Quentin Bryce is looking forward to grandparenting, continuing her charity work and reflecting on her time as Australia’s first female governor-general.
Most of us know her as Quentin Bryce, our first female governor-general.
But to her grandchildren she’s simply “Dee Dee”.
About two hours after Dame Quentin was farewelled in Canberra on Wednesday, she walked through the door of her family home in the leafy Brisbane suburb of Taringa.
Seven of her 10 grandchildren sat patiently behind a sign that said: “Dame Dee Dee. We Love You. Welcome Home.”
But blond toddler Charlie couldn’t contain his excitement after spotting his grandmother in a celeste-coloured suit and ran up shouting “Dee Dee, Dee Dee”.
“Oh hello, Charlie,” Dame Quentin smiled, giving him a big hug.
The 71-year-old said she and husband Michael Bryce were excited to finally be home.
“It’s been a pretty hectic, constant pace,” she told reporters.
“What matters to me is community and it’s lovely to be here in my community.”
Dame Quentin said one her most memorable moments was seeing Australia’s finest values translated into action when visiting troops in Afghanistan.
“Who ever thought that I would hold four Victoria Crosses in my hand,” she remarked.
When asked how it felt to be known as a pioneer among Australian women, Dame Quentin said she was very proud of the women’s movement.
“It’s been an era of great reform since I started my career in 1966, which was when the marriage bar was lifted, and we can be very proud of the achievements in equality and opportunity and equal status for women,” she said.
“But we have a long way to go in terms of women’s leadership, our equal participation at the highest levels of decision making.”
Dame Quentin said she was looking forward to being a full-time grandparent, continuing her charity work, and reflecting on and writing about her experiences.
“I hope I can write about it, too,” she said.
“I’ve had wonderful opportunities and experiences and I do feel deeply a sense of responsibility to share those, to pass them on, to open up opportunities (for others).”