Trailblazing gender equality ambassador and pioneers and the next-gen of leaders will outline the next steps needed to reach gender equality in major ANU event.

The challenge for achieving gender equality is monumental. By some measures, it will take 131 years to reach full parity globally. And it will take a community to get there.

Stephanie Copus Campbell, Australia’s Ambassador for Gender Equality is well placed to advocate and outline a vision to achieving the elusive aim of gender parity both here in Australia and abroad.

In her role, she provides leadership on gender equality within the Australian Government and multilateral organisations.

Prior to her current role, Copus Campbell worked across the public, private and philanthropic sectors — including as a founding Director on the Femili PNG Board providing services to family and sexual violence survivors.

Copus Campbell will be talking about her experiences, her role as Ambassador and the challenges ahead when she delivers the 2024 Pamela Denoon Lecture at The Australian National University (ANU). The Pamela Denoon Lecture is a partnership between the Denoon Family, the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) and the ANU Gender Institute.

For Sally Moyle, Honorary Associate Professor at the ANU Gender Institute, the annual oration provides insights on challenges in the charge for gender equality.

“I think it’s going to be a very personal reflection by the Ambassador and I’m really looking forward to hearing her insights,” Moyle says.

Driving the current efforts for change

Moyle, who has worked to address gender issues in domestic and international development across government and NGOs says the lecture will inspire what’s next in the strides towards gender equality.

“The perspectives of feminism and the perspectives of anti-racist movement, the perspective of decolonisation — all of those perspectives are leading towards the same direction,” Moyle says.

“I use the vehicle of feminism, but we’re all driving in the same direction to create a more just and equal society.”.

One of the methods to drive towards a more just society has been applying the concept of a gender lens.

“A gender lens means always asking questions about, whatever area you’re working in, what are the gender implications of that area,” Moyle says.

As an example, Moyle points to the notion of all-male panels — or ‘manels’ — event panels and discussions that do not include the voices of women.

“Sometimes, it is the small things in life that matter and can contribute to or detract from equality and justice for all of us,” she says.

Continuing a pioneer’s legacy

The lecture honours the memory of Pamela Denoon, a champion of women’s rights whose bequest led to the creation of the lecture series and allowed the development of the NFAW.

Pamela Denoon was a feminist and the National Coordinator of Women’s Electoral Lobby in the 1980s, the organisation that contributed to the landmark Sex Discrimination Act.

“The lecture is a direct line between Pamela’s feminist activism, her bequests and the continuation of civil society and feminist movement in Australia,” Moyle says.

Next-gen leaders

For Moyle, the lecture series represents a continuation of the community and exchange of ideas represented by the feminist movement.

“Often, young people — and I was the same when I was young — see these people like the Ambassador who’ve got this position of authority, they’re senior people in the community, and go, ‘how do I ever find myself in that situation? I can never be that’,” she says.

“I remember that feeling. But one of the great things about the feminist movement is that it’s based on sisterhood — women helping each other.

“Almost every feminist I know has always got plenty of time for young people, to talk to people and support them with ideas and directions for the way forward.

Following the lecture, a panel of young activists and researchers will pose questions of the Ambassdor.

“So I encourage everyone to come along to this year’s lecture and begin that exchange and learning process — helping younger people to figure out where their passion lies and where they want to go.”

The Pamela Denoon Lecture takes place at 6pm, Wednesday 27 March at ANU. Register at this link:

Top image: Young people heading to a women’s protest in Sydney. Photo: Holli/

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