Tag Archives: penny wong

Political Profiles with Ms Robin: Senator Penny Wong


Penny Wong in a blue suit with arms crossed standing in front of green foliage. Quote: I used to be more of a nerd than I am. Not a computer nerd, just sort of nerdy. I like the notion that the Senate is actually where you legislate, where you look at stuff.

Captain, oh my Captain. How I wish thee were a minister and not a senator so that thee could become Prime Minister of Australia. Senator Wong is quite simply the best person in Australian politics. She can manage to give the vibe of an eye roll without being so petty as to resort to an eye roll. She is one of Australia’s most popular politicians and it’s because of two simple things, which should be common in politics but are unfortunately rare, she’s firm but also fair.

In 2016 Senator Brandis tried to language police Senator Wong, trying to shame her for using standard expressions instead of formal English at all time, she responded with this ripper, ‘Would you just like to be pompous for the whole day, or only this question?’ And I swear a bit of excited wee snuck out when I heard that. In 2018 when Michaelia Cash, our Minister for Women FFS, decided to randomly slur all the younger women in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s office rather than answer a question posed to her. Senator Wong wasn’t even in the hearing, heard about the outrageous slurs against women being made be our Minister for Women, rocked up to the hearing, demanded an apology, refused to accept Michaelia Cash dodging the issue, and indeed got an apology. I know who our real Minister for Women is, Senator Bloody Wong. Furthermore, in 2011 when David Bushby meowed at her during Senate she gave him such an unimpressed look that I thought he might just whither and die. Later he claimed he wasn’t being a sexist fool, yeah right mate you meow at men all the time, but Senator Wong was having none of his shit. She responded, which was important for all women, because it is past time for us to ignore these constant, sexist microaggressions and time for them to stop. #timesup. Senator Wong said, “It is just extraordinary. The blokes are allowed to yell but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It’s not schoolyard politics, mate.”

When she first assumed office in 2002 Senator Wong was one of only a handful of women in higher political positions and certainly the only gay Asian female candidate. In fact she was the first Asian born member of an Australian cabinet, the second openly gay member and the first openly gay female member. Things have changed in terms of diversity thanks to Senator Wong’s impressive lead but we still have a long way to go. In 2013 Senator Wong was appointed as Leader of the Government in the Senate and was the first woman to hold that position. Late in the same year when Labor lost government she was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, she is the first woman to hold this position also.

Senator Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change in 2007. She made significant advances in funding renewable energy, in particular solar and wind power. She also helped to develope the government’s emissions trading scheme under the Rudd government which was to significantly reduce our greenhouse emissions. In 2010 she was appointed as the Finance Minister and helped develop Australia’s budgets during the Global Financial Crisis. Australia has been praised as standing relatively secure during this time. During this time Wong most notably implemented a policy to ensure women are considered for senior positions in both the government and corporations. She truly is our Minister for Women and I cannot think of a better politician to discuss on International Women’s Day. On top of this Wong was instrumental in changing Labor’s policy in regards to Same Sex Marriage. Labor had initially opposed SSM but through work by Penny Wong and other members of Labor the policy was changed and they began to actively campaign for a change in Australian marriage laws. From January 9th 2018 on SSM has been legalised in Australia.

In 1997 Pauline Hanson released Pauline Hanson: The Truth in which she claimed that by 2050 Australia would be run by an Asian, lesbian Cyborg… named Poona Li Hung. She actually named it! Let’s not unpack all of that right now because this is Senator Wong’s entry not Pauline Hanson’s. But Australia is more than happy to drop the cyborg bit and bring the date forward for Penny Wong. Please become our supreme ruler, we love you.

Senator Wong sitting in front of a grey background with her hands folded in front of her. Soft but cheeky smile. Wearing blue suit with purple and white vertical stripe top. Quote: You can choose not to be interested in politics, but you can’t choose to be unaffected by it.

Read about my views on being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my thoughts on author branding here.

