100 years. Depending on how you look at it, it's either a long time or a short one. In cosmic terms it's less than blink of an eye. In lifespans it's either one really long one or around 1.3 average length ones. In career terms, it's about 3 working lifetimes (unless you are a professional sports person in which case it's a lot more).
So much has changed in 100 years. Back in 1917 The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower. More than 95% of births happened at home. There was no such thing as Mother's Day. Pneumonia was still the leading cause of death. The average life span was around 50! Perth wan't even connected to the national phone system until 1930.
In 1917 Helen Dugdale (L) and Laura Chipper (R) made history. They were the first women in WA's Police Service. I'm privileged to present tomorrow among some other awesome speakers to mark the 100 year anniversary of Women in Policing in our state. As I have prepared for the event, I'm humbled by the number of "firsts" that continue to happen as pioneering women stand up and tackle roles that are traditionally male.
Firsts take effort. You have to make your own road. There's no chance to follow or learn from others, only to do the best you can with what you have got. Often there's a lack of resources and active opposition. We've got a lot of pioneers in this state. It's a line from well before colonial times right up to the moment. I'm honoured to be asked to celebrate Women in Policing, and it makes me grateful for all the incredible changes made by courageous people who built their own road.