Interview with Sonya Feldhoff and Jules Schiller, ABC Adelaide Breakfast

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: Adelaide International Women’s Day Breakfast.

Sonya Feldhoff, Host: Senator Penny Wong, the Foreign Affairs Minister and host of today's International Women's Day Breakfast here at the Convention Centre. Good morning to you, Penny.

Penny Wong, Foreign Minister: Good morning, good morning to you both, and good morning everyone and happy International Women's Day to Adelaide and beyond.

Jules Schiller, Host: Senator, I mean we've been asking our audience today a woman that has made your life great. Who comes to mind when you hear that question?

Foreign Minister: Well I think my mum first. You know, I think she really taught me about determination and courage and made me, you know, always brought me up to believe that I could do and be whatever I wanted to be if I put my mind to it, and with a great sense of fairness and compassion. So she was wonderful.

But I've been really privileged, and I've had so many women in my life, both in my family, from my grandmother to my aunts but also women, you know, in politics who I looked up to. So I'm very grateful for it.

And part of what we do the breakfast for is so we can try and make sure that you have that mix with, you know, the women who have gone before and also young women and girls from schools across the state. So, I'm really pleased that the breakfast is as successful as it is.

Feldhoff: Yeah, Senator Wong, I'm just looking at many people arriving here at the breakfast at the Adelaide Convention Centre as they flow through the doors, lots of them with smiles on our faces and many of us very happy we can be here to mark this day.

But as Foreign Affairs Minister you know that there's a lot of disruption in the world, there's a lot of unrest in the world. And not everyone gets the luxury and the privilege to be able to stop and mark a day like this. Do you reflect on that today, how lucky we are in this country?

Foreign Minister: Very much so. I mean we are – while we have a lot of work still to do, if you look at the position of women around the world, you know, we are a long way further down the track towards real equality. And we know women are disproportionately represented in the poverty statistics, disproportionately the victims of violence, in war and in conflict. We know that women still are economically disadvantaged around the world.

And the point I made, I did a little video clip for a project that the German Foreign Minister, with a whole range of women Foreign Ministers, is doing, and I said, the reason I'm supporting women's rights is that they're human rights and we know that nations flourish and communities are safer when women take their place at the table.

Feldhoff: Now you're not far away from here and we know that each year the fact that 3,000 women converge on the Adelaide Convention Centre in about 30 or 45 minutes means there's lots of traffic jams along North Terrace. How are you going? Are you going to make it time? Can you give us a traffic report?

Foreign Minister: Well to be honest we're running a little late because today we are coming in as a family, so we've just got to get everybody out the door. So –

Feldhoff: Okay, well they're highlighting the juggle. Highlighting the juggle that women always have.

Schiller: I love the fact that Senator Wong is now the longest-serving female Cabinet Minister and you've got her to do a traffic report. Sonya Feldhoff, that – good on you.

Foreign Minister: Oh that's – well actually, yeah, thanks very much for that. To be honest, as I said earlier today, you know, I wouldn't have known about that milestone, Jules, unless Amanda Vanstone had been gracious enough to write in The Tiser, so full credit to Amanda Vanstone who actually brought it my attention. I really appreciate it.

Feldhoff: Well, good on you. Senator Penny Wong, she is on her way here to host the Adelaide International Women's Day Breakfast. Thank you for your time and congratulations on all you've achieved. I think she is widely regarded as a safe pair of hands to have our Foreign Affairs Ministry in right across the divide.

Schiller: As you say, such tumultuous times in the world. I mean it's a really tough gig at the moment.

Feldhoff: Indeed. We are broadcasting from the International Women's Day Breakfast here at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

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