Read my profiles of the Australian Book Industry here.


Bloody Bonza, Sheilas! #IWD2017


Happy International Women’s Day 2017. Let’s celebrate by talking about some bloody, bonza sheilas. And for a rare change I won’t be mentioning Kate Forsyth on my list. In fact, I’m going to try to shake things up by mentioning people I haven’t really blogged about a lot before. Enjoy.

Lucy Lawless

I decided to start the entry with a New Zealander because us Ozzie’s are ALWAYS stealing stuff from our cousins from across the sea. I figured it was better to get the theft out of the way right at the start. So what makes Lucy Lawless so bloody bonza? Let’s start with Xena. I was 16 when Xena first graced my television. I had been a Hercules fan prior, I’m a mythology nerd and love action shows and movies. But then came Xena. She was so much more than any other character had ever been. Here was a powerful woman, with many skills, who never hid herself. She didn’t have a meek alter ego that she hid behind in order to fit in, she was just her. She was guilt ridden, she was seeking redemption, but she still never hid who she was. This was mind-blowing to me. And as a self loathing teen who had all their mirrors covered, this character was exactly what I needed. And Lucy Lawless played her to perfection. And then she continued on to play interesting and powerful women in other projects. I salute you Lucy Lawless, you helped save my sanity.

Magda Szubanski

You’re not Astraaaaayan if you don’t love Magda Szubanski. She has brought us so many important characters such as, Pixie-Anne, Chenille, and of course Sharon. Sharon is possibly one of the most bonza characters of all time. She loves netball, she’s a loyal friend, and she loves pashing sportsmen. Nothing more bonza then a good pash. On top of that she is a writer, an advocate, and someone who has shared their own struggles in order to help uplift and heal others. All the love to Ms Magda.

Miranda Tapsell

Okay, it’s a given that Miranda Tapsell is brilliantly talented. She can act, she can dance, she can sing. She has accolades for movies, television, and theatre alike. Modern, Shakespearean, comedy, drama, whatever, she can do it. But what makes her truly bonza is that she is on Play School. Bless her. She is my twin boys’ absolute favourite presenter and I can be guaranteed a cup of HOT tea when she is on as they sit spellbound. Thanks for being such a deadly sheila.

Candice Fox

Who is Candice Fox and what makes her so bonzaristic? Candice Fox is an internationally renowned author of Crime Fiction and protege of James Patterson. Despite this, she is not above admitting to crying in the face of rejection. At a Sydney crime event hosted by A.B. Patterson an audience member asked her how she dealt with rejection, her response was, “I cry.” She then went on to detail how she in fact cried so much in the face of rejection that she became known as the girl who cries amongst some editors. Talk about refreshing. She doesn’t pretend that rejection never bothered her, and that she’s so thick skinned she just kept going, she admitted that it did upset her. The realness is just so beautiful. Thanks for being such a bonza sheila, Candice Fox.

Judith Lucy

It is hard to find the right words to describe just how grouse Judith Lucy is. Rad? Amazballs? Brillhole? None of these seem to quite cut it. She is a comedian who keeps it completely real. She was my very first favourite comedian. And although Kitty Flanagan has caught my eye, Judith remains number 1 for me. She has a knack for phrasing things in such an understated way, yet ringing out every ounce of humour. I love her, I adore her, I worship her. I had hoped she was my long lost sister, but alas, nope. She is not my dad’s other daughter. So I’m still looking. But in the meantime I shall continue to enjoy her comedic ways.

Cass Moriarty

Cass Moriarty is an Australian writer who not only writes beautifully, you should read The Promise Seed, but also tirelessly advocates for other Australian writers. I honestly have no idea how she finds time to write because she is always putting up reviews of other authors and sharing their achievements. I assume there is some sort of dark magic at play, where she doesn’t need to sleep, but I am eternally grateful that she has chosen to use her powers for good instead of evil. You bloody ripper.

