This week, I began my new role as Australia's sex discrimination commissioner knowing there are three areas that require immediate attention.
We have to address the prevalence of violence against women and girls in this country. It's a disgrace.
We also have to address the lack of diversity at decision-making levels. Women are significantly under-represented in management and at board level in the public, private and community sectors and in government.
And without equal pay and better lifetime economic security for women and girls, we will never achieve an equal society.
In Australia today, the average, full-time, weekly earnings for women is 17.3 per cent less than for men. This really needs to change.
I remember the headlines in The Sun News-Pictorial in 1979 as it covered the landmark court case brought by Deborah Wardley against Ansett Airlines and its legendary, patrician founder, Reg Ansett.
Wardley wanted to be a pilot. She had every possible professional, technical, psychological and meritorious reason to support her many, rejected applications. In short, Ansett argued that he wasn't prepared to risk the safety of his passengers by having an emotional, unpredictable woman in the cockpit.
The High Court heard his argument and recognised it was time for change. Wardley won.
I never imagined that I would work in pursuit of gender equality and fairness. I thought we'd be there by now. It wouldn't have occurred to me that we would be so far from equality in 2016 that we would still need a sex discrimination commissioner.
A series of landmark sex discrimination cases followed the Wardley case, exposing inequality in mining, building sites, law firms, universities, government departments, technology companies, department stores and banks.
But in recent times, landmark court cases have been overtaken by media exposés of scandalous sex discrimination in workplaces, in the community and online, all happening despite our established legal protections.
Think of the so called "Skype sex scandal" in the Australian Defence Force Academy. Think about the trainee surgeons, who for many years reported, without success, pervasive and serious problems with bullying and sexual harassment.
So, what do we need to keep doing, and what do we need to do differently?
Modern workplaces and households must change to match the needs of our community, where both men and women want an active role in parenting as well as decent work.
We need equal pay. We need access to adequate paid parental leave and flexible, affordable, accessible childcare. We need better sharing of unpaid caring responsibilities and workforce participation. We need access to valuable and flexible work for all. We need less discrimination against working parents. We need to remove barriers to career progression for women. And we need zero tolerance for sexual harassment and sexism.
I look forward to a day when men and women are accepted into all walks of life and work – from parenting to rocket science – on the basis of who they are and what they do, and not their gender.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.