NikkI Keating has worked in hospitality for a decade in bartending and manager roles. She is a Communications Specialist based in Naarm (Melbourne). Originally from Queensland, Keating worked in journalism and communications until 2017 when she began working with United Voice and Hospo Voice. Keating was the face of the Respect is the Rule Campaign from 2017 to 2019, campaigning for zero tolerance policies in hospitality venues to help fight sexualised violence. In 2020 she co-founded The Consent Blueprints with psychologist, Ishma Alvi. The Consent Blueprints is a consent education and consultancy service. In 2020 they won a grant to build a program to help venues manage the risk of sexual harassment in hospitality and are currently working to get the course nationally accredited.
Julie Bates AO is the Principal of Urban Realists Planning & Health Consultants. She is also an ‘out’ sex worker and has been a harm reduction advocate and sex worker rights defender for more than half her life. She was a foundation member of the Australian Prostitutes Collective, the forerunner of SWOP, the NSW Users & AIDS Association (NUAA). She served on the Australian National Council on AIDS, contributed to the first Australian National HIV/AIDS Strategy and was a consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on minimisisng HIV risk in the sex industry. She was the inaugural sex industry liaison officer appointed to local government following decriminalisation of sex work in NSW. Today, she is a public speaker and lobbyist for decriminalisation of the sex industry and co-author & investigator on a number of sex work related research projects including the pivotal multi-state UNSW Kirby Institute and Curtin University Law and Sexual Health Projects (LASH).
Since the earliest days of the HIV pandemic and in a legal environment that still criminalised most aspects of the sex industry, Julie personally confronted some of the biggest brothel owners in Sydney with the reality that, in the context of HIV transmission, their businesses would continue to suffer unless they adopted a safe sex attitude and practice. Today she is a public speaker and political lobbyist for the decriminalisation of sex work and social researcher investigating harms associated with the various legislative and regulatory responses to sex work in Australia along with town planning and work health and safety advice to the sex industry and other key players. In 2018 she was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
Photograph 2 by Walter Maurice/Urban Village
As a Catholic Sister for more than thirty years, after some time teaching in secondary schools and in chaplaincy work, Patricia Madigan has for many years been a prominent leader in ecumenical and interfaith relations in the Catholic Church in Sydney. She was a founding member of the Women’s Interfaith Network. She completed her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2008 which was published as “Women and Fundamentalism in Islam and Catholicism: Negotiating Modernity in a Globalised World” (Oxford: Peter Lang 2011). Trish is a member of the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands.
Pam Burridge was the first woman in Australia to become a full time professional surfer. Born in Sydney in 1965, Pam was given her first surfboard at the age of 10, she entered her first surfing contest in 1977 & took out 1st place. She continued her thirst for competition by entering & winning various amateur titles including the Australian championship which then led her to join the professional tour at the age of 15. By the age of 17 she had her 1st runner-up finish, a result that would test her faith and patience another 5 times throughout her career. In 1990 she finally broke through winning the World Championship at Sunset Beach, Hawaii. Pam left the pro tour in 1998 retiring to the beautiful NSW South Coast where she coaches and runs a busy surf school and surf retreat business, with many girls and older women coming to her classes.
Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest economy in the world, during the Global Financial Crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise.
Ms Gillard delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australian education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector as well as building the National Broadband Network.
In foreign policy, Ms Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. Ms Gillard has represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia’s right to host the 2014 meeting, the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF, and chaired CHOGM. Under Ms Gillard’s leadership, Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council.
As Prime Minister, Ms Gillard developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century. Ms Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.
In October 2012, Ms Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.
In February 2014, Ms Gillard was appointed chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organisation dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.
Ms Gillard also serves as Patron of CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.
In 2017, Ms Gillard became Chair of Beyond Blue, Australia’s leading mental health awareness body.
In April 2018, Ms Gillard was appointed Inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College, London. Through research, practice and advocacy, GIWL is addressing women’s under-representation in leadership, and the way gender negatively impacts the valuation of women leaders. A sister institute has been launched at the Australian National University.
Ms Gillard is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Ms Gillard serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide, and is Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth, Western Australia.
Ms Gillard is the author of two books: My Story, which provides a detailed account of Ms Gillard’s time as Prime Minister, was published in September 2014.
Her second book ‘Women and Leadership: real lives, real lessons’ which she co-authored with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was published in July 2020. It analyses the influence of gender on women’s access to positions of leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, the trajectory of their leadership and the circumstances in which it comes to an end.
