Current ACLW Ambassadors
The following wonderful people stand beside the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women as our valued ambassadors.
Patron-in-Chief Former Director of the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at the Kigali Institute of Education Rwanda
Professor Shirley Randell AO
Professor Shirley Randell (PhD, FACE, FAIM, FAICD, AIE, MEd, DipREd) was born on 8 March 1940 in Perth. She was educated at Perth Modern School and the Universities of Papua New Guinea, Canberra, New England and London where she took degrees in education and philosophy. As a leading expert in Public Sector and Institutional Reform in Developing Countries, Prof. Randell has provided specialist technical assistance to governments in the Asia Pacific Region and in Africa over the last 14 years. She is an author who has written numerous journal articles and books, including secondary education textbooks on Ni-Vanuatu Role Models: Women in their own right and I Stret Nomo: Girls in Vanuatu can do anything, and edited gender and development training manuals for public servants, INGO workers and water professionals.show more
In other countries Prof. Randell has been Program Implementation Specialist with the UNDP Capacity Building for Gender Mainstreaming Project of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Government of Bangladesh (2004-2005); Human Resource Adviser with the NZAID Human Development Project for the Government of Niue; Local Government Consultant for an ADB Provincial Government Review for the Solomon Islands Department of Provincial Government and Rural Development; Women, Youth and Non Government Organisation Specialist for an ADB study on skills development for the Papua New Guinea Government; Quality Assurance and Gender and Development Specialist for a skills development study for the Sri Lanka Government; and Performance Management Systems, Business Process Re-engineering Training, Human Resources Management, and GAD Specialist for an AusAid funded project for the Fiji Government’s Department of Customs and Excise.
Professor Shirley Randell has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010 for her distinguished service to international relations, particularly through the promotion of human rights of women and through public sector reform in developing countries.
Currently serving as Director of the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at the Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda, she has has had a long and distinguished career that has included a sustained focus on advancing the rights and status of women and supporting the development of civil society organisations that advocate for women’s rights.
Patron-in-Chief Consultant to World Health Organisation
Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE, FAA, FRS
Sir Gustav Nossal was born in Austria in 1931, and came to Australia in 1939. In 1965 he was appointed Director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, a position he held from 1965-1996. Sir Gustav is currently a consultant for the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was formerly Chairman of the Global Foundation Advisory Committee. He was Deputy Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation from 1998-2000. Gustav Nossal was knighted in 1977, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 and appointed Australian of the Year 2000.
Sue Conde AMFormer President UNIFEM Australia
Sue Conde AM is a passionate advocate for gender equality, and is committed to community building. She is a former President of the Australian National Committee for UN Women, and has been actively involved in executive leadership roles in national women’s non-government organisations for many years. International experiences include attending the UN General Assembly Special Session on Women in New York in 2000 and as a member of the Australian Government delegations she has attended the UN Special Session on Children in 2002 and the Commission on the Status of Women in 2006 and 2010. Sue has also been actively engaged as a member of the National Leadership Group of the White Ribbon Day Campaign to end Violence against Women. In January 2005 Sue was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia for service to the community through organisations and advisory bodies that promote the interests of women, to youth through the Guiding movement, and to the Uniting Church in Australia.
Nareen YoungProfessor Indigenous Policy, UTS
Nareen is one of Australia’s leading and most respected workplace Diversity practitioners and thinkers and managed two Diversity peak bodies, with enormous success, for over 15 years. Nareen is currently Professor of Indigenous Policy in the University of Technology, Sydney. Nareen was CEO of Diversity Council Australia (DCA) from 2007 to 2104. Prior to this appointment she was Director of the NSW Working Women’s Centre from 1998-2005.
She has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for this work, including the inaugural 100 Women of Influence honour for Diversity, has presented both nationally and internationally, and published. Nareen was also Executive Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting working on the most innovative, exciting approaches to cultivating and nurturing what Indigenous Australians bring to our workplaces and businesses. She spent 8 months in 2014 as Strategic Adviser – Flexibility at Westpac, and utilises her knowledge as a reporting CEO for 15 years through governance. She is non-executive Director for Souths Cares and BlakDance.show less
Katy McDonaldGeneral Manager, People and Workplace at NSW Treasury Corporation
Katy grew up in a small country town in North East Victoria. She attended the local high school where she had about ten other pupils in her HSC class. She has degrees in Arts and Law respectively from the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney. Katy commenced her legal career working as a judge’s associate for a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the then President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. She practised law in private practice for about 8 years; first as a commercial litigator at Barker Gosling and then she joined the Human Resources and Industrial Relations Practice Group at Minter Ellison.
