Natasha Stott Despoja AO is the founding Chair of Our Watch (the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children). She is also a former Senator for South Australia (1995-2008) and former Leader of the Australian Democrats. She is the youngest woman to enter the Australian Federal Parliament. She served as Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013-2016).
In November 2020, she was elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
In May 2018, she was named one of the Top 100 Global Influencers on Gender Policy.
She is the author of On Violence, published in March 2019.
Natasha served two years on the World Bank Gender Advisory Council (2015-2017) and was a member of a 2017 UN High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents.
In 2011, Natasha was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Parliament, education and as a role model for women. In 2019, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.
In 2001, she was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
Natasha is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at The University of Adelaide. She is a member of the Australian National University Council, the Global Citizen Women’s Council, Broad Agenda 50:50 by 2030 Advisory Group, the George Washington Global Women’s Leadership Council and was member of the successful FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Steering Committee.
She is a non-executive Director of Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer, Global Citizen and The Australian Ballet. She is a former Deputy Chair of beyondblue and has been a board member of the Burnet Institute, the South Australian Museum (2009-2013), the Advertising Standards Board (2008-2013) and the Museum of Australian Democracy (2010-2013). She was on the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council (2015-2017).
She is/has been, a Patron or Ambassador for several not-for-profit groups, including The Orangutan Project, VicHealth, secondbite, Ovarian Cancer Australia, ENUF the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign, Girls Takeover Parliament, the Fay Gale Centre and Action Aid.
She has been an international election monitor in countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, Cambodia and Kenya (2017).
In 2015, she was awarded the South Australian Award for Excellence in Leadership; she was a finalist in the 2017 AFR Women of Influence Awards; is one of South Australia’s “100 Most Inspiring Women of All Time”, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Adelaide. In April, 2019, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by The University of South Australia.