Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (09:43):
It was an honour to attend the third Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Australia Region Conference in Adelaide recently. The CWP conference is a non-partisan event for women parliamentarians and this year celebrated 125 years of women’s suffrage in South Australia.
Unsurprisingly the conference had a key focus on gender equality in Australian parliaments. There should be equal representation of men and women leading our communities in our legislature, and a great deal more work on this still needs to be done.
I also had the great pleasure of addressing the National Press Club of Australia last week in my capacity as ambassador for the National Secular Lobby. It was a lively televised debate with Martyn Iles, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
We sparred on religious freedoms and the federal government’s proposed new legislation—and why we actually do not need it.
I would like to thank Maurice Reilly from the National Press Club, Peter Monk of the National Secular Lobby, debate moderator Sabra Lane and of course Mr Iles for a spirited and, most importantly, respectful debate. And let us be honest, I won hands down. It was not even a contest.
Finally, I would like to congratulate my friend, satirist and artist Bryan Dawe, who many will know from his work with the late great John Clarke.
Bryan is an accomplished artist, and I had the great pleasure of attending the opening of his 14th exhibition, Interlude, at Montsalvat in Eltham recently. Curated by Krista McClelland, the exhibition runs until 10 November, and I would encourage all members to get along.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member of Northern Metropolitan Region
Members Statement given 16/10/19