Morrison government’s economic recovery plan delivering for women

Australia has achieved the highest female participation rate in the workforce ever recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at 61.8%, up from 61.4% in February today’s unemployment figures show.

Unemployment overall declined to 5.6%, down from 5.8% in February, with around 71,000 jobs created. Of those around 55,400 or 78% went to women.

Female rates of underemployment have also fallen to the lowest level in over seven years.

“These figures are a welcome confirmation that the Morrison Government’s economic recovery plan is delivering for women.” Minister for Women’s Economic Security Senator the Hon Jane Hume said.

“Increasing female participation in the workforce is key to enhancing women’s economic security, and that is exactly what the Morrison Government is achieving.”

“Whether it be income tax cuts, business investment incentives, female entrepreneur programs or our investments in infrastructure, skills and training – the Morrison Government’s record investment in Australia’s economic recovery is delivering for women.”

The Morrison Government welcomes these positive numbers. However, the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for some time and there is still a long road ahead.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was very pleased with these numbers as they represent more balanced workforces and progression towards closing gender employment gaps across the electorate.

“What we want to see is greater social and economic benefits for the electorate as well as workforces that reflect our community. This goes hand in hand with our commitment to further supporting choice and boosting workforce participation for women.

“Strong efforts are needed to continue building on this commitment and the recent figures released by the Morrison Government are evidence we are on the right track.”

The Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, described by the OECD as ‘key’ to saving jobs,will continue to create employment opportunities in Australia and secure the economic and labour market future for all Australians, and particularly Australian women.


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Funding supports women leaders in sport

More women will reach their leadership potential with the Australian Government investing an additional $3.4 million over four years for the highly regarded Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said more than 25,000 women across the country had benefited from the initiative since it started in 2002.

“WLIS is helping improve outcomes for Australian women in areas including job creation, workforce participation and leadership,” Mr Vasta said.

The WLIS program is managed by Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), under a partnership with the Office for Women.

In February, Sport Australia opened grant applications for the WLIS Development Grants and Leadership Workshops, which will provide:

  • Individuals with a grant up to the value of $10,000 to support their professional development,
  • Organisations with a grant up to the value of $20,000 to provide professional development courses to employees, and
  • Opportunities for individuals to undertake online WLIS Leadership Workshops.

Mr Vasta said the WLIS grants would provide women in Australian sport with the opportunity to gain new skills, knowledge and qualifications to progress their leadership journey.

“This program is playing a key role in developing our next female leaders across the industry and ultimately what we want to see is a more balanced workforce that is more representative of our diverse sporting community,” Mr Vasta said.

Eligibility criteria and information on how to apply for the WLIS Development Grants and Leadership Workshops can be found here.

Applications close March 17.

The Program is funded under the Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program (WLDP).

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Curious Mind from Bonner takes part in virtual camp

More Australian girls with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics will take part in the annual Curious Minds Summer Camp.

More than 120 young women from across Australia will virtually attend a four-day intensive program and receive six months of one-on-one mentorship from 48 women in STEM professions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was very pleased to share Annaliese Bohnstedt of Brisbane Bayside State College was amongst those chosen to take part in Curious Minds.

“The Curious Minds program provides an opportunity for Year 9 and 10 girls to explore their interests and build confidence in STEM subjects,” Mr Vasta said.

“I want to congratulate Annaliese and and hope she learns new skills and gains the confidence to pursue a career in STEM after school.

“Because of COVID-19, these high-potential young women will take part in a virtual four-day intensive program, including online challenges, followed by six months of coaching sessions with inspiring female mentors working in the STEM community.

“I encourage other young girls in Bonner with similar dreams to get involved and also pursue their passion for STEM.

“STEM skills are vital to future jobs and Australia’s future economy, and our Government is committed to empowering young women to excel in these areas.”

The Australian Government has provided $2.35 million to expand the camp to include Curious Minds West Coast and Curious Minds East Coast programs.

The virtual west camp will be held from 6-9 December and the east camp from 13-16 December.

More information on the program is available here.

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Funding boost for endometriosis research

The Morrison Government is continuing its support for women and girls with endometriosis by investing over $9.5 million into five innovative research projects as part of its Medical Research
Future Fund’s Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative.

Endometriosis is a common yet frequently under-recognised chronic disease affecting one in every ten Australian women with the average diagnosis taking between seven to ten years.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding boost was just another way the Morrison Government showed it support for women.

“These projects will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis and a better understanding of its causes,” Mr Vasta said.

“It is a highly individualised disease, with its symptoms and impact ranging significantly from person to person, including severe chronic pain and in some cases, compromised fertility and sexual function.

“The Government is profoundly committed to tackling this often misunderstood and crippling condition.”

Research projects to receive funding include:

Administering institution Project Total grant value (GST exclusive)
The University of Queensland Genetic variants, early life exposures, and longitudinal endometriosis symptoms study (GELLES).


Deakin University A randomised controlled trial comparing yoga, cognitive behaviour therapy and education to improve quality of life and reduce health care costs in endometriosis. $893,981.25
Monash University Creating an evidence base for clinical care: A randomised controlled study examining the efficacy of the low FODMAP diet for the relief of gastrointestinal symptoms in endometriosis. $948,619.20


Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Long STEPPP-A: Longitudinal study of teenagers with endometriosis, period and pelvic pain in Australia to identify early risk factors, educational and management strategies that will lead to optimal health outcomes and appropriate health utilisation.      $1,963,118.00


University of Melbourne Improving diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.      $3,929,233.50
Total        $9,591,491.95


These research projects will contribute to a greater understanding of endometriosis for the benefit of women and their loved ones across Australia.

Further information is available at

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