Though Australia opened up its doors and migrant families came,
still the struggle to assimilate was tough, though, just the same.
Exploitation in the work-force would be sadly forced on some,
while for others isolation was the thing to overcome.
Subtle changes were forthcoming and throughout the post-war years
opportunities would rise for women to pursue careers.
The old stigma still hung on that ‘women’s work’ stayed in the house:
just a ‘someone’ who was always there to tend her young and spouse.
Then the Germaine Greers arose to liberate all female souls
and our nation came of age as women now fill many roles
in careers, on sporting fields, out in the bush or scientist,
law and order, politics and more fill up an endless list.
Yet, the moulding of this country, through the many, many years
saw the men-folk, not the women take the glory and the cheers.
But at last the Aussie women-folk can stand and take a bow
As they’re worthy of the accolades - we rocognize that now.
I am certain that my forefathers would proudly stand with me
and we’ll sing those women’s praises in our solidarity.
So perhaps you’d like to join us and express how much you care
and applaud the working women who Advanced Australia Fair.
This poem was written specifically for the opening ceremony of Stage 1 of the Working
Women In Australia Project at the Workers Heritage Centre at Barcaldine in central
Queensland on July the 20th, 2002. I had the privilege to present the recorded poem that
evening in the presence of Mrs Margaret Whitlam, The Premier of Queensland, Mr Peter
Beattie and other dignitaries; my tribute to the wonderful role that many of our women
played in making this great country our home. This poem is available on our