Lisa Wilkinson champions a gender-equal future

Published 3:00pm 6 March 2023

Lisa Wilkinson champions a gender-equal future
Words by Jodie Powell
Image: Carlotta Moye

Journalist Lisa Wilkinson credits her Year 9 English teacher with setting her on the path to her award-winning career.

In an exclusive interview with Moreton Daily ahead of her appearance at the Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) business lunch on Friday in celebration of International Women’s Day, Wilkinson says she’s learnt from many women over the course of her life.

“But one of the first and most influential was my English teacher in Year 9, Miss Jackson.

“She was a magnetic mix of kindness and joy in the way she taught, but most importantly, she fostered in me a great love of books, and the magic of the English language.

“She is the one who really moved me towards wanting to become a journalist.”

Wilkinson says strong female role models remain important in today’s society.

“Because it’s so true what they say: you cannot be what you cannot see.”

Position of privilege

She says mentoring young journalists over the course of her career has been one of the great pleasures of her life.

“I hope I’ve inspired other young women to be brave, knock down barriers, question the status quo when the status quo clearly needs questioning, and to believe anything is possible if you do your homework, and just give it your all.”

Right from the beginning of her career in the media, Wilkinson has loved every aspect of being a journalist, from writing and editing, to working with and learning from talented colleagues helping to tell people’s stories, and holding the powerful to account.

“(I’ve loved) the absolute privilege of creating something - whether a magazine, a radio show, a newspaper column, or a TV show - that people are drawn to.”

She says she has no regrets - apart from too much late-night chocolate.

Believe in yourself

“I don’t believe in regrets. Everything in life, including your stumbles, is a learning experience.”

Wilkinson has fought to address the gender pay gap throughout her career, most recently when she left Today after learning co-host Karl Stefanovic earnt significantly more, and says there’s no easy answer to the issue.

“There’s no doubt that as more women sit in positions of real power, decision-making and influence in both the public and private sectors, this will change.

“And as women, we have to back ourselves, believe in ourselves, and not apologise when we know our true worth.”

Have fun along the way

And her advice for young women – including her daughter, journalist Billi FitzSimons?

“Find your passion, do your homework, back yourself, help others coming up behind you, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.”

Lisa Wilkinson is the keynote speaker at a sold-out business lunch on Friday in the Grand Ballroom at the Eatons Hill Hotel in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The event is proudly presented by not-for-profit Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT), supported by our strategic partner Moreton Bay Regional Council, and sponsored by Dynamic Bradview Roofing and Any Given Tuesday.

It is the latest in a series of highly successful lunches hosted at Eatons Hill since 2016, with marquee speakers including Ita Buttrose, Todd Samson, Turia Pitt, John Howard, Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop.

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