Katy left private practice in the mid 1990s to work to work at the University of Sydney as the Director of Equal Opportunity. In 1999, she joined Westpac where she was Head of Employee Relations Legal and then the Head of Employee Relations, Diversity and Employment Policy. She spent 10 years at the bank and was HR Director for Minter Ellison for 5 years from 2010 to 2015. Katy has been the Director of People & Culture at the Sydney Opera House from 2015-2016. She is currently General Manager, People and Workplace at NSW Treasury Corporation. Katy has always been passionate about human rights and talent. In all her roles she has focused on women’s equality in the workplace.
Katy has completed her Masters in Coaching Psychology at Sydney University and enjoys reading, the ballet, modern dance, theatre & opera.
Christina RyanFounder, Disability Leadership Institute
For over 20 years Christina Ryan has been an active leader in the Australian disability community. She has worked at an international, national and local level to change the diversity agenda, while mentoring and supporting numerous people with disabilities to their own leadership success. Christina established the Disability Leadership Institute in 2016 as a professional hub for leaders with disabilities to build & support our disability leaders. She aims to grow the presence and recognition of disability leaders across all sections of our community. Christina is also a regular keynote speaker and commentator.
An executive and management coach (organisational development specialist) who embeds inclusion and ethical frameworks across organisational structures & culture, Christina has held CEO, senior management & team leading positions across both government & non-government sectors for 20 years, is a high level strategic thinker & noted innovator, using design thinking & collaboration to build new approaches.
Christina has sat on government advisory bodies for women, disability and the community sector. She has sat on non-profit boards including as chair and deputy-chair and is regularly consulted for advice on change management, human rights, human resources, good practice governance and management, and employing people with disabilities. Christina builds strong teams and culture.
She has been a member of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) for 20 years and pioneered the use of mainstream forums by women with disabilities at the United Nations. She now mentors and teaches effective use of the UN for rights activists globally and acts as a leadership coach for both people with disabilities and those working with them.
Christina represented WWDA on the Australian NGO delegation to the UN CEDAW Committee and was a member of the official Australian Delegation to UN Commission on the Status of Women 55 where she succeeded in having language about multiple disadvantage and intersectionality included in CSW outcomes for the first time. At the International Conference on Women with Disability in Madrid in 2012 Christina delivered the keynote address on WWDA’s campaign to end forced sterilisation.
In 2013 Christina was acknowledged as one of 100 women of the Canberra Centenary. She was a finalist in the 2014 ACT Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards, and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Inclusion at the 2015 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards. Christina was a 2017 Westpac Social Change Fellow.
Former ACLW Ambassadors
Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce ACPatron in Chief from 2010 – 2014
25th Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia (2008-2014)
Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce (BA. LLB (Qld) was born in Brisbane in 1942 and spent her early years in Ilfracombe, a small town in Central Western Queensland. In 1965, she graduated with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from The University of Queensland and, in the same year, was admitted to the Queensland Bar. She has since enjoyed a rich and distinguished career as an academic, lawyer, community and human rights advocate, senior public officer, university college principal, and vice-regal representative in Queensland, and now Australia.
Ms Bryce’s former roles – some, among firsts for women in this country – include:
• Lecturer and Tutor in Law, The University of Queensland, 1968-1983
• Convenor, National Women’s Advisory Council, 1982-1984
• Inaugural Director, Queensland Women’s Information Service, Office of the Status of Women, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 1984-1987
• Director, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Queensland, 1987-1988
• Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1988-1993
• founding Chair and CEO, National Childcare Accreditation Council, 1993-1996
• Principal and CEO, The Women’s College, University of Sydney, 1997-2003
• Governor of Queensland, 2003-2008
Quentin Bryce’s contribution to advancing human rights and equality, the rights of women and children, and the welfare of the family was recognised in her appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003. Also in 2003, she was invested as a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.
