Pru Goward

Pru Goward

Prudence Jane Goward (born 2 September 1952) is a former Australia's Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination with the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. She is Member for Goulburn in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, representing the Liberal Party.

Childhood and education

Goward was born to Gerald Goward and Zipporah Riggs, and spent her childhood in South Australia. She attended Woodlands Church of England Girls Grammar School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Econ) (Hons) in 1974 from Adelaide University.

Personal

Goward married journalist David Barnett in 1986. She is the mother of three girls, model and actor Kate Fischer, public relations practitioner and former Liberal staffer Penny Fischer (married to Army doctor Michael Ayling in 2006), and Alice Barnett. She has one granddaughter (to Penny) named Adelaide. She was previously married to university lecturer Alastair Fischer from 1973 to 1983.

Persistent rumours of an affair with John Howard have circulated over the years, with the allegation repeated in Mark Latham's diaries. Goward has frequently and strongly rejected the allegations. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/goward-rejects-claim-of-affair-with-pm/2005/09/18/1126981947779.html Goward rejects claim of affair with PM] , Sydney Morning Herald, 19th September 2005] Goward and Barnett have maintained a close personal friendship with former Prime Minister John Howard for many years and jointly authored a biography of Howard in 1997.

Career

Goward joined ABC TV and Radio in 1980, firstly as a reporter with Nationwide, then as a political correspondent on the 7.30 Report, and later as host of the "Morning Show" and "Daybreak" on Radio National. She has also worked as a high school teacher, a university lecturer in economics, a Broadcast Journalism lecturer at University of Canberra, a media consultant and freelance writer.

She was Executive Director of the Office of the Status of Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1997-1999. In this position, Goward frequently criticised the business community for the "primitive attitudes" that kept women out of senior executive ranks and boardrooms. [Bagwell, S. "Get Rid Of Primitive Attitude: Goward," "Australian Financial Review", September 4, 1997.] At the time of her appointment, she was criticised by Anne Summers, a previous Executive Director, and Carmen Lawrence, a prominent female politician, for her perceived inexperience and political connection to the Howard government. [Humphries, D. " [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/woman-most-likely/2006/09/22/1158431904498.html Woman most likely] ," "The Sydney Morning Herald", September 23, 2006.] She was Federal spokeswoman for the Sydney Olympic Games from 1999-2000 and National director of the Australian Property Institute from 2000-2001.

She is best known for her current role as Sex Discrimination Commissioner at HREOC, a 5-year tenure she began in July 2001. As Sex Discrimination Commissioner, she called for the introduction of paid maternity leave, a position rejected by the Howard government. John Howard extended her tenure for an additional 3 years in July 2006.

"The Australian" nominated her as one of the forty most influential Australians and by the "Australian Financial Review" as one of the most influential Australians on cultural and industrial relations. Fact|date=February 2008

Parliamentary career

In 2006, Goward nominated for Liberal Party preselection for the New South Wales state parliament in seat of Epping in Sydney's north-west, but was defeated [Mitchell, A. " [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/beaten-but-pru-still-to-get-seat/2006/09/16/1158334735670.html Goward sinks in Epping but resurfaces closer to home] ," "The Sydney Morning Herald", September 16, 2006] by the former President of the Right to Life Association [Shanahan, D. " [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19856240-17301,00.html The trouble with talent in politics] ," "The Australian", July 21, 2006] , Mr Greg Smith. She was subsequently preselected unopposed for the seat of Goulburn, to replace retiring Liberal frontbencher Peta Seaton. Pru Goward was expected to win the seat, however an unexpectedly strong swing to Labor in the Southern Highlands area of the seat put her victory in doubt on election night. Her main contender, Independent Mayor of Goulburn Paul Stephenson, conceded defeat 29 March 2007. Goward was quoted as saying that she "didn't expect to win it. I knew I was behind the whole time, even four days before the election we were told I was five points behind, so I'm just so grateful." [AAP, " [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/goward-wins-goulburn-seat/2007/03/29/1174761661930.html Goward wins Goulburn seat] ," "The Sydney Morning Herald", 29 March, 2006.] . She is the opposition spokeswoman on climate change and water [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Debnam lands role in O'Farrell cabinet | date=2007--4-11 | publisher= | url =http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/debnam-lands-role-in-ofarrell-cabinet/2007/04/11/1175971154094.html | work =The Sydney Morning Herald | pages = | accessdate = 2007-04-11 | language = ]

Controversy

After being in Parliament a single day, Goward told a symposium of women in leadership in Sydney "I have never worked in any profession as male-dominated or as ruthlessly sexist as this. "I was quite shocked by it." [ [www.smh.com.au/news/national/bearpit-sexist-says-new-mp/2007/05/10/1178390396196.html] ] These comments have not been supported by other female MPs from both sides of politics, who generally said Parliament had improved. [ [http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21710645-421,00.html No support from MPs on sexism claim | Mercury - The Voice of Tasmania ] ]

In May 2007, Goward was caught speeding in a school zone. This was her second driving offence for 2007. Goward said "It was extremely careless on my part and like thousands of other drivers I deeply regret it." [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/goward-speeding-in-school-zone/2007/05/18/1178995380930.html It was extremely careless: Goward - National - smh.com.au ] ] [ [http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=99033 Woman wants Goward's apology over advice ] ]

Publications

*David Barnett & Pru Goward, "John Howard, Prime Minister", Viking, 1997 ISBN 0-670-87389-6
*Pru Goward, "A Business of Your Own: How Women Succeed in Business", Allen & Unwin (Australia), 2001 ISBN 1-86508-593-6

Honours

Goward was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 for services to journalism and women's rights. [http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about_the_commission/president_commissioners/goward.html Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission profile] . September 15, 2006]

References

External links

* [http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about_the_commission/president_commissioners/goward.html Profile of Pru Goward at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission]

Persondata
NAME=
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Goward, Prudence Jane
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner and politician
DATE OF BIRTH=2 September 1952
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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