UN Women Australia Executive Director named 2013 ACT Young Australian of the Year

UN Women Australia last night welcomed news its Executive Director, Julie McKay has been recognised as ACT Young Australian of the Year.

Ms McKay has been the Executive Director of UN Women Australia (formerly UNIFEM Australia) since March 2007 when she was first appointed to the role at age 23.

As the first full time staff member of UN Women Australia, Julie has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the United Nations’ work to improve the lives of the millions of women struggling against poverty, violence and discrimination.

In her five years leading the organisation, more than $1 million has been raised for projects that directly affect the lives of women and girls in the developing world and hundreds of thousands of Australians have engaged with the UN Women Australia’s work.

“I am extremely honoured to be recognised as the 2013 ACT Young Australian of the Year” Ms McKay said.

“I am very humbled to have been nominated alongside some of ACT’s most outstanding young leaders and I hope that as the 2013 recipient I can be a champion for the great work and leadership bred in the nation’s capital.”

“Gender equality is an issue that affects us all. Women in Australia and around the world are experiencing violence, are living in poverty and are unable to access the many choices and freedoms which form part of their fundamental human rights. These women need our courage, commitment and our support. I hope that over the next 12 months, I am able to engage in a national debate about equality and how each of us can make a difference to the lives of women and girls.”


Julie McKay, 29, has held the position of Executive Director at UN Women Australia (formerly UNIFEM Australia) since March 2007, Julie has overseen many campaigns to raise awareness of gender equality issues. She has previously also been the National Campaign Manager for the White Ribbon Campaign.

As a young professional, Julie advocates on key issues affecting women including women’s leadership, pay equity, political participation and violence against women. With experience in both the corporate and NGO sectors Julie actively works to support strong partnerships between the community, the private sector and government.

Julie was the Australian Institute of Management’s Young Manager of the Year in 2010 and was named Telstra Young Business Woman of the year (ACT) in 2011. Julie sits on the Steering Committee of the Australian Institute of Management ACT, the UN Association of Australia and the YWCA of Canberra. In 2012, Julie was also appointed to the Australian Defence Force Gender Advisory Board.

Adding to her experience, Julie has recently completed her Executive MBA at the University of Sydney, with a Scholarship for Excellence in NGO Leadership. During her EMBA, Julie studied at Stanford, London Business School and the Indian Institute of Management. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from ANU and Bachelor’s degrees in Business.