Annie Zaidi is the author of Gulab, Love Stories # 1 to 14, and Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, which was short-listed for the prestigious Vodafone Crossword Book Awards (non-fiction, 2010). She also co-authored 'The Good Indian Girl', a series of inter-linked narratives that traces young women's lives and liberties. She has published a book of illustrated poems, Crush.
She is the editor 'Unbound: 2000 Years of Indian Women's Writing', a multi-genre anthology of select extracts from some of the most significant texts written by Indian women, and of 'Equal Halves'.
She also writes scripts for screen and stage. 'Jaal' and 'So Many Socks' were produced and the latter script was nominated for the prestigious META awards. Her script 'Name, Place, Animal, Thing' was short-listed for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award, and the script for a radio play, 'Jam', was the regional (South Asia) winner for the BBC’s International Playwriting Competition 2011.
Zaidi works as a filmmaker too. Her documentary film, 'In her Words: The Journey of Indian Women', traces the lives and struggles of women as reflected in their literature.
Deb Kilroy OAM
After her release from prison in 1992, Debbie Kilroy established Sisters Inside to fight for the human rights of incarcerated women and girls and to address gaps in services available to them and their children. Since then, Debbie has completed five tertiary degrees – in social work, forensic mental health and law. She was the first and only former prisoner to be admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland opening her own legal practice in 2013 focussing on advocacy for the human and legal rights for people charged with criminal offences.
As CEO of Sisters Inside, Debbie works at the coalface of human rights activism and her eloquent advocacy to highlight the over-representation of women and girls, particularly Aboriginal women and girls, in Australia’s prisons has earned her many accolades. She has spearheaded a long list of ground-breaking programs which have broken the cycle of imprisonment. Overcoming her own personal obstacles to rebuild a life that is lived in service to others Debbie works long and hard to improve the circumstances of the powerless, the voiceless and the disadvantaged.
Debbie was awarded the Order of Australia in 2003 for her tireless work with criminalised and imprisoned women and girls and the Australian Human Rights Award in 2004. In 2013 Debbie was awarded as the Churchill Fellow for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia and in 2016 celebrated as the Australian of the Year Finalist (Qld) and was appointed to the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.
Femeconomy - Jade Collins and Alanna Bastin-Byrne
Alanna Bastin-Byrne and Jade Collins are the founders of Femeconomy. Women make 85% of purchase decisions. In Australia it is estimated that women spent $818 billion in the 2016-17 financial year. Femeconomy uses consumer activism to progress gender equality by unlocking the power of the purse. If women buy from B2C and B2B brands that have women in leadership, women will impact bottom lines. This leads to more women in leadership to advance gender equality. It’s The Femeconomy Effect.
Companies with female leaders are more profitable, which means more opportunity for everyone. They are also less likely to have a gender pay gap, which equals more money for the whole family. Female lead companies are more likely to have workplace flexibility, which helps women and men.
Femeconomy approved companies have at least 30% female board directors or 50% female ownership. Approximately 2000 brands are listed on Femeconomy and over 800 receive Femeconomy’s approval. This approach directly supports top down strategies to improve gender equality on leadership teams. Any business who meets Femeconomy’s approval criteria can choose to submit their brand.
Female consumers habitually shop 10 brands. Take the Femeconomy Pledge. Make sure your top 10 have Femeconomy’s badge of approval and you will progress gender equality with every purchase.
Jane Caro is an author, novelist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer, documentary maker and social commentator.
She has published nine books, including two novels “Just a Girl” and “Just a Queen” about Elizabeth Tudor and a memoir “Plain Speaking Jane”. ‘Just Flesh & Blood’ the third and final book in the Tudor trilogy will be published in 2018. She is currently working on a book about women over 50 for MUP.
She appears in the media often including on Agony, Q&A, The Drum, Sunrise & Weekend Sunrise. In 2013 she co-created and presented a 6 part radio series for ABC Life Matters - ‘For Better, For Worse’, now a 5 part TV series for ABC Compass. In 2016, her second series with Compass “Mum’s Boy, Dad’s Girl” went to air. In 2017, Compass broadcast her third series “The Staffroom”. She writes regular columns for ‘Sunday Life’ and ‘Leadership Matters’.
Jasvinder Sanghera CBE
Born and brought up in Derby, England Jasvinder, a survivor of a forced marriage, founded Karma Nirvana, a British award-winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages.
