2019 Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture

2019 Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture

*Trigger Warning* This event contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. Support is available through 1800RESPECT.

On 24 October 1975, 90% of the women of Iceland held a mass day-off protest wage discrepancy and unfair employment practices. Within a year, Iceland had passed new laws guaranteeing equal pay.

More than forty years later, in late 2017 the #MeToo phenomenon exploded into our consciousness, as women shared their stories of sexual assault and harassment across social media platforms.

At the heart of the movement is an explosive rage that women continue to be exposed to unwelcome advances, discrimination and violence in all walks of life and a longing for the fulfilment of the promise of fairness and equality.

The stories were all too familiar to those of us who had worked towards improving a lot for professional women in law, medicine, sport, acting and the military. They were well recognised by those working with victims of family violence as symptoms of deeply entrenched behaviours and beliefs.

And yet, as horrible as these stories are, they have been insufficient to generate long-term change in our workplaces, our communities and in our homes, especially for vulnerable women. How do we harness the potency of the #MeToo movement to create real change?

About the speaker

Fiona McLeod SC is senior counsel practising at the Victorian Bar in public and commercial law.

She is the Chair of the Accountability Round Table, a former Co-Chair of the Open Government Forum and Chair of Transparency International.

Fiona is the chair of the International Bar Association Diversity Council. She is a Past President of the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association, and was Chair of the Victorian Bar and President of Australian Women Lawyers.

Ms McLeod has been recognised with numerous awards for excellence and leadership, for her work in supporting diversity and equality, the advancement of women and her work in pro bono and human rights matters including human trafficking. In 2018 she was awarded the Australian Woman Lawyer of the Year award.

Ms McLeod was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll for Women in 2014 and is a recipient of numerous professional awards including the prestigious inaugural Commonwealth Government Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award for her work representing victims of human trafficking, raising awareness and contributing to law reform and policy on this issue.

In 2019 Fiona was a candidate for Labor in the federal election.

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RSVP on or before Wednesday 21 August 2019 , by email lawfutures@griffith.edu.au

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