Senate debates

Tuesday, 3 August 2021


Parliament House: Staff

1:50 pm

Photo of Marielle SmithMarielle Smith (SA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] This past week I participated in the independent review into parliamentary workplaces, otherwise known to those of us in this place as the Jenkins review. I wanted to put on the record my gratitude to the women who conducted my interview for the professionalism and the sensitivity that they showed, and to acknowledge the work of everyone who is conducting this review and, importantly, to acknowledge everyone who is contributing to this review in terms of their evidence. We know the broader and more inclusive the body of evidence of this review the more effective its outcomes will be. So I wanted to use this opportunity to urge everyone who is eligible who might be considering participating in the review to take part. There's still a small window in which you can do so—to have an interview conducted and put your experience on the record and share your ideas for change. I know these can be really difficult conversations to have—really hard conversations. I do know that. But they are incredibly important if we are to see the change we know this place so desperately needs.

We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those women whose bravery and courage, in standing up and speaking out about their experiences in this building and these workplaces, means that we have this review in the first place—these women who came forward and said, 'Enough is enough,' and did so at an extraordinary personal cost and with extraordinary sacrifices.

It is past time to change the culture of this place, to undertake the critical work that we know is required to ensure it's a safe workplace and to ensure it's a just workplace for every single person who works here, in every single role. It's absolutely critical work. I urge anyone who can take part to do so and I thank everyone who has contributed.