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Women – Development of the Next Women’s Strategy


Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Tags: Women

Dr WOODRUFF - Was the next strategy funded in the budget? I presume there is another strategy? If you could let us know the time line for the next strategy, and the consultation process.

I would like to put in your mind the importance of probably substantially changing how we do consultation for that strategy. Five years is a very long time, and if we want to get the voices of young women, we cannot rely on anything that is about an online consultation process, accessing by website, and advertising in the media. We need to access social media and we need to communicate through TikTok and Instagram and Snapchat. We really want the voices of young women, because we want to hear the things that are going to be affecting them over the next decade - given the timeframe of the strategy. Obviously, we need the voices of older women too but they are more easily accessed through the traditional forms of consultation. Young women would be almost entirely absent without very focussed social media strategies. Could you just talk about the strategy development?

Ms PALMER - Yes, I certainly can. Before I hand over to Ms Kent on that, can I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. One of the most frustrating things in my former life as a newsreader was that my children do not watch television at all -

Dr WOODRUFF - My children do not watch parliament, ever.

Ms PALMER - They get their information from the devices in their hands. We absolutely have to recognise that if that is their communication platform, then that's where we need to be. I am not that great at Snapchat, and things like that,

Dr WOODRUFF - That is what we have staff to do, we don't have to be good at everything.

Ms PALMER - I certainly agree with you that the voices of young women are vitally important. So, I will hand over to Ms Kent.

Ms KENT - The first stage of the work behind developing the new strategy started last year, around August, and between August and November consultations were undertaken. As the minister said, the Tasmanian Women's Council has helped to drive the process for this. Through that process we had a number of workshops with a broad range of women that had been involved in development of a range of strategies, I think that happened around November. We tapped into the interdepartmental committee that I referred to earlier, because of a number of other consultations that would be going on across Government in different portfolio areas.

We were keen to not duplicate what was going on, but to bring that information that was happening. Then we had a public survey with over 500 people responding to that as well. So, when I talk about other consultations that were happening, I can use the examples of other areas that we work with in our portfolios, such as COTA in terms of the Active Ageing Strategy and what were they particularly hearing about the needs of older women. At the same time, the Government was developing the children and youth wellbeing strategy, for example, so that picks up the issues that you have raised around a lot of the issues facing younger people; in this case we would be interested in issues facing younger women and girls.

Dr WOODRUFF - Through you, minister. How was the consultation done for that strategy? Was the engagement through social media?

Ms KENT - Yes. That was driven through the Department of Premier and Cabinet and through the Department of Communities Tasmania under the direction of Mel Gray's division. That was very interactive, much more focussed on the way that young people interact as opposed to our probably traditional ways of surveys and workshops. Again, through our portfolios, we are very conscious about the issues facing multicultural women, women with disability, the LGBTIQ+ community, and we talked earlier today about that survey.

Our role was to see what are the issues that cross and input and take those on board as well, rather than duplicate that. Then the lens that the Tasmanian Women's Council was putting over that, was about whether that correlated with what they hear through their sectors. The members on that council range from women in a whole range of sectors -younger women and women from regional areas of Tasmania. We hope that addresses a very interactive approach to consultation as opposed to one size fits all.

 

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, thanks. I also have a question about the budget spend for the new women's strategy. Listening to Ms Kent, it sounds as though that consultation process has already been completed and there will be a strategy coming in due course - soon, I expect. Can you tell me whether the Budget spend that is allocated to this area is just to develop the new strategy and to continue with the existing programs?

I don't see any change. Is it expected that there will be no new initiatives funded or an expansion or change? Is there room for that to occur, or funding for that to occur?

Ms PALMER - The further $800 000 in the Budget has been committed over four years to support the implementation of the women's strategy, including activities and actions targeted at cultural change to achieve gender equality.

The next iteration of the Tasmanian Women's Strategy 2022-27 is currently being finalised. We have undertaken extensive consultation to develop the strategy to ensure that it does reflect the contemporary and diverse views of Tasmanian women and girls.

The consultation was held in two stages. The first stage was conducted between August and November and that was with the Tasmanian Women's Council; the Women's Strategy Interdepartmental Committee, which represents all Government agencies; services and organisations supporting women in the Tasmanian community. A public survey informed the development of a new strategy. Over 500 Tasmanians responded to that survey. The next step will include consultation on new initiatives and for more on that I'm going to refer to Ms Kent.

Ms KENT - As the minister mentioned before, the Tasmanian Women's Council will help guide this work. They're developing a strategy implementation process we'll look at, reviewing both the process of the strategy but then looking particularly at new initiatives and having a consultation process very much around looking at new initiatives and actions, including looking back to see the ones that you've mentioned and others in all of those previous action plans - which ones continue, which ones we develop into a next stage and which ones would be new. That process will be getting underway under the guise of the Tasmanian Women's Council and others in the near future.

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, is that $800 000 over four years, $200 000 a year, the same allocation as there was in the previous budget, or is this extra money to go on top of the existing money that is in the Budget for the Women's Strategy - or that was in the budget previous from the 2018-2021 budget? Is this an extra $200 000 a year that will be available for the Women's Strategy initiative.

Ms PALMER - Yes, it's new money.