Women step through the portal

Women step through the portal

By Mark Chillingworth

Despite making up over half of the world's population, and having national leaders and business captains amongst their ranks around the planet, women have been relatively under-represented in Australia. In an effort to combat this, the Federal Government has launched a portal for Australian women.

The Women's Portal (www.women.gov.au) was developed for the Federal Government to provide Australia's women with targeted information from state and federal government. The site was set up as to address the need for women specific information.

women.gov.au was set up by the Office of the Status of Women (OSW), which is part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

OSW selected Alphawest to develop the portal and departmental Web site which will be launched soon. This is the first federal government Web site that Alphawest has developed. The site supports the Australian Government Locator Service (AGLS) metadata standard. Frank Wood an Alphawest business analyst that worked on the portal said, "The portal has an SQL server based search using a metadata repository." He said the main challenge in creating the portal was that the commissioning department had not gone through this type of development before and they had to look into how they wanted to structure and categorise the information and what terms they wanted to use.

The portal took eight months to create, with production beginning back in July 2002. Unlike some federal government sites, women.gov.au cost just $250,000 to develop, which was a fixed price Mr Wood said.

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