2021 Guest Speaker: Natasha Stott Despoja AO

Click here to watch the video of the live stream.

Natasha-headshot-2019 (1)

Natasha Stott Despoja AO is the founding Chair of Our Watch (the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children).

Natasha is the youngest woman to enter the Australian Federal Parliament where she was Senator for South Australia and Leader of the Australian Democrats.

She served as Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, and in November 2020, was elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

In May 2018, Natasha was named one of the Top 100 Global Influencers on Gender Policy.

Natasha served two years on the World Bank Gender Advisory Council (2015-2017) and was a member of a 2017 UN High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents.

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. In 2019, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.

In 2001, she was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
Natasha is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at The University of Adelaide. She is a member of the Australian National University Council, the Global Citizen Women’s Council, Broad Agenda 50:50 by 2030 Advisory Group, the George Washington Global Women’s Leadership Council and was member of the successful FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Steering Committee.

She is a non-executive Director of Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer; Global Citizen and The Australian Ballet. She is a former Deputy Chair of beyondblue, and has been a board member of the Burnet Institute, the South Australian Museum (2009-2013), the Advertising Standards Board (2008-2013) and the Museum of Australian Democracy (2010-2013). She was on the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council (2015-2017).

She is/has been, a Patron or Ambassador for several not-for-profit groups, including The Orangutan Project, VicHealth, secondbite, Ovarian Cancer Australia, ENUF the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign, Girls Takeover Parliament, the Fay Gale Centre and Action Aid.

She has been an international election monitor in countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, Cambodia and Kenya (2017).

In 2015, she was awarded the South Australian Award for Excellence in Leadership; she was a finalist in the 2017 AFR Women of Influence Awards; is one of South Australia’s “100 Most Inspiring Women of All Time”, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Adelaide. In April, 2019, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by The University of South Australia.

Natasha lives in Adelaide with her family.


Host: Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Leader of the Opposition of the Senate


MC: Sonya Feldhoff
ABC Radio Adelaide








Former Speakers

2020 Elizabeth Broderick AO Lawyer, Social innovator, Human rights and Gender Equality advocate    Video recording
2019 Jane Caro AM Social commentator, writer and lecturer   Video and Audio recording
2018 Tanya Hosch General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy, AFL   Audio recording
2017 Hon Julia Gillard AC Australia’s first female Prime Minister Video and Audio recording
2016 Fran Kelly Journalist Audio recording
2015 Dr Susan Carland Academic and social commentator
2014 Dr Gill Hicks MBE Founder of M.A.D for Peace
2013 Dr Anne Summers AO Author and journalist
2012 Alice Pung Author, lawyer and teacher
2011 Professor Tanya Monro SA’s Australian of the Year for 2011
2010 Sally Sara AM ABC foreign correspondent
2009 Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO MBE Australian tennis star
2008 Margaret Pomeranz AM Host of “The Movie Show”
2007 Larissa Behrendt Professor of Law and Indigenous Studies
2006 Ms Kirsty Sword-Gusmao AO First Lady of East Timor
2005 Hon Mary Gaudron QC Former Justice of the High Court of Australia
2004 Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AO, CVO, MBE Governor of South Australia
2003 Carmel Travers ABC TV documentary maker
2002 Christine Nixon APM Commissioner of Police, Victoria
2001 Hon Dr Jocelyn Scutt Barrister and author
2000 Camilla Cowley Reconciliation campaigner and pastoralist
1999 Sister Patricia Pak-Poy RSM Activist against land mines
1998 Robyn Archer AO, CdOAL Adelaide singer and songwriter
1997 Phoebe Fraser Aid worker with Care Australia
1996 Hazel Hawke AO Prominent Australian
1995 Mem Fox AM Children’s author
1994 Dorinda Haffner Chef and media personality
1993 Julia Lester ABC radio presenter