What we are talking about…

Australia’s Ominous Social Crisis

Australia has never before witnessed the sort of ominous social crisis that is unfolding now.
Australia has never before had a demographic defined by age and gender, plunged into poverty and homelessness on a mass scale.

There are already more than 400,000 women over the age of 50 for whom this is a reality. It is a outcome of government policies, gender inequality and social prejudice.

Poverty is essentially a choice made by the Government. We saw this during Covid when people were raised from below the poverty line & the homeless were housed. If Budget 2021 fails to address the economic, social and housing disaster faced by older women then the Government bears direct responsibility for this escalating social crisis.
May 4, 2021/by Augustine Zycher

Christine Holgate, Australia Post and the Federal Government

Appearing before a special Senate inquiry, Christine Holgate presented a powerful and meticulously documented expose of the role of the Australia Post Board and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in her removal from her position as CEO of Australia Post. So convincing was her testimony, that she was able to do the unthinkable. She was able to unite Pauline Hanson, Bridget McKenzie, Sarah Hanson-Young and the rest of the committee behind her in exposing the duplicity and bullying that led to her removal.

Ms.Holgate has managed to energise a groundswell of public support for her position, particularly amongst women.
They recognise that despite being remarkably successful in her leadership role, a female CEO is still treated very differently to the way a male leader is treated.
May 3, 2021/by Augustine Zycher

When Women Roar

The March4Justice movement has achieved something remarkable for Australian women. It has transformed decades of private suffering into mass solidarity. 

For the first time, tens of thousands of women ended their silence about sexual abuse and injustice.

The ‘I’ has become the ‘We’.

The March4Justice protests that saw 110,000 people in 42 marches around the nation have not dissipated into silence. 


Grace Tame, Brittany Higgins and Katherine Thornton together ignited this explosion of rage. Their courage set off a spontaneous combustion of deep reserves of trauma, shame and frustration buried beneath silence. Women have had enough.

The events of the last month drove home to them that it’s not an individual problem, but a society-wide bias against women seeking justice and equality. The system is rigged against women and girls. 

The misogyny is institutionalised.

Women journalists and social media have given a platform to the voiceless and powerless.
April 9, 2021/by Augustine Zycher

999 Ways to Describe an Older Woman

The media attacks on Dr. Jill Biden remind us just how many people are offended by an older woman holding public office and not acting 'her age', even if she is the First Lady of the United States.

When Dr.Biden recently appeared in patterned tights and boots she was instantly condemned. Twitter users hurled sexist and ageist jokes at the 69-year-old educator. Numerous tweets called her names like “hag,” “hooker”, “trash and “witch”. One tweet advised that " For an additional $29.99 Jill Biden could have accessorized her Halloween costume with the optional broom."

In a society that values women primarily for their youthful beauty, sexual and reproductive powers, the more we age, the more our currency as women is devalued. 

And it is reflected in the language.

Some common names for women over 50 – old bag, granny, biddy, crone, hag, witch, harridan, bedlam, old bat, old boiler - are just some of the names we hear.

Google offers over 999+ adjectives to describe an older or old woman. They are uniformly pejorative.
February 19, 2021/by Augustine Zycher

Open Letter to Premier Daniel Andrews

Don’t fail Victorian women in the upcoming State Budget. The Federal Budget failed Australian women.

It is illusory to think that there can be economic recovery without the full participation of women of all ages.

Affordable childcare has to be a cornerstone of Victoria's Budget.
Policies targeted at older women are another cornerstone.
So too is social housing.

The progressive exclusion of women 50+ from the workforce is one of the most serious violations of women’s rights in Australia & it is happening on a mass scale. As a result these women constitute the majority of unemployed, those on welfare and the homeless. The Victorian Budget can halt this process of impoverishment with incentives for employment instead of age discrimination policies such as JobMaker.
November 5, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Shattering The Age Barrier

In all the tributes to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for shattering the barriers denying her and other women justice and equality, haven’t we overlooked what was staring us in the face? Justice Ginsburg was an old woman aged 87 when she died. And the last barrier she shattered was the one erected in the path of women when they reach the age of 50. 

RBG was at the height of her power and influence in the 27 years between the ages of 60 and 87. She was 60, when she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the age when most women are regarded as being way past their “use by” date.

But most probably, if Justice Ginsburg had taken off her robes and and unrecognised, applied for a job in Australia, she would be treated the same way other women her age are treated. Most employers would consider her unemployable and refuse to give her work, and Government would resent such an unproductive person as a drain on resources. In a pandemic they might readily agree that she be sacrificed on the altar of economic recovery.
October 29, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

The Impact of the Pandemic on Older Women

We need to look at ageing in Australia as a gender issue.

Australian women are ageing quite differently to the majority of men.

Covid19 has exacerbated the significant disadvantage older women experience on every measure of economic and social wellbeing compared to men.