A highly acclaimed international speaker and an expert advisor to the courts in matters of child, civil and criminal proceedings, chair of domestic homicide reviews Jasvinder was instrumental in ensuring that all UK police forces are required to improve their understanding of honour-based abuse and forced marriage by inspections conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Her memoir ‘Shame’ was a Times Top 10 Bestseller. Jasvinder is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain with her work recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious Woman of the Year 2007, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Derby in 2008, the Pride of Britain Award in 2009 and was named Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year in 2010. In 2011 she was listed in the Guardian's top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World, received the Global Punjabi Award in 2012 and was awarded Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution for the victims of forced marriage and honour-based abuse. In 2014 Jasvinder was awarded UK Legal Campaigner of the Year and in 2016 she received the International Woman Award for human rights from the Italian media.
On 21 May 2016, Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala became the first Sri Lankan (male or female), to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In recognition of this accomplishment, and her professional career as a feminist, women’s rights activist over the past 14 years, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs appointed her the first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for Women’s Rights. She is also Goodwill Ambassador for ‘Think Equal’ – a global campaign which seeks to teach three to five year olds emotional intelligence, including values of equality, empathy and respect for diversity.
Jayanthi holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Sussex. As her journey to Everest has combined two of the things she’s most passionate about - gender equality and mountaineering – she continues to use the public platform that she has now received to challenge gender stereotypes and promote the rights of women and girls at every opportunity.
Jude Kelly has been the Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London for over 10 years. Southbank Centre is Europe’s largest Arts Institution and London’s 3rd biggest tourist attraction, and includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery over 21 acres.
Jude is the recipient of an Olivier Award for her production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at The National Theatre, a BASCA Gold Badge Award winner for contribution to music, a Southbank Award for her opera work, Red Magazine’s 2014 Creative Woman of the Year, CBIs 2016 First Woman Award winner for Tourism and Leisure and in 2017 won the inaugural Veuve Clicquot Woman of the Year Social Purpose Award.
She created the WOW - Women of the World Festival in 2011 which celebrates the achievements of Women and Girls. WOW is now entering its 7th year at Southbank Centre as well as taking place in other parts of the UK and 20 countries in 5 continents across the world.
She founded Battersea Arts Centre, Solent People's Theatre and was the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. She has directed over 100 theatrical and operatic productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Châtalet in Paris. In 1997, she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre and in 2015 she was made a CBE for services to the Arts.
She is a regular broadcaster and commentator on a range of issues relating to society, art and education.
June Oscar AO
June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberly region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD .
She was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990) and was a winner of the 100 Women of Influence 2013 in the Social Enterprise and Not For Profit category. In 2015 June received the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with FASD.
June has a Bachelor's Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PhD. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee.
In February 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University.
June will begin her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on April 3, 2017.
Kate Jenkins became Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in 2016. Kate is leading a number of projects at the Australian Human Rights Commission, including the recently released report on the results of the national survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault at university, the Commission’s fourth sexual harassment prevalence survey and continuing the Commission’s collaborative project on cultural reform with the Australian Defence Force.
Kate is the convener of the National Male Champions of Change group (established 2015), and the Co-Chair of Play by the Rules, a joint project between human rights agencies and sports commissions to make grass roots sports safe, fair and inclusive.
Prior to joining the Commission, Kate spent three years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. In that role she held an Independent Review into Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, including Predatory Behaviour, in Victoria Police. She was also the Co-Chair of the Victorian Commission’s Disability Reference Group and a member of the Aboriginal Justice Forum.
Kate spent 20 years as lead partner with Herbert Smith Freehills’ and 15 years on the board of Berry Street Victoria.
An Arts/Law honours graduate, Kate is on the boards of the Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Carlton Football Club.
Kate was recognised in the 2015 AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for her work in public policy.
Kate grew up on a family orchard in outer Melbourne. She lives Melbourne with her family, which includes her husband Ken, their 2 children and her 3 stepchildren.
Senator Kim Pate
Kim Pate was appointed to the Senate of Canada on November 10, 2016. First and foremost, she is the mother of Michael and Madison, is also a nationally renowned advocate spending the last 36 years working in and around the Canadian legal and penal systems, with and on behalf of some of the most marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized, particularly imprisoned youth, men and women.
A 1984 Graduate from Dalhousie Law School in 1984 Senator Pate was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies January 1992 - November 2016. She has developed and taught Prison Law, Human Rights and Social Justice and Defending Battered Women on Trial courses at the Universities of Ottawa, Saskatchewan and Dalhousie University and, in 2014 and 2015 occupied the Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.
Widely credited as the driving force behind the Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, headed by Justice Louise Arbour Senator Pate supported women as they aired their experiences during the inquiry, acting as a critical resource and witness in the Inquiry itself.
