Examples from Ireland and New Zealand show that, unless determined measures are taken, masculine political cultures will ensure the gender imbalance remains.
Guaranteed representation reduces the distance between policymakers and the people for whom policy is made.
Malcolm Turnbull's government has had a rocky year, almost losing an election and incurring a number of self-inflicted wounds. They will be hoping for better in 2017.
The push for marriage equality is not just about walking down the aisle in matching outfits; it's become a potent symbol of equality and acceptance.
The Australian parliament is not a very representative place – but the bigger problems is the poor quality of its deliberations.