It has also increased their social isolation and exacerbated their precarious financial position.

For women, ageing is a process of devaluation.
September 9, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Corona & the Common Good

In the autumn of 2020, for two months, Australia united around the common good – “pro bono publico”.

When the scale of the approaching threat of coronavirus became evident, two unprecedented things happened.

First, Australian governments, federal and state, chose to put aside politics and ideology and based their policy on the advice of health experts.

Secondly, the Australian people trusted that our governments were actually acting to avoid a national catastrophe. So remarkably, a public consensus formed around the need to uphold the common good as a priority. What kept the vast majority of people in their homes was not the possibility of fines, it was this shared belief that our individual welfare depended on the welfare of others. And what kept us resolute were the images of mass graves in countries where there was no leadership and no consensus regarding the common good.
June 26, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Indigenous women elders imprisoned for homelessness & poverty

" Janine (age 61) is one of a large and growing number of older women who are homeless. Five years ago, she was made redundant from her position as an Office Manager in Perth. Despite great effort she has been unable to find a job and ultimately couldn’t afford to continue paying rent. Since beginning to live in her car 8 months ago, Janine has tried to find relatively safe places to park at night. As a result, she has accumulated parking fines which she simply can’t afford to pay … particularly as these have compounded, had administrative fees added and now total over $3,000. When Janine was pulled over by police for allegedly speeding, she was immediately arrested for these outstanding fines and sent to prison. She doesn’t know what’s happened to her car, which contains all her worldly possessions."

First Nations women elders are being imprisoned as a direct result of being impoverished and homeless.
Minor non-violent offences, such as not having enough money to pay parking fines, can land them in gaol, and this can turn out to be a death sentence for an older woman.
May 31, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Top 5 Places

Leading Australian women share their favourite places in Australia

Michelle Garnaut – My Top 5 Places in Australia

For centuries, empires, governments and global companies have vied with each other in displays of wealth, grandeur and power along the Bund in Shanghai. For close to a quarter of a century, one Australian woman has maintained her position on the Bund with no power other than the power of her reputation.

Michelle Garnaut, CEO of the M Restaurant Group, has established restaurants and lounges that have pioneered independent fine dining in both China and Hong Kong.
December 9, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Rosie Batty AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Rosie Batty made Australia listen.

Her son, Luke aged 11, was with his father playing cricket in the park when his father walked over to him and killed him.
In expressing her personal grief, Rosie compelled us to see that family violence was our business. She made us see that the plight of thousands of women and children could one day be our plight, or that of someone close to us.
September 11, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Maureen Wheeler – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Maureen Wheeler AO is a pioneer of landmark enterprises in both travel and in the cultural life of Melbourne.

She was the co-founder, with her husband Tony, of Lonely Planet books - guides as indispensable to travellers as their backpacks or suitcases.
Maureen was also the co-founder of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. This centre for books, writing and ideas played a critical role in Melbourne achieving its status as a UNESCO designated City of Literature.
April 21, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Maestro Simone Young – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Maestro Simone Young AM is one of the world’s great opera and concert orchestra conductors. She has been called a ‘superconductor’, a conductor whose elegance and power, strength and sensitivity on the podium inspire her orchestra. She is a highly esteemed interpreter of the works of Wagner and Strauss, Mahler, Bruckner and Brahms, as well as those of contemporary composers.
July 4, 2016/by Rosalie Zycher

Olivia Newton-John – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Olivia Newton-John is an internationally recognised superstar.…
May 14, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Professor Marcia Langton AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer and holds the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is a strong Indigenous leader with an unwavering commitment to achieve justice for her people.
May 27, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Kathy Lette – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Kathy Lette epitomizes smart and sassy. Her razor sharp wit…
September 10, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Anna Goldsworthy – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anna Goldsworthy is an acclaimed solo pianist, memoirist, playwright, and librettist.
She has performed widely, particularly at festivals in Australia and throughout the world. As a chamber player, she is a founding member of the celebrated Seraphim Trio.
Her two memoirs, 'Piano Lessons' and 'Welcome to your New Life', have been widely acclaimed.
April 29, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Maggie Beer – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Maggie Beer is an outstanding figure on the Australian culinary scene and was recognised on a postage stamp of Australia Post Australian Legends. She is known for her beautiful and accessible cooking using fresh, seasonal produce sourced locally.
December 7, 2014/by Augustine Zycher

Anne Summers – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anne Summers AO can be described as someone who is always in the vanguard as a feminist, journalist, author, editor and publisher.

