Fiona Armstrong is a health professional, journalist and public policy expert whose main interests lie in health and climate policy. Fiona is the founder of the charity the Climate and Health Alliance, a national coalition of healthcare stakeholders with a common agenda to raise awareness about the links between climate change, health and environmental degradation. She is a co-founder and director of the not for profit CLIMARTE: Arts for a Safe Climate which encourages and supports artists to communicate about climate change. She also has a background in health reform advocacy and is the immediate past Chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance.
Jody Broun Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
A Yindjibarndi woman from the Pilbara, Jody Broun has dedicated herself to the service of Australia’s First Peoples in her 25 year career, spending much of that time in senior public service positions. She has been the Executive Director of Aboriginal Housing and Infrastructure at the Department of Housing and Works (WA), Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment(WA), Executive Director of Policy and Coordination at the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority (WA) and Director General of the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
Jody is also a well-known and respected artist. She explores the stories of her family and country in her art and was the winner of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Art Award in 1998 and the Canberra Art Award in 2005.
Kimberly Dark is the author of five award-winning solo performances, three educational theatre performances and a wide range of interactive lectures and workshops that use storytelling, humor and spoken word performance to help audiences address issues they may think they don’t want to discuss. In particular, Dark’s writing focuses on the body in culture – and on the contours of privilege and oppression in our everyday lives. Whether in print, on stage or in the classroom, her themes include LGBT lives, feminism, fat and body image, race, class and the social construction of gender. She is a regular contributor to Ms. Magazine blog and writes a monthly column (Mommy Queerest) for mamablogger365. Her quarterly newsletter, including the advice column on confronting stereotype and oppression titled “What do I say when…?” is read by thousands.
Her poetry and prose appear in a variety of publications, most recently Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (ed. Tovar, Seal Press 2012), So to Speak: A journal of Language and Art (2012), The Whistling Fire (2011), Ragazine (2011) and others. Her work has been discussed and reviewed by numerous scholars and recently merited a full chapter in Radulescu’s Women’s Comedic Art as Social Revolution (2012). Her poetry and performance scripts have also been published in academic journals such as User Driven Healthcare (2012) and Journal for Lesbian Studies (2010).
Dark teaches in a graduate program in Sociological Practice at Cal State San Marcos and occasionally in the Sociology Department at University of Hawaii, Hilo. She coordinates courses for the California State Summer Arts program, including courses in solo performance and memoir. Her shows have been twice named on Curve Magazine’s top ten performances of the year. Campus Pride listed Dark on the top 25 best-of-the-best college artists and speakers in 2010 and The Advocate newsmagazine profiled her in 2011 as one of the six best campus speakers on LGBT issues in America.
Dr Gill Greer
Since July 2012, Gill has been the CEO of Volunteer Service Abroad, New Zealand. She serves on the Board of Woman Care Global (UK/USA) and Canada’s Action for Population and Development-a Canadian Human Rights NGO. This year she was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to international health and women’s rights. Her recent work includes two major reports on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Asia–Pacific.
From 2006-2011 Gill was Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world's largest international sexual and reproductive health NGO, supporting community owned organisations in 172 countries to deliver over 90 million services, advocacy and education. Highlights included the development and implementation of IPPF’s Declaration of Sexual Rights, and working with NGOs, governments, and UN Agencies to advocate for health and human rights at national, regional and global levels.
Previously Gill was Executive Director of the Family Planning Association of New Zealand, and involved in international and regional advocacy and training initiatives, including chairing the Asia Pacific Alliance, and the Ministry of Health NGO Forum. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to family planning and literature in 2005. From 1996-1998 Gill was Assistant Vice Chancellor at Victoria University of Wellington, following periods as university Liaison Officer, Director of Student Services and as a teacher.
Associate Professor Toni Schofield
Professor Schofield is based in the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney. Her work in social and policy research in health began in the mid 1980s when she co-authored the first health sociology text book for Australian university students (Russell and Schofield 1986). At the same time, Professor Schofield began researching and publishing in women’s health, including her doctoral study that explored the social and policy dimensions of maternity services development in NSW.
