JULIE BISHOP: We’re here at Woolwich Dock, the home of Wild Oats X and Wild Oats XI, in the lead up to the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starting on Boxing Day. I’m with Stacey Jackson and Sandy Oatley, and today, we’ve launched Sandy’s commitment, Wild Oats X, to be the vessel that takes Stacey Jackson’s new crew, Ocean Respect Racing, to Hobart. Now, this is the first female professional crew to take part in the Sydney to Hobart Race on Wild Oats X gifted by the Oatley family. With Stacey’s professional crew, we aim to take the overall handicap honours, the Tattersall’s Cup, at the Sydney to Hobart.
I’m delighted to be the ambassador for Ocean Respect Racing and I share Stacey’s passion for more female participation in sport; the empowerment of women; and also our commitment to clean seas and healthy oceans. So I’ll hand over to Stacey to explain a little more about the team and then to Sandy Oatley about the Oatley family’s commitment.
STACEY JACKSON: Thank you, Julie. I’m very honoured to have both Julie Bishop and Sandy Oatley and the entire Oatley family involved in our campaign, and truly honoured, we really are. I have an amazing team together for this race. We have a total of 68 Sydney to Hobart races combined and 21 [indistinct] which includes 17 Volvo Ocean Races. We are endeavouring to go out and challenge the Tattersall’s Cup, which is the overall handicap win for the race and I assembled the best possible crew I can from around the world and Australia. And it just so happens that all my team are women, so we’re just proving that some of the best sailors in the world are women.
JULIE BISHOP: Thanks. Sandy.
SANDY OATLEY: Thank you. It’s a great privilege for the Oatley family to be participating in Stacey’s dream we call it, with the task she’s put ahead of her. We were- Stacey was up at Hamilton Island Race Week earlier this year and she approached us and said: I’m putting a crew together. We’ve got a great ambition. We’ve got a great philosophy and dream that we’re trying with ocean sustainability. Can we borrow – steal – not buy – but borrow Wild Oats X? And it didn’t take us very long to say yes because Stacey had together a great crew. We’ve known Stacey for a long while and her passion and her dream for sustainability in oceans was one of our dreams as well. So we’re very passionate about the water and we wish Stacey and her crew all the success. There’s another 91 yachts competing in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart this year and they’ve got a battle but I’m sure they’ll hold their own very well; and we’ll be watching very closely.
JULIE BISHOP: So we hope with the first all-female professional crew in the Sydney to Hobart, Ocean Respect Racing, that it would be able to generate a great deal of interest in the race and also for female participation in sailing overall. Any questions?
QUESTION: Julie, why did you decide to throw your support behind this team specifically?
JULIE BISHOP: I was asked to be the ambassador for this team, and Stacey’s enthusiasm and passion for the empowerment of women, for greater female participation in sailing, in sport more generally, and also her commitment to clean and healthy oceans and sustainable oceans, really caught my attention; and it was a project that I was delighted to be associated with. So, I accepted the honour of being the ambassador for Ocean Respect Racing. I’m delighted to be working with the Oatley family and with 11th Hour Racing. This is a philanthropic organisation headed up by Wendy Schmidt out of the United Sates; and with some great partners like KOOKAÏ Clothing and Clayton Utz Lawyers and Channel Seven and Qantas. We’re really pleased to have the support of those sponsors and I decided that this was a project that I want to be involved with.
QUESTION: Does it surprise you that in 2018, this is the first female team?
JULIE BISHOP: There have been other crews in the past but this is the first time it’s an all-female professional crew. And Stacey is taking female sailing to a new level, a new benchmark, and I hope it will inspire other women to take on some of these challenging races. Fortunately, they have a lot of experience. Between them, they’ve done about 65 Sydney to Hobarts and have done about 21 laps of the planet collectively. So it’s a very experienced team and all credit to Stacey for bringing it together in such a short time so that we can contest the Sydney to Hobart and be competitive.
QUESTION: You mentioned inside that you intend to start the race with the team, you don’t intend to finish it?
JULIE BISHOP: I intend to wave them off in Sydney and I intend to greet them in Hobart. I don’t think I would add much technical capability to the team on the way down. My only challenge, though, is if I start on the boat in Sydney Harbour, how do I get off when the boat passes through the heads and turns right into Hobart? We’re still working that out.
QUESTION: Ms Bishop, this is a 100 per cent female representation in a time when we’re having a conversation nationally about female representation in politics, is your party – the Liberal Party – doing enough to boost female representation?
