We are pleased to announce Natasha Stott Despoja AO as the AASW Conference 2019 Keynote Speaker.
Natasha Stott Despoja AO
Natasha Stott Despoja AO is the founding Chair of Our Watch (the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children). Between 2013-2016, she served as Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls responsible for the promotion of women’s economic empowerment, women’s leadership and the reduction of violence against women and girls. Her diplomatic role included travel to 31 different nations and completing 45 country trips.
She represented Australia at the UN, including at the Human Rights Council and addressed the UN Security Council. She was named one of the Top 100 Global Influencers on Gender Policy.
Natasha recently completed a term on The World Bank Gender Advisory Council and served on a 2017 UN High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents.
She is a former Senator for South Australia (1995-2008) and former Leader of the Australian Democrats. She is the youngest woman ever to enter the Australian Federal Parliament.
In 2001, she was made a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
In 2011, Natasha was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Parliament, education and as a role model for women.
She is a former Deputy Chair of beyondblue, a former Burnet Institute Board member and Patron; South Australian Museum Board member (2009-2013), Advertising Standards Board member (2008-2013) and Museum of Australian Democracy member (2010-2013).
She is a member of the Australian Privacy Foundation Advisory Board, Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies for Brain Cancer Board and the Global Women’s Institute Leadership Council and Chief Executive Women (CEW).
Natasha is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at The University of Adelaide, a member of the Australian National University Council, was member of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council, and is a member of the Board Agenda 50:50 by 2030 Advisory Group.
She is/has been, a Patron or Ambassador for several not-for-profit groups, including The Orangutan Project, VicHealth, secondbite, Ovarian Cancer Australia, and ENUF the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign.
In 2015, she was given the South Australian Award for Excellence in Leadership; she was a finalist in the 2017 AFR Women of Influence Awards; was announced as one of South Australia’s “100 Most Inspiring Women of All Time” in 2016, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Adelaide.
**Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO appears by arrangement with Saxton Speakers Bureau
Conference Dinner Speaker
Our Conference Dinner Speaker will be Debbie Kilroy.
After her release from prison in 1992, Debbie Kilroy established Sisters Inside to fight for the human rights of women in prison and to address gaps in services available to women and their children. Since then, Debbie has completed tertiary qualifications in social work, forensic mental health and law. Debbie is the first and only former prisoner to be admitted as a legal practitioner in Australia.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Sisters Inside, Debbie is a tireless advocate for the rights and interests of women and actively works to end violence and dismantle the prison industry. Debbie has spearheaded numerous ground-breaking programs to break the cycle of imprisonment. Debbie uses her position to empower criminalised women and girls to have their voices, interests and priorities heard. Debbie is passionate about supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls to become leaders.
In 2013, Debbie opened her own legal practice that sits alongside Sisters Inside. The law firm practices predominantly in criminal and child protection law. Debbie was awarded the Order of Australia in 2003 for her work with criminalised and imprisoned women and girls and the Australian Human Rights Award in 2004. Debbie was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2013 and was an Australian of the Year Finalist for Queensland in 2016. Debbie is currently a member of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council and sits on various committees relating to law and social matters.
**Ms Debbie Kilroy appears by arrangement with Saxton Speakers Bureau