Dear Gladys, Annastacia, Dr. Kerry, Dr. Jeannette and Professor Nicola,
I want to send you all a full-frontal dose of respect, support, and energy. I have absolutely no comment to make in regard to your political policies, health recommendations or daily decisions that impact millions, and I certainly will not be sharing my personal views on lockdowns or vaccines.
I’m exhausted at the thought of your days. It’s a relentless cycle of interpreting data, making hard decisions and talking about a virus that has killed millions of people. You are all neck deep in a form of leadership most will never know and actually, when you chose these career paths you would have had no idea what you were in for.
Every day we sit back and judge everything you each say, do and decide.
The cameras catch you trying to find your mask at the press conference, and when you make a snide remark about Victoria, that entire state clocks it against you. Some might be hoping you fail.
You wake up to news that thousands have signed a petition to stop you traveling to pitch for an event that you are clearly committed to winning, and most of the country keeps aggressively lobbying you to keep your borders open.
Your broken glasses, and the time you casually wiped your eye with your face mask is awesome content for viral Tik Toks but we fail to properly register your years of study and expertise– and the significant work you’re doing to protect us all.
We ask you to comment publicly on your miscarriages, relationships and can even Google search your estimated weight.
If you sleep with a douche bag (polite term), and many of us have been there, we expect that we have a right to hear details in the vein of it being a test of your integrity. You have to find a way to sleep each night knowing that people punch horses (allegedly), and die on your watch.
Just in case you don’t know, there are lots of us cheering you on. There are lots of us clapping loudly and celebrating your resilience and strength.
Every night there are exhausted men and women around the country on Zoom with wine in hand, discussing your impact and committed leadership styles. You are doing the jobs so many wouldn’t, and the reward doesn’t outweigh the tax.
Should we even bother to mention that you are all leading in what are traditionally male dominated roles? It would be safe to assume that you have all experienced your fair share of bias, prejudice and vitriol just to keep your seat at the table. You don’t have to tell us, we already know. You are respected, valued and listened to by many.
Whilst many of us have total permission to wear active wear, drink too much and behave badly under the guise of lockdown (a so-called collective madness), the five of you have to get up every day and be better tomorrow. Oh, and we want you to be authentic, current and not look too tired.
Politics and science as industries, are grappling to attract and retain female talent. There are young women watching you closely, and you are showing them the way.
Make the mistakes, celebrate the successes, and keep going. Hold your space and do not let anyone diminish the significant difference you are making. Your leadership will be studied in years to come, and it’s very possible you will be more appreciated then, than you are now.
Look after yourselves, and can we please have dinner when this is over?