Now that the issue of domestic violence is on the national agenda, we recall that 41 years ago, Anne Summers lead the charge into an abandoned building in Sydney and co-founded Elsie, the first women’s refuge in Australia.
October 30, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Polixeni Papapetrou – My Top 5 Places in Australia

When photographic artist Polixeni Papapetrou chose her 5 favourite places to visit in Australia, they were not just travel destinations. They were landscapes that captured her imagination and inspired her to transform them into her art. Dramatically beautiful, they are insightful and unsettling works.
July 3, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Professor Gillian Triggs – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Gillian Triggs, Chair of Justice Connect, won enormous respect for her courage and fortitude in defence of human rights in her previous position as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. This despite being subjected to unprecedented attacks and pressure from government ministers and their representatives.

Professor Triggs was catapulted into national headlines when she released a report on children in immigration detention. Tony Abbott, the then Prime Minister, Attorney-General George Brandis, and the then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison declared that the report was biased, that they had lost confidence in her and that she should resign.
November 13, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Places

Iconic Bathing Boxes of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Did you know that women are the reason we have those iconic, brilliantly coloured bathing boxes on the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria?
June 15, 2016/by Rosalie Zycher

In Praise of Solo Travel in Italy for Women

Italy is the perfect place for solo travel for women. But when I told people that I had recently travelled through Italy myself, they looked at me in disbelief and the usual response was — “ Well, that takes balls. I wouldn’t do that.” But why not? Travelling solo is a liberating and exhilarating experience. It fills us with a sense of adventure, opens our minds and relaxes the soul.
August 9, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Uluru – Icon of Australia

At the end of May 2017, Uluru stood as a silent sentinel over an historic summit of the First Nations of Australia. They had come from across the continent and the Torres Strait Islands, 250 community leaders. At the end of 3 days of deliberation, they issued a powerful and beautifully crafted document, entitled Statement From The Heart.  It rejected symbolic recognition. Speaking from the  “ torment of powerlessness” it demanded a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice in government decision-making. It also called for a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreements with government and lead the way to a treaty.

This summit and the charter it produced added another dimension to the political, cultural and spiritual significance of Uluru.
September 28, 2014/by Augustine Zycher

Legendary Stockman of the Australian Outback, Luke McCall

Luke McCall, aged 84, is one of the few surviving stockmen. For over half a century he crossed the vast length and breadth of Australia with thousands of head of cattle and horses. He loved the life and the stock and never saw it as a life of extreme physical hardship, danger and isolation. In this profile she has written for WomanGoingPlaces, Patricia McPherson describes her mate, Luke McCall as " a legendary stockman whose name stands high right across the north of Australia."
July 23, 2014/by Rosalie Zycher

Outback Australia in the Wet Season

My daughter Genevieve and I drove 4000 kilometres from Port Augusta…
May 8, 2016/by Augustine Zycher
Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef Australia for Women Travelers

How I came to swim with the sharks, giant turtles, stingrays, dugongs and endless schools of dazzlingly coloured fish in Ningaloo.

Everyone knows of the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia. Far fewer know of the magnificent corals that form the Ningaloo Reef off the west coast of Australia. This is surprising given that Ningaloo was awarded World Heritage status and recognized as one of the most spectacular and last remaining pristine coral reef systems in the world. It is home to 220 species of coral and 500 species of tropical fish.
September 22, 2013/by Augustine Zycher

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur is a place full of contradictions.

At first glimpse,…
April 27, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Geisha in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is the centre of Japan’s Geisha culture. There are almost 200 Geiko (Geisha) in Kyoto, making it the largest concentration in Japan. It is hard to find a Western equivalent for this exclusive profession. It combines the rigorous training and discipline of an elite ballet school and music academy, with the self-renunciation of a nunnery. Exquisitely costumed Geiko are sometimes seen along the narrow streets in the Gion quarter. Meeting a Maiko, a young woman in apprenticeship to become a Geiko, was one of the most memorable events of our time in Japan.
January 2, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Our Top Places in Japan

WomanGoingPlaces has chosen some of the places we saw as first-time visitors to Japan that became our Top Places in Japan.
These are to be found on 4 different islands of Japan - Honshu, Miyajima, Hokkaido and Shikoku. The choices are arranged according to islands and not in order of favourites.
March 3, 2017/by Rosalie Zycher

Tasman Island Cruise, Tasmania

The boat is fast and the seas are often very rough. In the front rows, it’s the thrill of being on a roller coaster. The waves hurl you up and land you with a thump. From the middle rows to the back it is a more sedate ride - depending on the weather. So you get to choose what sort of ride you want, according to where you sit.

But wherever you sit, the views of the south-eastern Tasmanian coastline are spectacular.
April 18, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Woman In…Outback Australia: Camooweal, Queensland

Right across the top of Australia, old drovers are rolling their swags because it is time to head to Camooweal for their annual reunion at the Drover’s Camp Festival held every year on the 4th weekend in August. This event commemorates the droving tradition when Camooweal was the centre for the largest cattle drives the world has ever seen.
July 11, 2014/by Rosalie Zycher