Ms Bryce was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Macquarie University (New South Wales) in 1998, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Charles Sturt University (New South Wales) in 2002, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by The University of Queensland in 2006. She was conferred with the degrees of Honorary Doctor of the University by Griffith University (Queensland) in 2003, Queensland University of Technology in 2004 and an Honorary Doctorate from James Cook University in 2008.
In her civic role as Governor of Queensland, Ms Bryce continued her work with women, families and young people while extending her influence across the State’s broad and diverse spectrum, including the rural, regional, aged, indigenous, migrant, and disability sectors. As a mother and grandmother, Quentin is a role model and mentor to women at every stage of their lives. She values and encourages women’s capacity to form strong and enduring bonds of friendship, intellectual and emotional enrichment, and mutual support in their roles within the family, workplace and community.
On 5 September 2008 Quentin was sworn in as Australia’s twenty-fifth Governor-General. As the first woman to take up the office, she remains a pioneer in contemporary Australian society, and yet one who brings more than forty years of experience in reform, community building and leadership to the role. Quentin and her husband, Michael, were married in 1964. They have two daughters and three sons, and seven grandchildren.
The Hon Gareth Ward MPMember for Kiama
The Hon Gareth James Ward MP is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Kiama for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2011. Elected to Shoalhaven City Council at age 22 in 2004, Gareth is the youngest-ever Councillor to serve on Shoalhaven City Council which he did until 2012. In 2011, Gareth became the first Liberal Member for the State Seat of Kiama. In May 2011, Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly the Hon Shelley Hancock MP appointed Gareth an Acting Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly. Gareth sits on the Joint Standing Committee for Electoral Matters and has also been a Member for the Legislative Review Committee.show more
Born with Oculocutaneous Albinism, Gareth has been legally blind since birth. Growing up in the Illawarra, Gareth attended local schools before graduating from the University of Wollongong where he established the University of Wollongong Liberal Club. He also served in several positions on the NSW Young Liberal State Executive and as a director of the NSW Liberal Party on its State Executive. Gareth has a keen interest in music and was a weekend student at the Conservatorium of Music, studying violin. He completed several grades through the Australian Music Examinations Board and lead a Jazz Band ‘Rusty Fence’ whilst studying at University.show less
Sue Salthouse was a leading advocate for the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of people with disabilities. She was particularly concerned with the intersecting discriminations of gender and disability which combine to lower the living standards and reduce life opportunities for women with disabilities. Within this power vacuum, women with disabilities are subject to a high incidence of violence, abuse and neglect. Since sustaining a Spinal Cord Injury in 1995 she worked tirelessly to address discrimination. She wore many hats in the community including as Convener of Women with Disability ACT, ACT Official Visitor for Disability and Co-chair of the ACT Disability Expert Panel advising the government on the implementation of the National Disability Strategy and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Sue was ACT Senior Woman of the Year in 2014 and the 2015 ACT Citizen of the Year. Sue tragically died in a motorcycle accident. She was riding her wheelchair accessible motorcycle when it was involved in an accident with a car on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on 21 July 2020. ACLW grieves her loss and pays tribute to her leadership, commitment to disability justice, women and her incredible contribution to numerous organisations in the disability and gender equality sector.
Dr Jocelynne ScuttBarrister and Human Rights lawyer and Former High Court Judge of Fiji
Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt is Anti-Discrimination Commissioner for Tasmania, operating under and administering the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tasmania). Prior to becoming Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner in October 1999, Dr Scutt was in private practice at the Melbourne Bar, where she specialised in administrative law, anti-discrimination and equal opportunity, tax, corporate law and banking, criminal law, immigration, property and equity, human rights and the rights of Indigenous people.
She is founding director of Artemis Publishing and of the consultancy Light & Power, and co-founder of Steadfast Communications. She has been a director of the Victorian Women’s Trust, a member of various boards including the Victoria Law Foundation, Social Biology Resources Centre, New South Wales Women’s Advisory Council, the Australian Institute of Political Science, and of the Copyright Tribunal.
