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IWD: Lessons for Philanthropy from one of Australia’s longest serving female members of Parliament

March 12th, 2019

On the eve of International Women’s Day more than 40 philanthropists, funders and not for profits were hosted at Melbourne’s Community of Philanthropy.

The event, organised by several Philanthropy Australia members and led Australian Women Donors Network, hosted the Hon Jenny Macklin MP. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Jenny - who is retiring as Australia’s longest serving woman in the House of Representatives - shared her unique perspective on the evolving role of women in Australian society, our democracy and the future of Australia’s community sector.

Jenny spoke passionately to the audience about the challenges she faced as a young working mother in parliament and the significant cultural shifts she has seen over the last two decades regarding the role that both elected women and men play in their families, and the wider community. Jenny also reflected on her key learnings from some of the biggest social policy initiatives she has been involved in including; Paid Parental Leave, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Apology to the stolen generation, confirming that none of these initiatives would have come to fruition if federal parliament did not have a strong and effective civil society to engage with. 

In terms of what Jenny sees for the future, see expressed genuine concern for the critical situation many western democracies are currently facing and urged philanthropists to continue their work supporting diverse communities and civic engagement. Jenny also acknowledged that there is still work to do around the reproductive health of Australian women and noted her enthusiasm for the recent announcement made by the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP in relation to this matter.

For more information on the event, or details relating to philanthropic funding in support of the specific needs and circumstances to women and girls, visit the Australian Women Donors Network website

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