This was the encouragement given to students of the Pacific Adventist University by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne.
Life can be very tricky; it can be smooth sailing one day then you find yourself getting battered into a corner the next.
Even the most successful individuals are not immune to that, as shared by Senator Payne.
“I was very privileged to go to a school in Australia – a girls’ school – which when I left school, I was absolutely convinced that there was nothing I couldn’t do,” she stated. “Because that was how I was educated. I was educated in a Methodist Church school and that’s what they send their girls out into the world thinking; very, very privileged education.
“It wasn’t until I got into university that I found there were some people at my university who thought there were things girls shouldn’t do. I was quite surprised by that.”
Payne and some of her law school colleagues talked about leaving school as the learning environment was quite unpleasant. But in the end, they decided against leaving.
“We were determined to stay,” she continued. “And we made it very clear to the university administration that we wouldn’t accept the downgrading of our marks just because we were women. Or girls at that stage. It was a long time ago,” Payne said amidst laughter from the roomful of women and girls, including female members of the Australia Awards Alumni.
“And we all passed on our own merits and on our own effort. And the lesson we learnt was actually not to back down.”
The Minister holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of NSW.
She has been a member of the Liberal Party since 1982, and was the National Young Liberal Movement's first female President.
On the 26th of August, 2018, Payne was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and was also appointed Minister for Women in 2019.
(Senator Marise Payne meeting with PAU students)