Hugh Stretton Oration 2022
Australia Fair: is the playing field fair for women and girls?
Hugh Stretton’s passionate manifesto, Australia Fair, wondered if fairness was still our defining national characteristic. Almost 20 years later, how are we faring?
As Australian public life faces a ‘reckoning’ over discrimination and disrespect of women, Natasha will examine how the pandemic and other world events, make the creation of a fairer world that much more challenging, especially when it comes to violence against women and girls.
Natasha will explore the renewed focus on gender equality, and ask whether or not the playing field (in every sense: from sport to politics), is genuinely fair for women. Has it ever been?
Perhaps now is the time for a new road map - a new manifesto - for change.
The Orator, Natasha Stott Despoja AO
Natasha Stott Despoja AO is an Australian politician, diplomat, gender equality advocate, non executive director and author. Natasha has been a lifelong advocate for the rights of women and girls. She entered the Senate, representing South Australia at 26, and served from 1995 to 2008, including as Leader of the Australian Democrats. She was responsible for pioneering legislation on issues ranging from stem cell regulation, paid parental leave, genetic privacy, a human rights charter and same-sex marriage. In recent years, she has worked nationally and globally to prevent violence against women and children. From 2013-2021, she was the inaugural Chair of Our Watch, and from 2013 – 2016, she was Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. She is a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an alumnus of the University of Adelaide and in 2021 was the proud recipient of an Honorary Doctorate.