Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Women further supported in 2005-06 Budget

The Howard Government will honour its election commitment by continuing to support women to participate in all aspects of Australian life.

The Women’s Leadership and Development Programme will build women’s capacity to take on greater leadership roles, ensure Australia-wide communication and consultation with women and support research on issues relevant to them.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced the Programme, which consolidates and replaces four previous programmes: Other Women’s Programmes, Informed Choices for Australian Women, Women’s Development Programme and the National Leadership Initiative.

“Over the next four years the Howard Government will support the Women’s Leadership and Development Programme with $15 million in new funding,” Senator Patterson said.

“The funding will enable consultation with women, build on the increasing number of women on Australian Government Boards and public company boards and develop a Young Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Programme.

“The Howard Government will also continue encouraging girls and women to become involved in all aspects of sport leadership by doubling funding to this initiative.

“This will particularly assist women in rural and remote areas, Indigenous women, women in disability sport and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“Further to these commitments, we will provide strong ongoing support to national non-government organisations through project grants and promote women’s fitness through the establishment of an Australia-wide pilot walking program and distribution of Women’s Active Living Kits.

“The Howard Government will continue to showcase and celebrate the achievements of Australian women.

“This will occur through staging major events such as International Women’s Day, and maintaining a range of publications and websites that provide useful information for women.

“I am proud to announce these budget measures which reflect the Howard Government’s election commitment to Australian women, as they will further support and encourage women,” Senator Patterson said.