In 1990, following the first National Women’s Health Policy, with Caroline Alcorso she was commissioned by OSW in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to research and write the first National Non English Speaking Background (NESB) Women’s Health Strategy (Alcorso and Schofield 1991). This project generated several Commonwealth Government funded studies that Professor Schofield conducted to investigate major issues in NESB women’s health (for example, Clapham et al. 1992; Schofield et al. 1993). Her expertise in women’s health (Schofield 1998) lead to her appointment by the WHO (Kobe ) Centre as rapporteur for an international forum to advance research, policy and practice in gender sensitive medicine in Japan in 2003. She was also invited by the WHO to address this subject at an international women’s health workshop the following year in Tanzania, Africa.
With the emergence of the men’s health movement, in collaboration with Professor Raewyn Connell, Professor Schofield was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to produce a report and research agenda on men’s health in Australia (Connell et al. 1999). Based on this work, she and her colleagues launched internationally their “gender relations approach” to understanding policy, research and practice in men’s health (Schofield et al. 2000).
Awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant for 2001-2003 to investigate gender equity and democratic participation in the NSW public sector with Professor Connell, Professor Schofield developed a “gender regimes” approach to understanding gender dynamics in public institutions, particularly in relation to policy (Schofield and Goodwin 2005). This work contributed to the further advancement of the gender-relations approach to understanding gender, health and health care (Schofield 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). In recognition of her contribution to the field of gender and health studies, in 2011 the Canadian Health Department invited Professor Schofield to address a national forum on men’s health policy. In 2012, at a two-day conference sponsored by the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Equality and the Gender Studies Centre at Umea University, Sweden, she was invited to deliver a series of lectures and to conduct several workshops on theorising gender and health.
Professor Schofield is also engaged in two other ARC funded research and publication projects examining social and policy dimensions of health, including OHS prosecution and deterrence of workplace injuries/deaths (Schofield et al. 2009; Jamieson et al. 2010); and university students’ alcohol use and harm minimisation within a context of multi-institutional policy and practice. A further project involves her leadership of a collaboration with Indigenous students and staff at the University of Sydney in producing the first edited collection of post-graduate Indigenous research in Australia.
Professor Gita Sen
Gita Sen has 35 years of experience working nationally and internationally on population policies, reproductive and sexual health, gender equality and women’s human rights. Her work has ranged widely spanning poverty, population policies, human development, labour markets, and women’s health. A citizen of India, Sen holds a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. She is a professor of public policy at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India, and adjunct professor of global health and population at Harvard University. She is a founder and member of the Executive Committee of DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era).
Sen’s national and international work has helped to shape the global paradigm shift on population policies and programs, and to advance gender equality and women’s health through a variety of positions, and with a number of partners – governments, multilateral and bilateral organizations, private foundations, and civil society. She is currently a member of UNFPA’s High Level Task Force for ICPD Beyond 2014, and of WHO’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on Reproductive Health and Research, and is Co-Chair of PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Gender Equality and Health. In India, she is a member of the Mission Steering Group for the National Rural Health Mission, and the Governing Board of the National Health Systems Resource Centre. She was also a member of the recent High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Care set up by the Indian Planning Commission.
As co-coordinator of the Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network for WHO’s Commission of the Social Determinants of Health, she was responsible for developing a global report on women’s health (Unequal, Unfair, Ineffective and Inefficient – Gender Inequity in Health: Why It Exists and How We Can Change It?). As a member of the Millennium Project’s Taskforce on Gender Equality, she was an advocate for the importance of reproductive health and women’s health and empowerment for the realization of the MDGs. She was the first Chairperson of the World Bank’s External Gender Consultative Group, set up after the Beijing conference. She has served on the Governing Board of UNRISD, and is on the Governing Council of the UN University.
She has published extensively on reproductive health and population policies, and on gender equity in health. Her publications include Gender Equity in Health: the Shifting Frontiers of Evidence and Action (Routledge, 2010); Engendering International Health: The Challenge of Equity (The MIT Press, 2002); Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Processes – Moving Beyond Cairo (Oxford University Press/IUSSP, 2000); and Population Policies Reconsidered: Health, Empowerment and Rights (Harvard University Press 1994). Her combination of advocacy, practical experience, activism and analysis has resulted in a number of awards and honors, including the Volvo Environment Prize for her work on women, population and development, and honorary doctorates from the University of East Anglia, the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), the Open University (UK), and the University of Sussex.
