It’s Father’s Day in Australia, and I would like to pay tribute to my Dad and his pivotal role in developing my passion for gender equality.
Who is Greg Bastin-Byrne?
My Dad’s a reserved, thoughtful man who doesn’t waste words. He grew up on a farm. Then ran the hobby farm my brother and I grew up on. He’s great at fixing stuff. He can manufacture and mend acres of fencing, milk cows, ride horses bareback, repair broken motorcycles, cars and pumps and build sheds – all before breakfast. You get the gist. He’s a signwriter by trade with the skills and soul of an artist.
How did Dad help develop my passion for gender equality?
Dad was hands-on in raising us at a time when it was uncommon for men to pitch in with domestic tasks and child rearing. Having his own business meant he had the flexibility to take care of us as babies, so Mum could continue to work part-time in her family business. He changed nappies, fed us bottles and routinely took care of us single-handed. Throughout my childhood, my father did laundry, cooked meals, navigated school drop off and pick up, paid bills, grocery shopped and worked (as did my Mum). I didn’t realise until I was older that there was a much stronger gender based division of household labour in other families.
He lead by example
My brother and I were both taught to ride horses, maintain our cars, mow the lawn, herd cattle, cook meals and catch fish. For this careful tending of our childhoods as an involved father and supportive husband, I thank you Dad. Your example has meant my daughter has benefited from parents who share her care and support each other’s work.
You have always encouraged me to become anything I wanted and your support for Femeconomy means a lot, because you’re still my hero. I love you.