to marry should have the right to marry.
And you would think that anyone who wants to be safe should have the right to be safe. Safe from harassment at work, safe from sexual harassment at work, safe from sexual assault at work. Safe everywhere. You'd also think that would be a corporate no-brainer, the duty to provide a safe working environment. But if there was one glaring - glaring - absence from the March 4 Justice, it was corporate Australia.
At the same time the march was on in Canberra, the Business Council of Australia was also holding its annual meeting and dinner. In Canberra. There were CEOs all over the shop (and in Parliament House). CEOs who employ women. Some CEOs who are women. And not a public word. Nothing. Silently silent. Perhaps they were having secret conversations and bringing it up privately with senior ministers?
No call out from the Champions of Change Coalition. Nothing from any of the big peak bodies besides the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Council of Social Service. No big companies. Not the Liberal Party - and both the ALP and the Greens supported the purpose of the march. So many companies and organisations hold pathetic International Women's Day celebrations, but don't want to put shoulder to the wheel for the work.
Nearly 100,000 people flooded streets and squares across Australia to ask for justice and safety for women, and there is very little evidence that it had any impact on Australian corporate life. And if you think Parliament House has problems, let me remind you of the publicised stories we have heard from companies such as AMP Capital or QBE - and then the ones we have never heard about because of the poisonous non-disclosure agreements so rampant in Australia. Now, news from the University of Melbourne about an alleged sexual harassment case.
I asked Catriona Noble, now a non-executive director at Rest Super and formerly the chief executive of McDonald's Australia and managing director of ANZ retail, why she thought corporate Australia was not on board with the March 4 Justice. She let me in on a chat she'd had with a couple of blokes earlier this week.
Basically they told her she'd got to her various senior positions under her own steam, etc etc, by being the "best person for the job". But there was the implication that other women were not being promoted on merit. She then described herself as a feminist, and had to explain that was not a synonym for either man-hating or bra-burning. And when the subject of the march came up, one of the blokes said: "You women must be radicals."
So radical to want safety at all times of the day and night. Then these two started to rant about Jeffrey Epstein, dead sex offender, as an example of bad behaviour. We aren't all Jeffrey Epstein, was the argument.
Anyhow, kill me, she had to explain that there was a range of sexist and misogynist behaviour before we get to the likes of Epstein. That unconscious bias played a part. That a company - or a country - may have "all the policies in the world", but they take time to have long-term impact.
Bravely, she said: "You don't even realise you are doing things which are damaging to women."
As she points out, only one woman has been appointed as chief executive of an ASX top 200-listed company out of 25 appointments in the last 12 months.
"To create equality, you have to do things which men find threatening. That takes change in society, and it also takes male leaders of large organisations to drive this change. They have to be prepared to live with the discomfort to a certain extent. They also have to understand that there are different ways to treat people to allow them to shine. They may actually be required to do something different, and not just go along with the status quo."
As one senior corporate woman told me, corporates can't afford to put their relationships with government at risk.
But what about those managers who decided to back staff who wanted to attend this week's March 4 Justice?
There were plenty of flags representing the Community and Public Sector Union.
"Friends in some parts of the Australian Public Service told me bosses were supportive, saw it as within the scope of flexible working and not against APS codes of conduct," one person who attended the march told me.
There were some in the Canberra march wearing Australian Parliament House lanyards. There were loads of people who worked in domestic violence services. Some employees were told they couldn't go, but wore black in solidarity.
"I was not allowed to march unless I take a day off and not talk about it at work," wrote one woman. She said immediate staff were supportive, but she had to get managerial permission to share the International Women's Day address given by former ABC deputy chair Kirstin Ferguson, where she revealed her own experience of workplace sexual harassment.
Another woman's male boss refused her a day of annual leave to go.
Small workplaces seemed to do better than others. Meetings were shifted. Leave was allowed. Some employers paid staff to attend, including Philippa Moss, the chief executive of Meridian ACT. One of her employees described her as "very supportive". Academics went if they weren't teaching.
But as Sally Rugg - author, activist and one of the co-architects of the successful marriage equality campaign - reminds me, by the time most companies and corporations came on board to support marriage equality, the issue had already established mass popularity.
"There wasn't a brand risk, but a brand halo," she says. In the meantime, companies would put rainbow flags on their logos and encourage employees to march at Mardi Gras.
"Companies won't take risks on social justice issues. The March 4 Justice became about a lot of things, including the call for very powerful men to be held accountable for sexism, misogyny and sexual assaults.
"A lot of these companies have their own internal issues. They have powerful men at the helm and they don't have clean noses."
As Rugg puts it: "The March 4 Justice asks of societies and governments a far greater moment of reckoning."
- Jenna Price is a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and a regular columnist.