The Fifth Estate: Women, Politics and Power
To discuss Julia Gillard’s time as prime minister, and to look more broadly at women with power in politics and public life, Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by two formidable guests, Gold Walkley Award-winning journalist and former state government minister Mary Delahunty, author of the recently released Gravity: Inside the PM’s office during her last year and final days, and bestselling author and journalist Anne Summers AO.
Two years ago, for a small window of time, Australia had a female prime minister, attorney-general, governor-general, finance minister and four other senior ministers. Today there is just one woman in the federal cabinet – foreign minister Julie Bishop – and when she is away, there are none.
How is this possible in a modern representative democracy? What did we learn about the treatment of women in Australian public life from the rise and fall of Julia Gillard? And what is the personal cost for women in politics?
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
Mary Delahunty is a Gold Walkley Award winning journalist and presenter with ABC TV and commercial networks. She served for 7 years as a Victorian state government minister in senior portfolios and has seen the tensions from both sides. She is currently working as a consultant in government, media and the non-for profit sector where she heads numerous boards.
Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States. She is author of nine books, including the classic Damned Whores and God's Police, Ducks on the Pond, The Lost Mother, and The Misogyny Factor.