The Weekly’s annual Power List, announced in our November issue, out now, reflects just how much has changed in Australia in 12 short months.
This year’s most powerful woman is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Liberal Leader, Julie Bishop. With the power to direct Australia’s role on the world stage and a commitment to “drive change for women”, she was a unanimous choice among the judges.
Annastacia Palaszczuk is the surprise rising star of this year’s list, shooting from 14th place in 2015 to number two, as she entered her second year as Queensland Premier with the first 50 per cent female cabinet in Australian history. The Power List judges praised her determination to consult with and represent the broad Queensland community. “I think our diversity is what makes Queensland great,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
Making her Power List debut this year is the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, Linda Burney, who shoots into 17th place (with a bullet). She brings with her from the NSW State Parliament a reputation for strong and compassionate policy-making. “You cannot be a good politician, truly representing people, unless you have a very big spoonful of empathy,” she said.
Linda Burney is joined, ironically, by One Nation’s Pauline Hanson, whose gang of four wield sufficient power in the Senate to push her to number eight.
Other newcomers to this year’s list include The Matildas, our star women’s soccer team whose battle for fair wages threw a spotlight on gender inequality in sport; ABC reporter, Caro Meldrum-Hanna, who rocked the walls of State and Federal Parliaments with her Four Corners coverage of greyhound racing and children in custody in the Northern Territory; Professor Gillian Triggs, who defended human rights in this country with courage and grace; and finally Lucy Turnbull, the power behind the prime ministerial throne and a formidable presence in Australian business and politics in her own right.
Here are the top 10 women named in The Australian Women's Weekly Power List 2016:
1 Julie Bishop – Minister for Foreign Affairs
2 Annastacia Palaszczuk – Premier of Queensland
3 Professor Gillian Triggs – President, Australian Human Rights Commission
4 Marise Payne – Minister for Defence
5Tanya Plibersek – Deputy Leader, Federal Opposition
6 Elizabeth Bryan – Chair, Virgin Australia
7 Lucy Turnbull – Chair, Greater Sydney Commission
8 Pauline Hanson – Senator for Queensland
9 Caro Meldrum-Hanna - Reporter, Four Corners
10 Catherine Livingstone - President, The Business Council of Australia
To read the profiles on each of these women and why they made the list, as well as the full 25 round up, grab a copy of the November issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, on sale today.
Power List with thanks to CPA