On Australia Day 2017, Ms Gillard was honoured to be awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia.
Photograph 2 byAngel Wylie, The Sydney Morning Herald copyright Nine Fairfax Media
I was born in Brisbane and at birth was Marcia Lynne Waddy, daughter of Kathleen Muriel Waddy, who later married Douglas Boyd Langton, a returned soldier who served in the Korean campaign. We moved from town to town, and I attended nine schools in all, such as one in southwest Queensland in the range of my grandmother’s country where she and other relations had worked in the pastoral industry. My grandmother and grandfather, Ruby and Fred Waddy, were Bidjara and Iman (Yiman) respectively. My love of books and reading began in these country towns in the local libraries where I found peace and quiet. When my stepfather left, we moved to Brisbane. Not without a struggle, I attended the Aspley State High School, the University of Queensland, and much later after travelling overseas, the Australian National University and Macquarie University. I have a B.A. Honours, a PhD and D. Litt. And have managed to retain my driver’s licence since obtaining it more than forty years ago. I have been an academic since 1992 and written for both academic and non academic audiences, advised on television programs and scripts, and appeared on radio and television shows as a commentator.
Photograph 1 Marcia Langton © Juno Gemes (National Portrait Gallery) Photograph 2 by Tom Hunt-Smith
Marion Blackwell AM, is a renowned environmental scientist and landscape architect. Marion conducted a series of pioneering surveys in WA and helped create a number of Australia’s national parks, including the World Heritage Listed Purnululu (the Bungle Bungles). Guided by her deep respect for the knowledge of Indigenous Australians, she was instrumental in helping to identify the vast riches of the west of the continent, highlighting the importance of one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Amongst her many achievements, Marion played a key role in the design and landscaping of Murdoch University. She has contributed to an extensive range of organisations including the National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority. Throughout her life Marion has been a dedicated teacher of and champion for women. Her long and distinguished environmental career was recognised with her appointment to the board of the Environmental Protection Authority WA.
Dr Anne Aly was elected as the Federal Member for Cowan in 2016.
Born in Egypt, Anne and her family moved to Australia when she was two years old. By her late twenties, Anne was a single working mother of two young boys in Perth. Anne went on to study her Masters and PhD at Edith Cowan University and held a number of senior positions within the WA Public Service. She then worked at both Curtin University and Edith Cowan University with a focus on counter terrorism and countering violent extremism. Anne has been an advisor to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Directorate, and was the only Australian invited to address President Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism summit at the White House.
Anne is also the Founding Chair of People against Violent Extremism (PaVE) a not for profit organisation focused on empowering communities to challenge violent extremism.
In 2022 Anne Aly was sworn in as the Federal Minister for Early Education and for Youth.
Victoria Midwinter Pitt is an award-winning documentary film-maker, playwright and director. Victoria’s documentary film practice is in complex historical moments told directly, and only, by the people who have actually lived through them. Her films include FRONTIER ; RAMPANT: HOW A CITY STOPPED A PLAGUE; SURVIVING MUMBAI; LEAKY BOAT and AFGHANISTAN - INSIDE AUSTRALIA’S WAR. Victoria’s work has won major awards including Walkley, AACTA, SPAA, and NSW Premier’s History Prize and been nominated for Emmys and a UN Media Peace Prize. Her films have screened at the UN and across the world’s major film festivals and broadcasters.
Victoria trained in theatre at London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her first play (based on her own anarchic and hilarious coming out story), ALL THE THINGS I WOULD NEVER TELL YOU IN 8 SONGS & 12 PICTURES, opened Spain’s independent theatre festival, the Alternativa, at the Teatro Sala Triangulo in Madrid. I’M WITH HER brings together all these rich strands of experience in the power and revelation of first hand story-telling.
Photograph 2 by Angelita Bonetti
Francesca has a reputation as one of Australia’s leading Dramaturgs, with a specific and unique approach to the development of new work. She works with individual artists and theatre companies all around the country, has participated creatively in many Playwrights Conferences, been a Mentor for ATYP, Artistic Director of PLAYWORKS, Keynote Speaker at JUTE Regional Theatremakers Conference, Resident Teacher for the NIDA Playwrights Studio and a Judge for the Max Afford, The Patrick White and the NSW Premiers Literary Awards. She has collaborated on many highly acclaimed projects and is currently working on a book about the delicate art of safely guiding new works to the stage.
From leading educator Vana Watkins with expert strategies for teachers and brilliant activities for students to get stuck into the play, and join the conversation.