By Senator Claire Chandler
Most readers would by now be aware of the controversy over the lobby group Stonewall convincing Government Departments and public agencies in the UK to adopt and promote gender ideology.
Members of the public and women’s groups in the UK have been asking for years why the public service was parroting highly contested gender ideology promoted by Stonewall. Ideas like removing the word ‘mother’ from maternity guidance; putting male sex offenders in women’s prisons; allowing males to play in women’s sport; and promoting the idea that children can be born in the wrong body.
Now, the BBC has produced a long overdue investigation revealing how government agencies and bodies (including the BBC itself) were influenced to promote these ideas after they signed up as members of the Stonewall, competed for ‘diversity’ awards from Stonewall, and paid the lobby group to ‘train’ them on ‘diversity and inclusion’.
We know that it was the inappropriate influence of a lobby group that caused government departments in the UK to promote gender ideology and undermine the rights of women and girls.
So what made Australian bureaucracies follow suit?
In Australia, dozens of government agencies are signed up as paid members of a lobby group, Pride in Diversity, which uses the same tactics as Stonewall and openly boasts about taking advice from and working closely with Stonewall to “capture leading practices”. That’s the “leading practices” which have been exposed by the BBC, resulting in government agencies quitting the Stonewall schemes in droves.
Given the backlash over these practices, you would think Australia’s public broadcaster might do as the BBC have done and investigate the influence of their gender lobby counterparts here in Australia.
Don’t hold your breath though. The ABC are one of more than 30 agencies funded by Australian taxpayers who are paid members of Pride in Diversity. This year, as the ABC churned out puff pieces on the inclusion of biological males in women’s sport and on children’s gender clinics promoting ‘affirmative’ medical interventions, they were given three awards by the lobby group: ‘Gold Employer’, ‘Most Improved’, and ‘Best External Media Campaign’.
The ABC is far from the only Australian tax-payer funded organisation signed up. They’re joined as members of the lobby group by all the major Government Departments and many other agencies:
Attorney General's Department
Department of Agriculture
Department of Education and Training
Department of Jobs and Small Business
Department of Defence
Department of Finance
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Department of Health
Department of Home Affairs
Department of Human Services (DHS)
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet (PMC)
Department of Social Services (DSS)
Department of the Treasury
Australian Border Force
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
Australian Federal Police (AFP)
Australian Public Service Commission (APSC)
Australian Research Council (ARC)
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
National Disability Insurance Agency
National Indigenous Australians Agency
Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman
Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman
How can the public service provide impartial advice to Ministers and parliamentarians on protecting women’s sex-based rights when they’re signed up as members of, and competing for awards from, a lobby group promoting gender ideology?
I’ve spoken publicly and in the Senate on a number of occasions about Government Departments inexplicably adopting radical positions like deleting the word ‘woman’ from a pregnancy vaccination guide; signing Australia up in support of a UN report promoting gender ideology, and defining women as “anyone who identifies as a woman”. It all suddenly makes sense when you realise there are awards and ranking points on offer for statements like these.
Is it any wonder that since joining the Senate in 2019 I’ve been unable to locate a single public service agency prepared to agree with the basic proposition that single-sex sports, facilities and services for women and girls are essential?
A dangerous agenda which erodes the rights of women and girls is being sold to bureaucrats by a lobby group and slipped into public policy under the guise of ‘diversity and inclusion’. We can only hope that the recent investigations in the UK prompt similar scrutiny in Austrailian and elsewhere around the world.
Senator Chandler is a passionate Tasmanian and proud representative for the great state in Canberra.