Subscriber • Opinion

Public Sector Informant: First Nations leaders show the way in listening to women on rights

By Kim Rubenstein
September 6 2021 - 2:00pm
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar. Picture: Wayne Quilliam

Shortly after Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister in 2007, he announced an exciting policy initiative - an inclusive gathering of Australians to help shape a long-term strategy for the nation's future and to tackle the challenges confronting Australia in new ways. The focus of the ideas summit was on 2020, then a "far-away" year but one that we now look back as a COVID-wracked annus horribilis. Planning the summit showed just how baked the old ways were. The first non-inclusive blunder was the near-absence of women on the 11-member committee choosing the 1000 delegates - actress Cate Blanchett was the only woman named. Another howler came with the decision to hold the summit on the first two-days of Passover. Even the most secular Jewish Australians would have been celebrating with their family and community. So, a well-meaning Mr Rudd scrambled to organise a separate Jewish 2020 summit.