WITH the body of water at the Sydney International Regatta Centre flowing smoothly behind her, Margie Abbott, the wife of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, stood before a microphone last Friday to calm the turbulent stream of suggestions that her husband has a problem with women.
She also gave an insight into their "ordinary" lives and discussed their mutual passion for indigenous communities, her work as the director of a child care centre and desire to become a "champion for children at risk in our country" as well as her and her daughters' undying support of Mr Abbott's election campaign.
Before his wife's speech, Mr Abbott addressed the audience at the Liberal Party function and told them how proud he was of the women in his life recalling a long list including Liberal senator Marise Payne, Liberal candidate for Lindsay Fiona Scott, his chief of staff Peta Credlin, his mother, sisters Pip and Christine, Mrs Abbott and their daughters.
"In parts it's easier and less stressful simply to leave the politics to the politician in the family, and to make our home a refuge from the battle rather than a place where there is no respite," Mrs Abbott said.
"I'm not a politician and I'm not political — but just don't ever try and tell me that my husband of 24 years and the father of three daughters is on some anti-women crusade.
"It's simply not true."
While Mrs Abbott's speech attempted to quash the rumours, it was far from wholly centred on delivering a character reference for her husband.
"We are an ordinary family — with all the stress, noise, tears and laughter and I wouldn't have it any other way," Mrs Abbott said.