It is a great honour to be here tonight with you all, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I met Peace and thought I must do all I can to help Peace and Katy with their mission which is such a remarkable vision about how we can ensure all of our citizens have every opportunity to be their best selves and pursue whatever goals you set for yourselves.
Tonight is all about those achieving that and setting a wonderful example for so many other women and families in our community. That is really worth celebrating and that is why I would not have missed tonight for quids. So congratulations, ladies.
I am probably a little emotionally invested in this. As a small person, I am not that large now that I am a bit older, but as a small boy I remember my mum telling me stories about ‘bikes do not grow on trees’. And I thought, she has got a point there.
I was not quite sure where that conversation was going. But it was an insight into just how entrepreneurial mums can be; juggling so many challenges and own expectations and expectations others can have.
We were in a family, living down in Frankston. For those that are not from Melbourne, that is the Rivera of this city. I have thought about those incredible Southern Hemisphere capitals; Santiago, Buenos Aires, Frankston…
When my parents bought their house down there, it was because that is all that could be afforded. We were getting a little bit older and mum had this vision that her boys would not go without a bike. So she set up her own business because she loved being involved in every facet of our lives.
She had for herself the ambition to be the greatest parent possible but she also had economic ambitions that were really important to her. She wove those joint ambitions into her life. And I see this in all of you in this room; not content to have a single goal, why not have a crack at a number of them?
Through that, all of the great brilliance and talent that we are celebrating tonight, and the example that you set for hundreds of thousands of other women; young and more mature, right across our country is a wonderful story that needs to be told more and again and again.
Because tonight we are celebrating success and excellence. The enduring legacy of tonight; long after the bubbles have subsided will be the story that you share with others.
The path finding journey that you bring to life so that young women, my daughters, those people that have not even thought about what they want to do with their life, know that this is making an extraordinary contribution to the economy and our communities and you ought to be celebrated for it.
The great news at the moment is that there are more businesses being formed in Australia than any other time in our nation’s history. And you know what is even better news? More women are creating those businesses than men.
I know that is happening because the economy is changing; technology is changing; barriers to entrepreneurship are looking different; the way in which people can connect with their communities and do social media to market – these are all things women master.
These are things that are opening up new business opportunities, where you can engage in enterprise in a manner that works with other ambitions for your life. I reckon that is a great story, a great example, a great inspiration.
And I know, through the leadership of Peace, of Katie, from the example that you all set, through the achievements that we celebrate tonight, this is great news for our nation. Having a child is an extraordinary thing. I have not personally done it. But I have been about on a few occasions. But it does bump your life into another orbit, doesn’t it?
To add to that, the pillow talk of cash flow of running a business. Wondering how things will go in life and in enterprise. This is a great thing to dedicate one’s life to. But to find a pathway to balance both of those ambitions.
To add so much to the economy and to the community and to your own livelihoods is worth celebrating. So whatever happens, as I arm wrestle with some of the biggest businesses in the country, rest assured I admire greatly what each and every one of you are doing.
I thank you sincerely for your contribution to our economy and livelihoods right across out country. And above all, I really value all that you are doing, for all women, to say gee there are great things that we can achieve. That includes entrepreneurship, it is a great night, celebrate mumpreneurs, you are all magnificent and I am honoured to be amongst you this evening.