Welcome here today for this very special day.

Australia Day is always a special day. It is part of our history. The history of Captain Cook first landing in eastern Australia in April 1770 . Eight years later, on January 18th 1788 , was the landing at Port Botany, by Captain Arthur Phillip.

And a day when we recognise as Australians, those who also come from many cultures and nations to be Australian.

Australia Day is a day when we also recognise the passing of the Australian Citizenship Act on 26th January , 1949. It gave Australians the opportunity, for the first time, to be listed on their passport as both Australians and British subjects.

As we celebrate women, it is also worth noting that this legislation gave women the right to their own Australian passport and not have to be listed on their husbands, for the first time.

Today also celebrates the contributions of our Greek friends here today, our Indian friends here today as we also celebrate India’s National Day , and our great partners Korea, Japan and emerging partner Thailand.

We welcome all of the Consuls who join us from these nations today on our special day and to recognise and appreciate the contribution of women across all cultures who join us here.

Around us, the contribution of women to Australia shines– from our brave hard-working pioneers, to Mrs Gina Rinehart, a direct descendent of the Hancock family who created the first port and township in our North West, Cossack and Roebourne respectively, and in her own right, the first woman to drive as Executive Chair, a mining megaproject that together with an agricultural company, has become the most successful private Group in Australia.

Mia Davies, only the third female Opposition Leader in WA’s history, and the first from the National Party, and of course, each of our women in our Building an Exceptional Future program.

Today, we celebrate not only the mining industry that underpins our economy, but also all women in Australian mining who contribute to our nation. At the top of this is Mrs Gina Rinehart AO, an Australian woman leading our nation’s largest private business, the most successful private company in Australia’s history.

On Australia Day, there is no more contributing industry than mining. The sector’s revenue underpins our defence, police, aged care, kindergartens, hospitals and emergency services, and more.

Mining and its related industries enable Australia to thrive. And every woman in our Building an Exceptional Future program is part of that.

Today as we celebrate and recognise women, we also recognise that there are women and their families in our Kimberley’s fighting and suffering from severe flooding brought on by El Niño, the worst flooding in more than 100 years.

These women have lost their homes and possessions and those who are pastoralists have lost many thousands of cattle and other stock. We lack the dam infrastructure that could assist.

Australia is a wonderful country, but one of droughts and flooding rains as another great Australian woman, Dorothea Mackellar said long ago before El Niño.

That is why today, as we celebrate Australia and women, we are raising money for the Lord Mayor’s Flood Relief Fund. Please help the Lord Mayors Kimberley relief appeal. Our Kimberley families need your kind help.