Monday, 29 August 2016

Where are the women?

The Women’s Leadership Institute Australia is based at the University of Melbourne. Carol Schwartz AM Founding Chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute, recalls that she had asked a conference of business leaders in 1990 “Where are the women?” In 2015, speaking about the women who are more than half of the graduates in law, medicine, economics and humanities she asked again why high achieving women are not seen on a basis of equality in leadership roles in government, corporate boardrooms, universities and other institutions?

Australia’s involvement with the International Council of Women-CIF began 120 years ago, initially in Sydney, and since then NCW Australia and the Councils of Women in the States and Territories have adopted a partnership approach to challenge the barriers that prevent women from having equal opportunity to achieve, advocating more equal participation of men and women in public life and leadership roles, both in Australia and internationally. The Women’s Leadership Institute Australia notes Creating equal opportunity for women to reach leadership positions is a complex equation that requires deep cultural change. However as WLIA suggests one element in creating change will be achieving the equal recognition of women in the Australian Honours system.

National Council of Women in Victoria has been attentive to the need to find ways in which attention can be drawn to women’s achievement for example through nominations to the Victorian Honour Roll Women’s since it began in 2001. The VHRW records the achievements of almost six hundred women leaders whose work had impacted for good in many fields in Victoria, Australia & beyond.

As a way of educating our members about ways in the way such achievements could be better recognized, from 2004-2009, NCW Victoria used its Dame Phyllis Frost Award program identify individuals who had made a significant contribution to the enhancement of the status of women and girls in Victoria, had shown long term commitment to such a cause or causes, and made an especially significant voluntary contribution above and beyond that required in the nominee’s employment.

Our July 2016 Council meeting has been designed to enable members to gain a better an understanding of the Australian Honours system with presenter and Melba Group member Jenny Standish. The challenge set out in the Melba Groups Awards Training Program is Aim personally to nominate one woman every year.

Learn more about Advancing Women:

Women and the Order of Australia (2011) Available as a PDF from

Women’s Leadership Institute Australia

Victorian Honour Roll for Women
To be notified when nominations open in mid-2016,
For general enquiries please call Anushka Restuccia on 9651 1032