After graduating in law from the University of Western Australia in 1969 (LlB), Jocelynne Scutt attended the University of Sydney where she gained a Master of Laws (LlM) degree and Diploma of Jurisprudence (Dip. Juris) before studying overseas at Southern Methodist University and the University of Michigan in the USA, the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and the Max-Planck-Institut in Germany. She gained another Master of Laws (LlM) and her Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence (SJD) in Michigan in 1974 and 1979, and Diploma of Legal Studies (Dip Legal Studies) from Cambridge in 1976. Subsequently she gained a Master of Arts (MA) from the University of New South Wales (1984) and in 1994 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (LlD) (Honoris Causa) by Macquarie University. She is suspended, midstream, in studying film and television at the University of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), and is currently writing on ‘Golden Girls, Wise or Wanton Women? Diana, Marilyn and Grace’, an ethical insight into the cult of celebrity and attempted denial of women’s agency.
Jocelynne Scutt has worked with the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Victorian Parliamentary Legal and Constitutional Committee, and was Deputy Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission, Victoria, before going into private practice at the Bar. She practiced primarily in Victoria, as well as in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, and practiced also in New South Wales, South Australian and Western Australia, as well as doing opinion work in the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland.
Some of her books are Even in the Best of Homes – Violence in the Family, The Baby Machine – Commercialisation of Motherhood, The Sexual Gerrymander – Women and the Economics of Power, Women and the Law, Breaking Through – Women, Work and Careers, Taking a Stand – Women in Politics and Society, Living Generously – Women Mentoring Women. She is editor of the Artemis ‘Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives’ series (ten books published and five at various stages of production), has a number of books in the planning – including Reputation – Image, Ethics and Respectability, and has recently completed a book on equal pay, for the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women, National Council of Women and New South Wales Trades and Labour Council, Wage Rage – Women’s Struggle for Equal Pay. Under the nom de plume Melissa Chan she has published crime novels and short stories and co-edited anthologies (with J. Terry). She has read her work at various venues/writers’ festivals – including Adelaide Writers Festival 1994.
Somaly MamHuman Rights Activist helping others escape a life of sexual servitude.
Born to a tribal minority family in the Mondulkiri province of Cambodia, Somaly Mam began life in extreme poverty. With limited options as a severely marginalized ethnic group, and living in unimaginable despair, her family often resorted to desperate means to survive. This confluence of dire circumstances led to Somaly being sold into sexual slavery by a man who posed as her grandfather. To this day, due to the passing of time and the unreliability of a wounded memory, Somaly does not know who this man was to her.
Yet his actions set her on an unimaginable path fraught with danger, desperation, and ultimately triumph. Somaly was forced to work in a brothel along with other women and children for many years, and was brutally tortured and raped. One night, she was made to watch as her best friend was viciously murdered. Deciding then that she would no longer “keep her silence,” Somaly heroically escaped her captors and began to build a new life abroad.
Somaly is not alone in her experience. Human trafficking is considered the world’s second largest, fastest growing organized crime. There are as many as 30 million people toiling as modern slaves around the globe, with an estimated 2 million women and children sold every year. Profits from human trafficking business are as high as $32 billion annually. Children as young as three or four can be sold for as little as $100 and forced to serve up to 30 clients per day.
The depth and extensive network of traffickers worldwide creates a criminal industry alarmingly difficult to stop. Yet Somaly vowed never to forget those she left behind and soon after escaping slavery, returned to Southeast Asia. In 1996, Somaly established a Cambodian non-governmental organization called AFESIP (from the French acronym for “Acting for Women in Distressing Situations”). Under Somaly’s leadership, AFESIP employs a holistic approach that ensures victims not only escape their plight, but have the emotional and economic strength to face the future with hope. With the launch of the Somaly Mam Foundation in 2007, Somaly has established a funding vehicle to support anti-trafficking organizations and to provide victims and survivors with a platform from which their voices can be heard around the world. SMF takes a multilateral and long-term approach to the issue of slavery, and works closely with partners on the ground in Southeast Asia. The Foundation’s approach rests on three pillars:
Victim Services: As Somaly says, “It can take five minutes to rescue a girl from the brothel; it can take five years to help her recover.” The Foundation’s partners in Southeast Asia rescue victims from situations of slavery and provide food, shelter, and medical and psychological care. After basic needs have been met, education and vocational training programs prepare survivors for independent and sustainable lives of dignity in trades such as hairdressing and tailoring. This holistic approach focuses on long-term success and well-being of survivors and their families. Since inception, these programs have provided comprehensive services to thousands of victims of the commercial sex industry across Southeast Asia.
