As many of you know the Australian Government has been conducting a postal ballot on marriage equality and the results of that poll were released today.
They show a majority of Australians are in support of changing the law to legalise same sex marriage.
I am delighted with this outcome and, like many Australians, now look forward to the Parliament acting on the views of a large proportion of the Australian community.
This is a great step forward, a great step forward for a more diverse and inclusive Australia.
It is also a great step forward for Telstra’s LGBTI employees who hopefully will soon have the same opportunity to marry their chosen partner, as others do today.
As an organisation Telstra has publicly supported this change to legalise same sex marriage – as have I on a personal level – and I think it is important to reflect on why we took this position.
What has been obvious throughout this process is that there are many different views on marriage equality amongst our millions of customers, our employees, our shareholders and in the community more broadly.
What has also been obvious is that when corporations step into public debates, particularly where there are passionate and different views, they risk being criticised for trying to use their size and reach to influence the outcome.
For Telstra, our long support for equality and inclusion far outweighed any fear of criticism.
Because with the greatest respect for the diverse views held, we have been keen to reflect what we hold dear and what makes us who we are as an organisation – and that is a passionate, unwavering support for equality, diversity and inclusion.
We want Telstra to be a great place to work, a place to belong, a place where people can bring all of themselves to work and feel valued irrespective of their background, race, religion, age, gender or sexual preference.
Over many years and in many different ways we have worked to build Telstra into a diverse, inclusive organisation – and our public support for marriage equality is a part of that.
I am convinced we are a better organisation for it just as I am convinced Australia more broadly is a better, more inclusive place for supporting marriage equality.
Through this poll the Australian community has spoken. All eyes are now on the Parliament to see how this view will be translated into action.
For Telstra’s part we will continue to work with the Australians for Equality group and support our people – all of our people – through whatever steps come next.