Why Australia didn’t have women as trade commissioners in the 1960s

This appears genuine. It is from the National Archives, which I’d say is as close to an unimpeachable source that you’ll find on the Internet…

We’ve come a long way since. Here’s one of the reasons an official minute on the question of appointing women as trade commissioners.

“A man normally has his household run efficiently by his wife, who also looks after much of the entertaining. A woman trade commissioner would have this on top of her normal work.”

I’m blown away that an official minute was able to include this (beyond the pale) phrase:

“A spinster lady can, and very often does, turn into a battle axe with the passing years. A man normally mellows.”

Interestingly – my first real boss in the professional world was a single woman who had previously worked for Austrade as a senior trade commissioner – and she wasn’t a battle axe. She was fantastic.

The final line suggests that these arguments were convincing at the time…

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.