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Women Who Inspire Oranje - Amanda Vanstone A0

Thu Jan 13 2022

Amanda Vanstone,
Former Australian Politician and Ambassador to Italy.

“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way”, is something Amanda Vanstone AO told Melinda when discussing business decisions and sliding door moments. Look forward, get up, move on.

You may know Amanda as former Australian Politician, and then Australian Ambassador to Italy. She was a Liberal Senator for South Australia from 1984 to 2007 and held several Federal Ministerial portfolios in the Howard Government including Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women.

But to Oranje, Amanda’s strength goes far beyond her impressive resume. She is a person from whom Melinda has always sought and received advice — whether she liked it or not. That’s just who Amanda is. Honest. Outspoken. Incredibly loyal. For over 20 years, Melinda has depended on Amanda for her opinion, her frankness and her strong support and advocacy for women in business.

Her matter-of-fact, get-out-of-my-face attitude toward the unforgiving male-dominated political world — a squad of men, run by men, led under man-made rules — shows her tenacity but led to her longevity. Eighteen ministers departed the Howard Government during its tenure. Amanda survived as a Minister until a few months before going to Italy in 2007. She was the sole woman to do so.

Amanda held an 18-year Senate seat and never allowed the male brat pack mentality to derail her. Her challenge mirrors that which women have historically experienced with the advertising industry’s male fraternity. And as such, we at Oranje look to her for inspiration.

Thanks for saying “You’ve got to say no”, “give them an ultimatum”, “you’re too damn lenient Mel, get rid of them” at all the right times, Amanda.