Former foreign minister Julie Bishop has opened up about about how lonely it can be as a woman in politics, in a talk on Sunday at the Sydney Opera House.
Bishop joined former Liberal MP and now independent Julia Banks, Labor MP Linda Burney and Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, for an all-female panel discussion called Leading While Female.
The 62-year-old spoke of the “gender deafness” she experienced during her 20-year political career that — at one time — saw her as the only woman sitting around an all-male Cabinet table.
“People would be talking and then I would intervene to say something and there would be silence, and then they’d just keep on talking,” she said, according to news.com.au.
“[Then] somebody would say precisely what I’d said and all the guys would say ‘gee that’s a great idea, why don’t we do that?’. And I’d think, didn’t I say that?”
She continued, according to the ABC: “It can be pretty lonely. You keep very much to yourself as a woman.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday it was revealed that Celia Hammond has been chosen as the Liberal Party’s candidate to replace Bishop in its safest seat in Western Australia. The former University of Notre Dame vice-chancellor has been pre-selected as the candidate for Curtin to fill the seat Bishop held for two decades.
Bishop’s latest story come after she stepped away from politics last month. Despite holding the seat since 1998, Bishop revealed she will be stepping aside to allow other talented female candidates to qualify for Liberal preselection, adding that she was leaving her “beloved” seat in “very good shape”.
“Congratulations to Celia Hammond on her pre-selection for Liberal Party in the magnificent seat of #Curtin. I wish her all the very best in upcoming election. There is no greater calling than representing your community, your state and your country in the national Parliament,” Bishop tweeted on Sunday.
Congratulations to Celia Hammond on her pre-selection for Liberal Party in the magnificent seat of #Curtin. I wish her all the very best in upcoming election. There is no greater calling than representing your community, your state and your country in the national Parliament🇦🇺
— The Hon Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) March 10, 2019
Meanwhile, speaking to an audience at the Adelaide Festival on Saturday, the 62-year-old explained that along with Marise Payne – who was the nation’s first defence minister – the pair were often met with disbelief and surprise when they would represent Australia at global events.
‘They thought we [Australia] were a blokey culture,” she told the crowd to laughter. “And were surprised to see women in such senior and significant global roles.”