Survivor Empowerment: Using Somaly’s life as an example, SMF believes in the ripple effect: in the impact one woman can have if given the chance. Our team of 12 survivor leaders now plays a critical role in every step of the journey, from rescue to recovery to reintegration, as activists, advocates and educators. These Voices For Change leaders work alongside the AFESIP teams, as well as participating in mass media and special events, training sessions, community outreach, and legal proceedings, to lend their support and their expertise to the conversation. They are the next generation, and they embody strength, hope, and a critical piece of the solution to end sex slavery.
Eradicating Slavery: SMF works with government officials, law enforcement agents, and local community members in Southeast Asia and the US to raise awareness and understanding of the complex issue of human trafficking, prevent future cases, and reduce stigmas that surround its victims and survivors. SMF also engages mass media, celebrities and online communities to promote anti-trafficking on a global level, and our PROJECT FUTURES global platform engages a passionate network of volunteers, students, and young professionals in grassroots events and campaigns.
Through the partnership of AFESIP and the Somaly Mam Foundation, millions have been reached worldwide. In 2009, SMF’s partner organizations did not face a single day of food shortages and in 2010, SMF donated over $700,000 directly to shelters around the world. Over 7,000 women and children in Southeast Asia have been rescued from sexual slavery and have been able to reshape their lives since the inception of AFESIP in 1996. Government officials, law enforcement agents, and community members have been trained to recognize and properly address cases of human trafficking, creating a network of support for women in Southeast Asia. Somaly’s life-changing work has not gone unrecognized: she has been honored as a Glamour Woman of the Year, one of TIME Magazine’s 100 People of the Year, one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women, and received recognition from the US Department of State.
Somaly Mam has dedicated her life’s work to saving victims, building shelters and programs for healing, and empowering survivors to become agents of change. Though her family has encountered terrifying death threats and violence, Somaly has maintained remarkable resilience in the face of danger. Asked why she continues to fight in the face of such fierce and frightening opposition, Somaly resolutely responds, “I don’t want to go without leaving a trace.”
Somaly and her team have rescued women and children from exploitation and abuse and assisted them on a journey to health, hope, and economic independence. She has left a trace in the life of thousands and continues to encourage survivors to become advocates of next-generation change.
Learn more and support Somaly Mam’s work at www.somaly.org
Dame Carol Kidu DBE MPTeacher and PNG Politician
Dame Carol Kidu, (a teacher by profession) was first elected to Parliament in Papua New Guinea in 1997 and retired in the 2012 election. Between 2002 and 2012, she was the only woman in the 109 member Papua New Guinea Parliament and ended her political life as the Leader of the Opposition after a six month political impasse and Constitutional crisis.
She was the Minister for Community Development from 2002 until August 2011 and has been described as a “visionary reformer” because of her commitment to transform legislative and policy frameworks for social development in Papua New Guinea communities as they interface with Western society. She has championed integrated community development policies with a special focus on social justice for marginalised groups. In addition to her Ministerial work, she established the Parliamentary Committee on HIV in 2003 and the PNG Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PNG PPD) in 2008.
Dame Kidu has been awarded three Honorary Doctorates; the Imperial Award of Dame of the British Empire; the PNG International Woman of Courage Award by the Secretary of State of the United States of America; Pacific Person of the Year in 2007; the Regional Rights Resource Team Pacific Human Rights Award for her contribution to promoting the rights of Pacific Islanders; the Cross of Knight in the Order of the Legion d’Honneur of the Republic of France. These awards have been to recognise her commitment to improving the rights of marginalised or neglected groups such as women, the disabled, children, HIV positive people and indigenous minorities.
Dame Kidu’s international experience includes the Pacific representative on the Board of the Commonwealth of Learning; an international advisor on the Board of the Cairns Institute; a member of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, a regional member of the Pacific Leaders Green Growth initiative, a non resident Fellow of the Lowy Institute; and a member of the High Level Taskforce on ICPD 2014 and beyond.