March 22, 2017
As I am sure you would agree, Madam Deputy Speaker, any day is a good day to be talking about the importance of women and the contribution they make to the economy right across Australia.
More and more women are getting involved in the most important industries in my electorate, including industries like agriculture and fisheries. More and more women are running or taking up vital roles on the family farm. More and more women are running, or taking up vital roles in, pastoral stations.
Also, more and more women are creating and running various, very successful, small businesses—as you know, Madam Deputy Speaker Bird, the backbone of the Australian economy, right across Durack.
In Geraldton, 'Boschetti' has been an accomplished business name for well over 50 years and across two generations.
Julia Boschetti started what we now call Latitude Fisheries, along with her husband, Bert, in the early 1960s, and it has developed into a very successful fishing business.
The Boschettis started off crayfishing, began prawning in 1981 and have since diversified their range to include tuna, swordfish and shark, at different stages, before they opened their shop, Latitude Direct, to the public in 1989.
Latitude Fisheries moved into their current building on the fishermen's wharf in 1999, selling freshly cooked Shark Bay prawns daily, and, let me tell you, Madam Deputy Speaker, this is a shop worth visiting.
The apple does not fall far from the tree, with Julia and Bert being parents to two Durack businesswomen, each successful in their own right but for very different reasons.
Erica Starling and Pia Boschetti spent much of their childhood growing up helping their parents, out at the Abrolhos Islands—let me tell you how idyllic that must have been—together with their brother, Michael.
Erica was involved with marketing and exporting 18 boats along the west coast before she created her own business, Indian Ocean Fresh Australia.
Indian Ocean Fresh Australia has now created marine finfish aquaculture.
By the end of the year, the business is expected to have eight different cages in the harbour.
This is huge innovation and huge risk-taking, and I really admire Erica for what she is trying to achieve just off the coast of Geraldton.
Her younger sister, Pia—or, as she is known, 'the girl who grows the pearl'—is in a different kind of business from her sister's and her parents'.
Pia started pearl farming in the family business 17 years ago before she opened her own pearl jewellery store, Latitude Gallery, with the mantra, 'Each piece of jewellery should tell a story.'
Pia spends up to four months, yearly, farming pearls at the Abrolhos Islands. Recently, Pia has opened up two galleries, one in Noosa and the other in Montville—both a very long way from Geraldton, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
I am sure you—those who are here in the gallery today—would all agree that the Boschetti businesswomen's story is an extraordinary story, not just for regional Western Australia but for Australia as a whole.