In August of 2021 I was watching a series hosted by Annabel Crabb on the ABC called Ms. Represented. The program traced the history of women in Australian politics, and when Annabel started to interview former Prime Minister Julia Gillard about her iconic misogyny speech, it was like a bolt from the blue. I ran to my computer and searched up a transcript of the speech. I took the transcript and ran to my piano and started to set the speech, word for word, to music. As I put my hands on the piano keys, the music was all there, as if waiting for me to capture it. That first day I wrote for four hours before realizing - oh my goodness these aren't my words, I need to ask for permission. I wrote to Julia Gillard directly through the contact page on her website and was overjoyed when I received word from her.
On October 1st, 2022 the first part of the "Misogyny Opus" was released, and in the first few days we have had over 14 000 views of the music video on YouTube. Response has been incredibly heartening. The message of equality is urgently needed. In fact we are in an emergency worldwide.
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the speech, this first song Better Standard Than This will be followed by the remainder of the full 50+ minute pop orchestral work, setting the entire speech to music. The music video includes 70 equality advocates from around the world, each lip syncing a section of the piece. My performance was filmed on stage of the Auditorium at the MECC (Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre) in my hometown of Mackay by Tanya D'Herville, and the video was edited by 3 x Emmy Award winning Editor Chris Orwat of Pure Cinematography.
I'm preparing the work for its live premiere on February 24th, 2023, and the release of the accompanying album. The album is available for PRE PURCHASE HERE
Thank you Julia Gillard for your courage and impact. As someone who has experienced misogyny and sexism throughout my career and life, I indeed believe all of us deserve a Better Standard Than This. May the message of this creative advocacy project move us toward equality.