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Stott Despoja

Australian Parliamentarian, role-model for women


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.

Current Work

This year, Natasha was recruited for the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, marking the first time that an Australian will serve on the Committee in 28 years.

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.

Previous Experience

In 2018 she was named one of the Top 100 Global Influencers on Gender Policy.

In 2019 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the global community as an advocate for gender equality, and through roles in a range of organisations.

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.

In 2019, Natasha published her first book On Violence which focuses on the important role primary prevention plays in addressing one of the most insidious issues facing Australia - violence against women.

Natasha was an absolute delight to work with. She took to the time to understand our audience and our industry and adapted her message perfectly. She is a very powerful speaker, so articulate and engaging to listen to. I would love to work with Natasha again. Corenet Australian Chapter
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