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Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner to speak in Darwin

Elizabeth Broderick AO
Elizabeth Broderick AO will present this year’s Austin Asche Oration in Law and Governance

Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick AO will present the ninth Austin Asche Oration in Law and Governance on Thursday, 19 September at Parliament House in Darwin.

Ms Broderick’s oration is titled: “The journey of a restless advocate: Creating a more gender equal Australia?”

Ms Broderick said gender inequality was endemic not only in Australia, but in many other countries.

“It demonstrates itself in education, the professions, sport, business, religion, politics and industry.

“It goes to the heart of who we are and how we live.”

As Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, Ms Broderick worked to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men and to promote gender equality. In 2011, the Government appointed Ms Broderick to lead the Sex Discrimination Commission’s Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force. Four reports on the review were tabled in Parliament. 

Powerful statements made by Ms Broderick during her tenure as Sex Discrimination Commissioner included:

  • Gender equality is not a battle of the sexes, it’s a battle for equality, a battle that men and women must wage side-by-side. The empowerment of women is about the empowerment of humanity
  • Work and care should not sit at opposite ends of one hard choice
  • Inequality will affect those who have less power to a greater degree
  • We need to rewrite the rules when they perpetuate injustice
  • Gender equality is the unfinished business of the 21st century.

In her oration, Ms Broderick will discuss the state of gender equality in Australia and in the current global context. She will offer valuable lessons from her work driving change in many different environments.

Ms Broderick will illustrate the damage gender inequality does, how it is being addressed and further steps that everyone can take to deliver a more gender-equal nation.

Ms Broderick is a UN Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert on Discrimination Against Women. In 2016 she was appointed as a member of the Council of the Order of Australia, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia, and was named NSW Australian of the Year.

The oration honours the service of Austin Asche AC QC to the people of the Northern Territory and his contribution to the law, tertiary education and to the community. It is jointly hosted by CDU and the Australian Academy of Law.

The Austin Asche Oration in Law and Governance will be held on Thursday, 19 September from 5pm to 7pm at the Nitmiluk Lounge Level 4, Parliament House. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to E: or T: 8946 6554.