THE last United States female veteran from World War I, Charlotte Winters, died on March 27. She was 109. Her death received considerable publicity, even here in Australia, and she was buried with full military honours.
It is a different story with our female veterans in Australia. While we have been searching out our last World War I diggers, counting them down with great public fanfare, including offering their families state funerals, we ignored the nurses.
We might have forgotten the nurses of World War I but let’s not do the same to our female veterans of World War II. We should commemorate, equally, the sacrifices of all, whether they are men or women. On Anzac Day this year let’s make a special effort to remember female veterans from all conflicts. It’s the least we can do.
THERESE Rein, the entrepreneurial wife of Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd, has put the case for continuing at the helm of her multimillion-dollar company, which runs job placement programs for the Federal Government, if her husband becomes prime minister.
Ms Rein’s company, Ingeus, has lucrative contracts with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations worth about $58 million a year and global revenues topping $170 million.
For Ms Rein it’s about giving people a fair go. It’s also why she was pained when Ingeus was recently accused of overcharging on its government contracts. In fact, the company’s own probity checks had picked up irregularities by a single worker who may yet face criminal charges. More than $300,000 was repaid to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations which, in turn, has given Ingeus a clean bill of health and dismissed a report that the company was being audited.
Ms Rein has joined a list of Australia’s 10 most powerful women. She joins the likes of Nicole Kidman and federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan in the poll.
Women considered for the list, which appears in the Australian Women Weekly’s May issue, may be rich but it is their level of influence that gets them into the top 10.
I guess that’s what happens when you’re likely to be the next first lady, next to the Prime Minister of Australia.