Dr Eman Sharobeem
Eman Sharobeem has been an active advocate of migrants and refugees since 1987
Currently Eman is the manager of Immigrant Women’s Health Service (IWHS), member of NSW Premier’s Council on Preventing Violence Against Women, Commissioner of Community Relation Commission NSW, Co-Convener of Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network (IRWN), Chairwoman of Non English Speaking Women’s Housing (NESH), Chairperson of Macarthur/Liverpool Regional Advisory Council and a Member of the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS).
Internationally Eman was a member of the UN task force/ Micro finance in Egypt, USA Education treaties with the Middle East and General Manager of the Department of International Relations of the National Council for Women/ Egypt.
Eman is a co-author of the “HIV AIDS Epidemic in the Arabic Community” and co-author of “Fairfield Community Cookbook”.
Eman has presented several papers nationally and internationally in the fields of women’s empowerment, Forced and arranged marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), domestic violence impact on migrant and refugee women, and Micro Enterprises as a form of women’s empowerment.
Her passion to community engagement and harmony was clearly indicated in the number of successful projects aimed at many small and minority groups in NSW which captured the attention of the ethnic and mainstream media as well.
Eman is a Doctor of Psychology and has a Master of Social Science, Bachelor of Business Administration and a Diploma in Community Organisations.
Adjunct Professor Gracelyn Smallwood James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland
Gracelyn has worked as an activist in Human Rights and Indigenous well-being for over 40 years. She completed her PhD – titled Human Rights and First Australians Wellbeing - from JCU in 2011. She is a registered nurse and also has a Masters in Science-HIV Education in Indigenous Communities in North Queensland. Gracelyn has been the recipient of a number of awards including Queensland Aboriginal of the Year (1986); an Order of Australia medal (1992) for service to public health, particularly HIV AIDS education; in 1994 she was the first Indigenous woman and non-paediatrician to receive the Henry Kemp Memorial Award at the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and a Deadly Award for outstanding achievement in Indigenous Health (2007).
She has worked throughout Australia as a nurse, midwife and has developed special expertise in relation to HIV-AIDs and has lectured at international and national conferences and universities both in Australia and overseas. Last year she was a Keynote Speaker at the International Association for Critical Realism 15th Annual Conference 2012, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Gracelyn is currently an Adjunct Professor at James Cook University.
Professor Jane Ussher
Jane M Ussher is Professor of Women’s Health Psychology, at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. She has published widely on the construction and lived experience of health, in particular women’s mental health, the reproductive body and sexuality. She is editor of the Routledge Women and Psychology book series and is author of a number of books, including The Psychology of the Female Body (Routledge), Women’s Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness? (Harvester Wheatsheaf), Fantasies of Femininity: Reframing the Boundaries of Sex (Penguin), Managing the Monstrous Feminine: Regulating the Reproductive Body (Routledge), and ‘The Madness of Women: Myth and Experience’ (Routledge).
Ambassador Penny Williams Global Ambassador for Women and Girls
The Global Ambassador for Women and Girls is responsible for high-level advocacy to promote Australian Government policies and activity regarding gender equality and the social, political and economic empowerment of women and girls, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Ambassador works closely with foreign governments and international organisations to support measures that: eradicate violence against, and trafficking of, women and girls; promote better educational and health outcomes; protect women and girls in conflict and promote the role of women in peace-building; eliminate discrimination; and enhance the participation of women in decision-making and leadership.Read more?
Ms Williams was appointed Australia's first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls on 13 September 2011. She also holds the position of Executive Director of the Australian Passport Office (APO).
Ms Williams has most recently been Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia (2007-10). She has held a number of positions in DFAT, including First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division (2005-07), First Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security, Information Management and Services Division (2004-05) and Assistant Secretary, Staffing Branch (2003-04). Overseas, Ms Williams has also served in Santiago and Damascus.
Ms Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Hons) from the Australian National University. She speaks Spanish, Indonesian and has studied Arabic. She is married and has four children.