International Women’s Day Speakers announced

UN Women NC Australia are delighted to announce speakers for our International Women’s Day (IWD) events.

In 2016, the focus of our events is the elimination of violence against women and girls. Violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive violations of human rights, one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to peace and development. Women in the Pacific face an epidemic of violence within their relationships and their homes. Shockingly, two out of three Pacific women experience violence from a husband or partner.

We are pleased to welcome Sister Lorraine Garasu, Mr Tura Lewai, Dr Susan Harris Rimmer and Elizabeth Broderick to speak at our events.

Our speakers work across our region, in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia to champion the rights of women and to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Tura Lewai is a Fiji national, an activist for women’s rights and the only representative from Oceania who is a member of the UN Secretary Generals Network of Male Leaders. Tura works actively to address men and boys attitudes that perpetuate violence against women and works with the UN’s Partners for Prevention (P4P) program that provides new knowledge and technical support to prevent gender-based violence in the region.

“Men don’t punch the first person they meet, they wait until they get home. That’s not about anger, that’s about power… the more people realize this, the less excuses they can make for perpetrators”. 

Tura will be speaking at events in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Sister Lorraine is the head of the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and a courageous counsellor and advocate.  The Centre works to reduce violence against women by providing integrated support services to women and children and by building non-violent communities, including engaging men and boys through education to prevent and reduce ongoing violence.

“I made a decision to start this Centre, so that we could have women and children coming—and also men and boys—to get help because they were so traumatised…   We found there was so much violence and no way to help people recover and heal.” 

Sister Lorraine will be speaking at events in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Dr Susan Harris Rimmer is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor at Griffith University Law School. Sue has a track record in influencing government to adopt progressive policy ideas, including the creation of the position of the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, and in 2014 she was named one of the Westpac and Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in the Global category.

“Let’s consider the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than 1 billion women and girls… this fact deserves a serious policy response.” 

Susan will be speaking at the event in Brisbane.

Elizabeth Broderick is the Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and a global advocate for women’s human rights. Elizabeth is Global Co-Chair of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group, a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women; and a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development. Elizabeth was the overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014, and NSW Australian of the Year in 2016.

“I will use my influence to create a world where a woman’s value does not decrease because of another’s inability to see her worth, a world where vulnerability transitions into power, where difference is celebrated, where leadership is shared equally and where each half of humanity respects and embraces the other half. How will you use yours?”

Elizabeth will be speaking at the event in Sydney.



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