Nakkiah Lui

Passionate, eloquent, inspiring. These three words pretty much sum up Nakkiah Lui. I have had the great pleasure of hearing her speak at events quite a few times. I also stood behind her at a bar once, and freaked out and thought about throwing myself at her and telling her that I loved her, but managed to get some self control. The first time I heard her speak was at an Emerging Writers’ Festival Roadshow. She was so raw, and she swore and she wasn’t afraid to disagree with other panelists. I watched her in awe. I was so used to seeing panelists trying to be awfully polite, and just try to go along with everything, and if they disagreed do it with a compliment sandwich, but Nakkiah just spoke her mind. It is this realness that makes Nakkiah not just bloody bonzer, but deadly. Also, just quietly, she’s part of my current fav comedy show, Black Comedy. Check it out if you haven’t.

L.A. Larkin

Or Louisa as I call her. Louisa is this internationally recognized crime writer, who speaks to the little people such as myself. She’s just so generous and giving with her time and full of great advice. If you ever get a chance to go to any of her author talks or workshops, GO! She just has such an easy going nature, and a great sense of humour that you just enjoy sitting in her presence and learning. And the most bonza part of all is that she came to as an Australia as a backpacker just to drink and have an awesome time, rather than for self exploration or academic reasons. She also approves of having a quite sip of wine in order to silence the inner critic when writing. What a rad farken sheila.

Kirsty Mac

A comedian, a bonzer unit, a sayer of things. But not only that, she’s a person of extreme self control. You know what happened today, this very day of woomanhood? Kirsty Mac saw a hot piece of tail walking along the street as she was parked at the traffic lights. And you know what she did? Or should I say, she didn’t do? She showed almost superhuman restraint and didn’t scream out the window at him to compliment him and let him know just how fine he was and how much she admired his visage. Let’s all raise a glass to Kirsty, may we see her perform, may we become more like her, in her restrained, and humble manner.

Tania Chandler

Writer of crime, hard worker, sayer of amusing things. She takes the archetypes of crime and then shuffles them around so to put the women into the main roles. The male, hard-boiled cops, become the love interests, the femme-fatals become the main characters. Bloody bonza stuff. She doesn’t simply write the same stuff as many others. She takes conventions and then does her own thing. Bonza.

Penny Wong

Okay, I’m not the most political of mammals. I’m not a fan of torturing people, but I also don’t know much about economic growth, and geography… maths… anything more recent than medieval history… and many, many other things. But I know that I like the way Penny Wong handles herself. She’s had dick-heads make meow noises at her, wankers pull faces as she talks, mainsplainers and manspreaders trying to take up her hard fought for time and space, and somehow she powers on. She just gives that cold hard stare, keeps her voice on that even keel and just keeps pushing on forward. She’s a national treasure. A bloody, bonza, national treasure!

Denise Scott

A list of bloody, bonza sheilas would not be complete without the bloody, bonzaest, farken sheila of them all, Denise Scott. A woman who knows what a uterus is, a woman who knows what a double uterus is. A woman who knows how to done a leotard in seconds flat. A woman who has been a clown, a comedian, an actress, and a lover. Not my lover, but hey, I’m open to suggestions. She’s an iconic Australian comedian that pretty much every Ozzie recognises. She’s been in recent hits, such as Winners and Losers, as well as older hits, such as The Big Gig. You name it, she’s done it. Walked on stilts, check. Seen artwork of a smoking vagina, check. Had a shitty time in a maternity ward, check. Sworn at audience members, check. Run, terrified away from an angry mob, check. Drank all the wine, check. If anyone is a bloody, bonza sheila, it’s Denise Scott.

I would have loved to have written about more bloody, bonza sheilas but my kids are going apeshit so I have to go. Help me out by mentioning your favourite bloody, bonza sheilas in the comment section.

Read about more bonza sheilas here: https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/20-real-life-wonder-women/