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
We are pleased to announce Tom Calma AO as a Keynote Speaker.
Tom Calma AO
Professor Calma is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan (Koong ara kun) tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja (Ee wad ja) tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia, respectively. He is a social work and community development graduate from the South Australian Institute of Technology (now UniSA). He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 45 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focussing on rural and remote Australia, health, education, justice reinvestment, research, leadership, reconciliation and economic development.
Professor Calma was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010. He also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009 and was a senior diplomat in India and Vietnam from 1995 to 2002.
Through his 2005 Social Justice Report, Professor Calma called for the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to be closed within a generation and advocated embedding a social determinants philosophy into public policy around health, education and employment in order to address Indigenous inequality gaps. This spearheaded the Close the Gap for Indigenous Health Equality Campaign resulting in Council of Australian Governments Closing the Gap response in December 2007.
Professor Calma has since 2010 held the position of National Coordinator Tackling Indigenous Smoking and he was appointed a Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School on 1 January 2015 to perform the role of Chair and Patron of the Poche Indigenous Health Network. He is a member of the Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council, Co-sponsors with the Australian Public Service Commissioner the Indigenous SES network and is Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.
He has been on the University of Canberra Council since 2008 and as Chancellor from 2014 to December 2022. Professor Calma has also served on the National Council of the Defence Reserves Support Council since 1 March 2013 and will retire on 29 September 2020.
We are pleased to announce Priska Fleischlin as a Keynote Speaker.
Priska Fleischlin is the International Federation of Social Workers’ (IFSW) United Nations (UN) Commissioner.
Priska Fleischlin has been appointed as the first IFSW UN Commissioner after the IFSW General meeting, during its meeting in Dublin 2018. Her main responsibilities are to build IFSW capacity, by securing a global team with sub teams in each region and the UN headquarters. Recognition of the contribution of social workers within UN agencies is growing.
Priska Fleischlin graduated with a Masters of Science in Social Work in Lucerne, Switzerland. Her Bachelor and Master thesis were focused on the ‘Social Worker’s Empowerment in developing aid’ and ‘Cohesion in transnational transdisciplinary Project-Teams’. Concerning the latter topic, she also analysed the conversation of virtual meetings. She is an experienced social worker and is Chief Executive Officer at a Swiss non-government organisation working in the field of care farming.
In her function as UN Commissioner she is focussing on the Agenda 2030 and building partnerships with UN Agencies.
She will join us live at the conference via video-link from Switzerland
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