Recognition in Parliament

Recognition for ACLW in NSW State Parliament

Legislative Assembly Thursday 6 March 2014

The excerpt below has been reproduced from pages 81-82 of the Parliamentary Hansard for Thursday 6 March 2014. 


Mr GARETH WARD (Kiama) [ 6.12 p.m.]: On Wednesday 5 March 2014 I was fortunate to attend an event here at Parliament House for International Women’s Day. The event was hosted by me and Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey of the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women [ ACLW] who is a resident of the Kiama electorate. The event was attended by the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women, the Hon. Pru Goward, the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Victor Dominello and Madam Speaker. As I remarked on the evening, I am very grateful that you could attend.

This Parliament was formed in 1824 and universal suffrage was won in 1901. It was not until 1916 that women were able to stand for election to Parliament. In 1925 the glass ceiling was finally broken by Millicent Preston-Stanley but it was not until 2011 that you, Madam Speaker, took your rightful place in the Speaker’s chair—and a fine job you are doing, not just because you are a woman but because you are the best person for the job.

The SPEAKER: The cheque is in the mail.

Mr GARETH WARD: After my mother, I most admire you. On the evening of the event, we also were very fortunate to have a Kiama High School student, Ben Fryer, who provided musical entertainment for the evening. He did a wonderful job of entertaining us. Diann founded the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women in August 2000 to assist leaders and emerging leaders and to achieve systemic change for the leadership of women. Since its inception 13 years ago the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women has established its own distinctive identity by researching and publishing on pertinent issues that concern women; contributed to national policy reform for women’s equality; developed the capacity of leaders and emerging leaders through leadership programs; and recognised and rewarded women and men who advocate for women.

The Australian Centre for Leadership for Women is a virtual centre with a strong national base of women and organisations that are interested in women’s leadership. Its vision is consolidated in its five strategic platforms: to transform, empower, recognise, globalise and give back. Although the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s long list of achievements can be seen in its virtual presence at, I will highlight some of its notable achievements in one of its strategic platforms: to transform contexts for systemic change.

The Australian Centre for Leadership for Women has participated in national reviews, including a review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act and agency. Research projects have been conducted and published on areas associated with Australian political leadership and the media, women getting onto boards, women’s global activism, and women’s leadership in education and the corporate sector. National campaigns to raise awareness have incorporated expert panels analysing government policy, the concerns of disadvantage in the community, and the impact of climate change.

Diann runs the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women and is single-handedly steering its vision and enabling outcomes by drawing in teams of community and industry leaders to work on common goals to assist women, address barriers and raise awareness. Through research, forums, mentoring and coaching, Diann values a relationship with the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s members to consolidate how to move forward to address inequity. In 2014 Diann will be working with Aboriginal women leaders who have been offered the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s Advanced Leadership Scholarship Program. However, the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s flagship is its national awards program, which was established in 2006. Beginning in 2006 with its Leadership Achievement Award and in 2010 with the Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award, the centre’s Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations [ SWECO] Award culminates its intent to recognise sustainable leadership initiatives by women and men that advance women in communities and workplaces. 

Scroll to Top