JULIE BISHOP: We can all do more to boost female representation. Over in Western Australia, we have put together an initiative for empowering women and the Liberal Party is approaching young professional women – women in business, women in community organisations – to be involved in the Liberal Party. So we can all do more. What I loved about Ocean Respect Racing is that it was an all-female crew headed up by a female captain, and we have the opportunity, not just symbolically, but we have the opportunity to really inspire other women to take on big challenges in life including in sport.
QUESTION: Previously, you have been reluctant to call yourself a feminist, has that changed? Do you call yourself a feminist now?
JULIE BISHOP: I call myself a member of Parliament. I don’t get into labels. I am a female politician and people can judge me by what I do, not how I self-describe.
QUESTION: Some MPs are voicing their personal views on whether Australia should move the embassy to Israel. What’s your personal view?
JULIE BISHOP: My position on this was made known when I was foreign minister and that hasn’t changed, but this is now a matter for the new Cabinet and the new leadership and the new prime minister. I’m not going to run a commentary on foreign policy positions that are being reviewed by the new government. I understand there’s a review in place and we should let it take its course.
QUESTION: How do you think Scott Morrison is going as the Prime Minister?
JULIE BISHOP: He’s doing a very good job. He’s a very energetic and focused politician. He has great experience and he certainly putting all his energy into ensuring that the Coalition can win the next election and deliver good government for the people of Australia.
QUESTION: Have you made any decisions about your future in politics?
JULIE BISHOP: I’m preselected to contest the next election and that’s currently my plan.
QUESTION: What involvement did Australia have in drafting the UN migration compact? And what’s your view on the Morrison Government’s decision to withdraw?
JULIE BISHOP: The Global Compact on Migration was one of two global compacts that were negotiated over the past 12 months and more, that is a global compact on refugees and a global compact on migration, and Australia did the maths; took part in the drafting of them, as we do with virtually all compacts and treaties and the like that involve Australia’s national interest. But it’s a matter for the new Cabinet to decide whether or not they wish to be part of the global compact. It’s non-binding. It’s not a treaty. It’s just a- it’s like a pledge and it sets out principles for the safe and orderly conduct of migration. So Australia took part in drafting it but it’s a matter for the new government as to whether they wish to be part of it or not.
QUESTION: APEC was described as ending in disarray after a dispute between the US and China, are we starting to see countries [indistinct]?
JULIE BISHOP: I am disappointed that the APEC Communique was not signed because that’s an indication that the nations present have agreed on a set of principles and a set of ideals. So for the Communique not be signed is obviously a disappointment, but Australia will continue to uphold the ideals of APEC. Free and liberalised trade – that’s in our national interest and of course we’ll continue to be a very strong and close partner of Papua New Guinea the host of the APEC Conference.
QUESTION: Just quickly, back on Israel. When you were in the role as foreign minister, did the department warn you against any move to the embassy? And what was the department’s concern?
JULIE BISHOP: That’s all on the public record. There was a Senate Estimates hearing where these questions were raised so that’s already on the public record.
QUESTION: Stacey, just back on the race. Can you tell us about how much you and some of the girls have sailed together and what gives you the confidence that you’ll be able to compete for the overall honours?
STACEY JACKSON: Yeah, absolutely. Our team has a high level of experience amongst all the girls. I’ve either raced with most of the girls or against them in other competitions so I have complete faith that we’ve brought the best team together possible and that we- racing at this sort of level is what the majority of us have done currently or recently, and so I think we’ll have no trouble. And with such good partners as Julie, Sandy Oatley, and 11th Hour Racing, I think we are really up with a good chance.
QUESTION: Have your guys hit the waters yet and have some training?
STACEY JACKSON: Our first sail will be on 1 December. We- the great- it’s just out of the water now, just being prepared and then we will go in the water and we will do a solid month of training leading into the Hobart race.
QUESTION: How did you come across Julie Bishop? How did your paths interact?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, it was actually through Nick Dowling, CFO of the Oatley Foundation, who contacted me and introduced me over the phone to Stacey and then we met, and there was an immediate rapport, if I might say, and I thought that yes, this is a project of which I wish to be involved in.
QUESTION: Can you tell us some of the best advice, mentoring advice, that Ms Bishop has given you?
JULIE BISHOP: We’ve only just launched it. I’ll be giving plenty of advice to you from now on.
STACEY JACKSON: I think we’re very lucky to have Julie involved with our campaign. We might get some advice on how to wear shoes like that. But no, seriously, Julie is coming on board. She’ll be a great role model for us as a team and for everyone who’s following our race, particularly females in sports and younger females who are looking to get into a professional level of sport.
JULIE BISHOP: Thank you everybody.
– Ends –