New NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has six young kids, so we’ve been wondering here at Women’s Agenda just how he’ll juggle his home life alongside his new gig.
Thankfully, he was asked the question at his press conference today, following his successful win in the NSW Liberal leadership vote.
Perrottet said he would be the first “Premier for families” and — as one reporter stated — if he was a female leader, he’d certainly be asked how he’d be managing to do that with six kids at home. “So I think it is fair to ask you that today,” the reporter said.
Perrottet responded that it’s demanding being a father, just like being a mother.
But he didn’t have too many tips, just yet, for the rest of us on how to actually balance a full-time leadership role alongside caring responsibilities.
Instead, he spoke about the gains he’ll make in terms of perspective, as making up for the sacrifices.
“When you’ve got family commitments, balancing work and family life is a challenge for every single person right across the state,” he said.
“Ultimately, what I might lose in time, I gain in perspective. Everyone has their attributes, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and I’m no different to that.
He acknowledged a team around him and, “a strong family”– though no specific mention of his wife, Helen, who will no doubt be picking up much of the slack in her husband’s absence.
“But one thing I do know is that I have a very strong team around me. I have a strong family and I have a strong ministerial team who will ensure that our focus is on the people of NSW.”
“Yes, I have family commitments but that should not disqualify one from the job. I think it enriches you, it gives you a different perspective.”
Asked if he thought holding the job of Premier was worth potentially missing out on family events with his children, he said: “I think the opportunity and the privilege to serve the state is enormous. If I didn’t believe that I could make the difference to improve the lives of every person in this state, then I wouldn’t be standing up here today.”
And yes, he conceded there will be disappointments.
“They are decisions you contemplate, you speak to your family about. Yeah, there will be challenges, I know. Perhaps, disappointments of things, of family events and time that I may not have.
“That will drive me, even more, to make sure that every single hour of my day when I’m at work, is dedicated to improving the lives of every person across the state.”