governor-general David Hurley
Governor-General David Hurley (Image: AAP/Tracey Nearmy)

The Order of Australia awards made a proud announcement earlier this year: 41% of all 2020 award categories had gone to women, its highest result yet. Yet what was a matter of pride for it was further proof for others that the system still doesn't work.

"The system is broken -- it needs to be fixed," founding member of activist group Honour a Woman Ruth McGowan told Inq. "Obviously if you keep getting the same output after 45 years -- which is inequality -- then the system needs to be fixed up.

"You can't keep saying: 'Australians, you've got to nominate more women'."