On 1 November 2010, following the re-election of the Gillard Labor Government in 2010, Kate Ellis became the Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care and the Minister for the Status of Women.
Minister Kate Ellis and Senator Michaelia Cash were invited by CLW to take part in a virtual meeting initiative.
This initiative involved Minister Ellis and Senator Cash responding to a series of questions posed by women and women’s organisations on a range of areas relating to the status of women and childcare.
All the questions to Minister Ellis and Senator Cash were forwarded on 12 October 10 for their responses which were published in November and December 2010.
This initiative enabled Minister Ellis and Senator Cash to gain an awareness of the issues that concern women and inform us about their vision and objectives in relation to these issues. Questions and responses related to 22 issues including the gender gap, flexible work practices, the minister’s portfolio, women’s health, domestic violence, education and pensions and superannuation.
Below are links to the documents that were sent to Minister Ellis and Senator Cash which include all the questions and names of the questioners. For Minister Ellis, the questions have been put into broad categories as requested by her office. The categories were numbered for ease of reading. The numbering did not represent any form of prioritization. Also included below are their responses to the questions.
About the Minister
Kate Ellis, Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Minister for the Status of Women
When the Labor Government was elected in 2007, Kate was elevated to the Labor Government frontbench as the Minister for Youth and Sport. In June 2008 Kate was given extra ministerial responsibilities, becoming Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth; and Minister for Sport.
Following the re-election of the Gillard Labor Government in 2010 Kate became the Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care and the Minister for the Status of Women.
As Minister for Early Childhood Education and Child Care, Kate is committed to ensuring that Australian families have access to high quality, stable and affordable childcare- which is critical to help parents juggle their work and family responsibilities as well as to aid our children's early development.
Kate is proud that the Labor Government has massively increased funding for childcare affordability, including raising the Child Care Rebate from 30% to 50% and increasing the maximum claim for each child from $4354 to $7500 a year. The Labor Government has also raised the standards of Australian childcare, with a COAG agreement on the first ever National Quality Standard (NQS), which will give parents the peace of mind to know that their children will be safe and well looked after. Over the last three years Federal Labor has done the hard work to introduce practical supports to improve women's lives, including the historic introduction of a paid parental leave scheme. Kate is thrilled to be able to build on this solid foundation as Minister for the Status of Women and is particularly looking forward to progressing Labor's ambitious reform agenda to address violence against women and their children.
About Senator Cash:
enator Michaelia Cash, Senator for Western Australia; Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration; Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women
Prior to being elected as a Senator for Western Australia, Senator Cash was a senior lawyer with the national law firm Freehills in its Perth employment and industrial relations practice.
Senator Cash practiced in all areas of employment and industrial law including equal opportunity, industrial and employee relations, occupational health and safety, executive employment and unfair dismissal. In June 2001 Senator Cash was seconded to the Freehills Melbourne office for 12 months where she gained a valuable insight into the Federal Industrial Relations system.
In addition to her Honours Degree in Law which she received from the University of London, Senator Cash holds a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major in public relations, politics and journalism from Curtin University in Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Western Australia.
In September 2010 Senator Cash was appointed to the dual roles of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Status of Women and the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration.
The Liberal Party has a strong record of supporting women during the various stages of their life and recognises that Australian women have differing needs in relation to education, families, work and retirement.
Senator Cash is proud of the Coalition’s strong tradition of championing the issues that concern Australian women.
Since Federation, the Coalition has:
· given women the vote;
· provided child endowment payments directly to mothers;
· improved workplace opportunities for women;
· enacted legislation to improve equal opportunity outcomes for women; and
· established and designed a system to enable a baby bonus to be paid to mothers of newborn and adopted babies.
· The Coalition also signed the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which later led to the establishment of the office of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
The Coalition values women and men as co-contributors to the economic and social well-being of Australia. Senator Cash looks forward to working to advance equality for women in our society by eliminating discrimination against women particularly in the areas of health, education, economic security and violence against women.