Natasha Stott Despoja AO

Gender equality advocate and inaugural Chair of Our Watch

2022 SA Australian of the Year Nominee

Natasha Stott Despoja is the former leader of the Australian Democrats and Senator for South Australia, but today she uses her platform to advocate for gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls.

She’s the founding Chair of Our Watch, a national leader in the prevention of violence against women and their children. Over eight years, she’s worked tirelessly to embed gender equality in the lives of Australians to prevent violence – understanding that the two are inextricably linked.

Recognising these efforts, in November 2020, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women elected her as an independent expert for a four-year term – the first Australian in 28 years. The committee monitors the progress of UN member state’s efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.

Other roles she’s held include World Bank Gender Advisory Council member and Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. She’s also a non-executive director of several not-for-profit organisations.

Natasha is also an author. Her first book On Violence calls for societal change to prevent violence against women.