Celebrating success. Highlighting dubious practice.

SALUTE! Ita Buttrose

Ita Buttrose is now 81 years old and has served as ABC chair since 2019. She has announced that she will not seek reappointment to the role when her term ends in March 2024.

In 1972, ‘Cleo’ was launched with Ita Buttrose as the founding editor. It was aimed at women with content that was frank about sexuality and covered political and social issues from a woman’s perspective. Later she was the youngest person to be appointed editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly, which was then, per capita, the largest-selling magazine in the world.

 ABC article

SALUTE! Chief Justice Kiefel

Susan Kiefel is the first woman to serve as the chief justice of the High Court of Australia (appointed 2007). She turns 70 shortly and has announced her retirement.

She left school at 15, worked as a legal secretary and ended up as the highest judge in the land.

ABC article

SALUTE! Captain Deborah Lawrie

There’s a new bridge at Sydney airport and it goes over the top of Sir Reginald Ansett Drive. So why does this give Captain Deborah Lawrie a bit of a giggle? She was the first female commercial pilot in Australia and is currently the oldest female commercial pilot in the world. However, she had to go to the Equal Opportunity Commission, in the first sex discrimination case ever contested, before she was given a fair go. Watch the short news video (4.26) that is part of this ABC article.


Chief Beancounter

Michelle Bullock was appointed governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia on 18 September 2023, and is the first woman to hold the role.

ABC article

Spanish women kick goals!

Soccer midfielder, and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who was part of the Spanish squad that won the Women’s World Cup, called on institutions to show courage and leadership to stop women suffering a lack of respect or abuse.

BBC Sports article

Brains behind GPT

Mira Murati is an engineer who is currently Chief Technology Officer at OpenAI. She is the brain behind ChatGPT, an AI language model that has revolutionised the way we interact with machines. 

Article in Global Woman

Chief Spy

Kerri Hartland became Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service in February 2023. This is Australia’s foreign intelligence agency, so it is our version of the CIA.

ASIS website

Linda Burney

In 2016, almost 116 years after the establishment of parliament, Linda Burney, a Wiradjuri woman, became the first indigenous woman elected to federal parliament. She is now Minister for Indigenous Australians in the Albanese ministry.

Ukraine's Witch


Olha Bihar was a lawyer in Kyiv while completing her PhD in tax law. Then Russia invaded Ukraine. Now she is an artillery officer with the call sign Witch. She uploads videos to TikTok about life on the front lines to help spread the word about what is happening. See her version of a Nail Salon in the video in this ABC article.

Fancy a good read?

Not Just Black and White: A conversation between a mother and a daughter

by Lesley Williams and Tammy Williams
Published by University of Queensland Press (2015; latest reprint 2022); 333 pages

Edited review by Dr Jennifer Nayler

I was reading at 2.00 a.m. recently to finish ‘Not Just Black and White’. I wanted to make sure I’d read it before I attended an event at which the authors would be speaking. I didn’t need to worry. Once I started reading, I was hooked.

I can understand why the book has collected several awards, including the David Unaipon Award. The book is appealing to readers on many levels. The rich account of life in the Cherbourg State Aboriginal Settlement, during the 50s, 60s and later, is one of heart-breaking control of indigenous lives and of the uplifting and sustaining nature of family love. 

The book is set mostly in Queensland with references to Brisbane and to Gympie where I grew up. The book has international settings as well—with the authors travelling to Michael Jackson’s Neverland and to the United Nations in Geneva.

This is a fabulous book. It is a story of struggle, endurance, love and determination to create a better Australia. It is simultaneously a deeply personal story and a universal tale.

Available from Booktopia


AWE supports the vision:

End gender-based violence in one generation.


  • On average, a woman is killed by an intimate partner every 10 days
  • One in 3 women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15
  • One in 5 women has experienced sexual violence.

National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032


AWE celebrates 40 years of advocating for the full participation of women and girls in all dimensions of Australian society. We’ve written reports and submissions, responded to action plans, held conferences, served on committees, and appeared at government inquiries.

AWE members come together at the 2022 Annual Dinner.


30 Years Retrospective Edition

Redress was first published in 1992, over 30 years ago. I wrote the editorial for that first edition and am now bemused by the seemingly insightful revelation at that time that women have a different worldview from men, and full contribution from both is essential to the future wellbeing of our world in all its dimensions. The journal was started to help redress this balance, hence the name. Thirty years later this seems blindingly obvious, but we are not there yet.

In its 30-year history, Redress has presented a diverse and powerful collection of articles that explore the challenges that exist in Australia and beyond in relation to the full participation of women and girls in all facets of society.

For this retrospective edition, women who have been past editors were asked to nominate articles that have lingered in their memory. Each woman writes an introduction to explain their choice and the article is reproduced in full.

Marilyn Harvey, Guest Editor

Roselynne Anderson
Memorial Bursary

We invite applications for a bursary to the value of $2,500 in memory of former AWE president Roselynne Anderson.

There are two bursaries each year for AWE members to attend a conference of their choice. Applicants must be financial members of AWE and be in early to mid-career.

2023 Application Form


We capture the issues of the time, celebrate the wins, and champion the rights of women and girls in education and society generally.

  • Original content
  • Authentic voice
  • Topics that matter