Senator Pate is a member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Canadian Bar Association’s Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award, and five honorary doctorates (Law Society of Upper Canada, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, St. Thomas University and Wilfred Laurier University).
A graduate of the BA Hons. Design programme at Goldsmiths College, University of London (2013)
Millicent owns Millicent Designs, a company established in the Solomon Islands (2015) specializing in multi-‐disciplinary design (specifically Communications/Humanitarian Design).
Growing up in the impoverished masses of Jakarta (Indonesia) and the United Kingdom with a Solomon Islands (SI) heritage, her passion has always been creating transcendental designs where she can amalgamate the cultures in which she has been brought up.
As part of Millicent’s ‘design for social good’ initiative at University, she spent one year exploring ‘Kastom Stori Taem’ (Custom Story Time - KST) the traditional SI oral culture, as an initiative intended to revive and preserve the diminishing traditional oral culture; by finding a way in which Kastom Storis can transcend and infiltrate into modernity and expose the rich SI heritage to the world.
As part of Millicent Designs, Millicent specializes in communications using the structures and ethos of KST in infographics as a way to effectively communicate and translate complex information to people in the rural areas. KST was used with great success in the SI 2014 General Elections. Currently KS structures are being used as part of communications for United Nations Development Projects and campaigns for women and youth empowerment as well as a strategy contributing towards resolving landowner issues for the Tina Hydro Dam Project.
In August 2017 Millicent partnered up with Bridge (Australian-based company) trading as SOLBRIDGE Ltd to offer solid waste solutions for the Solomon Islands.
Natasha Stott Despoja AM
Natasha Stott Despoja AM is the founding Chair of Our Watch (the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children). She was Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013 – 2016) responsible for the promotion of women’s economic empowerment, women’s leadership and the reduction of violence against women and girls. Natasha is a member of the World Bank Gender Advisory Council, is on the UN High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents.
The youngest woman ever, at 26, to enter the Australian Federal Parliament, Natasha is a former Senator for South Australia (1995-2008) and former Leader of the Australian Democrats - the longest-serving Democrat Senator in the party’s history.
In 2001, she was made a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and 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 has served on numerous Boards including beyondblue (Deputy Chair), is a member of the Australian Privacy Foundation Advisory Board, a Director on Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies for Brain Cancer Board and is a member of the Global Women's Institute Leadership Council.
She has also been Patron or Ambassador for several not-for-profit groups, including The Orangutan Project, secondbite, Ovarian Cancer Australia, and ENUF the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Executive Producer-Director femLINKpacific; Board Chair for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and the Co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women. She is a founding board member for the Asia Pacific region of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and a Global Ambassador of the Global Media Monitoring Project.
She has been a UN civil society advisor on Women, Peace and Security between 2010 - 2015 advising on progress on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security)
Sharon is passionate about sustaining a regional women-led media network which has been at the heart of her work, particularly to progress commitments to women's peace and human security including UNSCR1325 and the support femLINK provided for the development and adoption of the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2012-2015).
Since femLINK launched Fiji and the Pacific's first women-led community radio station in 2004 Sharon has supported a core group of diverse young women and rural producers, as well as women with disabilities, to produce media content for a range of media platforms.
Sharon is therefore also passionate about the need to support women-led innovation with Media and ICTs including tackling the ICT policy environment if needed to make this more enabling and accessible, to amplify gender inclusive conflict prevention and Human Security such as femLINK’s Women's Weather Watch information-communication system.
Winnifred Kyei Selby
A student of Central University, an alumina of Cambridge University Leading for Change Executive Education and Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Winnifred is a multi-talented young social entrepreneur who has been dedicating her life to the economic empowerment of young people in her community.
Identified in 2014 by Forbes as one of the social entrepreneurs in Africa to watch, Winnifred co-founded the award-winning Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative and is President of the EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative, her charitable project dedicated to promote education in Ghana.
Creating a team of dedicated young social entrepreneurs and supporters working to overcome daily challenges and creating new commodities and markets for young people, Winnifred consistently demonstrates her personal value of making a difference by using her talents to help others and her passion for empowering young people to be successful.
She is an Anzisha Prize Fellow, World Economic Forum Global shaper, winner of the World of Children Award, the 2015 Dubai International Award and the 2016 New African Woman in Science, Technology and Innovation Award.
A recipient of the 2017 Queen’s Young Leader Award which recognises and celebrates exceptional young people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth Winnifred received her award from Her Majesty the Queen at the Buckingham Palace.
sits on the boards of the Dawadawa Impact Investment Fund and the SHE Scholarships Fund of the EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative.