The annual GEN VIC Under the Radar forum looks at invisible systems and institutions of sexism and misogyny that affect Victorian women.
This forum is designed to build the capacity of practitioners, researchers, advocates and policy makers to work towards a more gender equitable Victoria.
This year we will be taking a critical look at three key issues, hearing from local, interstate and international experts on:
- Tackling gendered cyberhate and misogyny online: taking an intersectional approach
- Gender and Disaster: intersectional perspectives and racism during COVID-19
- Shaking up the system: addressing institutional sexism in the legal industry
Our Keynote speaker is Khara Jabola-Carolus, Executive Director of Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women.
Khara Jabola-Carolus is the Executive Director of the Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women, a government agency in the United States dedicated to restoring the venerated status of women, femme-identified and non-binary people.
Khara will be talking about Hawaii’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for COVID19 which she oversaw. The Plan, Building Bridges not Walking on Backs, recognises that COVID19 presents an opportunity to build a system that is capable of gender equality, that has the capacity to reassess and fundamentally change the way women’s work is valued and compensated.
P.N. This is a free event for GEN VIC members
Our speakers include:
Dr Adele Murdolo, Chief Executive Officer, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
Adele is the Executive Director at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, Victoria’s migrant and refugee women’s health centre. Adele has a background in feminist research, a PhD in history and women’s studies and has specific expertise in intersectionality, violence against women and women’s health. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Head of Indigenous Studies, Macquarie University
Bronwyn is Head of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. She was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Indigenous grant in 2013 for research on Aboriginal identity and community online and a second ARC in 2016 for research on Indigenous help-seeking on social media. In 2019 she was awarded a third consecutive ARC grant, specifically focusing on Indigenous experiences of online violence. Bronwyn is the author of The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today? (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2016), which includes a chapter on identity and community on social media. She is widely published on the topic of Indigenous cultural, social and political engagements on social media including co-editing and contributing to two special issues; the Australasian Journal of Information Systems (2017) on “Indigenous Activism on Social Media’ and Media International Australia (2018) on “Indigenous Innovation on Social Media.” She established the international research network, The Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence (FIRE) and is the founding and managing editor of the Journal of Global Indigeneity.
Caitlin McGrane, Enhancing Online Safety for Women Project Lead, GEN VIC
Caitlin is a feminist researcher and activist. Her doctoral research investigates how women’s smartphone uses and practices can have positive effects on their lives, challenging normative and misogynistic notions of women’s communications. She leads Gender Equity Victoria’s (GEN VIC) ‘Enhancing Online Safety for Women’ project advocating for better support and conditions for women working in media. In 2018-2019 she worked with GEN VIC to design a toolkit and a series of videos encouraging prosocial bystander actions on social media to challenge online harassment. She has worked on projects with the Victorian Trades Hall Council Women’s Team building an online resource to supplement their Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace training package. Her previous research has explored how witnessing anti-feminist harassment can affect individuals’ willingness to participate in online spaces and their willingness to publicly identify as feminist.
Celeste Liddle, Arrernte Woman, Opinion Writer, Trade Unionist and Public Speaker
Celeste is an Arrernte woman, an opinion writer, a trade unionist and public speaker. Celeste started her blog Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist in June 2012. A mere six weeks after she started it, Celeste had a piece picked up for publication by Daily Life and since then has written for a number of publications. Celeste is currently a columnist for Eureka Street and a freelancer for a number of other publications. Celeste Liddle is also an accomplished panelist and public speaker. She has appeared at the Bendigo Writers’ Festival, All About Women, Women of the World, Cherchez La Femme and a number of others. She has been a regular voice on radio as well, in particular giving comment to the National Indigenous Radio Service, CAAMA and ABC Radio National. In 2016, she delivered the International Women’s Day Address for the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre and also gave the Molly Hadfield Oration for the City of Darebin.
Associate Professor Fiona Martin, VP Research for the Journalism Education & Research Association, The University of Sydney
Associate Professor Fiona Martin researches digital journalism, dialogic technologies, and the uses, politics and regulation of online media. She is the author of Mediating the Conversation (Routledge, 2021), co-author of Sharing News Online (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) and co-author and editor of The Value of Public Service Media (Nordicom, 2014). She is a chief investigator on the ARC funded Discovery project Platform Governance: Rethinking internet regulation as media policy 2019-2022, the Facebook Content Policy Research on Social Media Platforms award: Regulating Hate Speech in the Asia Pacific and the UNESCO/International Centre for Journalists Online Harassment Project. Fiona is the Vice President Research of the Journalism Education & Research Association of Australia and an editorial board member of Digital Journalism.
Geraldine Atkinson, Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman and Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria
Geraldine is a proud Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman and Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. She was elected to the Assembly in November 2019 as a candidate from the North East Region. For over 40 years, Geraldine has been instrumental in driving government and policy reform in Aboriginal education. From starting in the field as an Aboriginal teacher’s aide in 1976, Geraldine moved forward to become the President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI), a role she has held since 1999. In that role she represents the organisation on Koorie education matters across all education sectors: early childhood, school education, and post compulsory education and training.
Jennifer Kanis, Social Justice Practice Partner, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Jennifer is a Principal Lawyer and leads Maurice Blackburn’s dedicated social justice practice. Based in Melbourne, Jennifer pro bono legal work includes advocacy, campaigning and relationship building to ensure the legacy of our clients’ cases extends beyond a legal outcome. Her team fights for the rights of everyday people across a range of issues including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, asylum seeker rights, challenges to corporate and government power, gender equality, LGBTIQ equality, protecting communities and environments and workers’ rights. Her cases have included an unlawful detention class action, representing refugees on Nauru to ensure they receive proper medical attention and representing women who have been sexually assaulted in immigration detention, taking on poker machines & supporting Indigenous people in South Australia who are fighting the potential placement of a nuclear waste dump on their land. Jennifer will be reflecting on her own gender equity practice and her firm’s engagement in the recent sexual harassment claims against former Justice of the High Court Dyson Heydon.
Professor Kim Rubenstein, Co-Director 50/50 Foundation, ANU
Kim is the Co-Director, Academic of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation Kim’s academic and professional reputation as a legal scholar and leading gender equity advocate is second to none. From 2006 – 2015 she served as Director of the Centre for International and Public Law at ANU, and was a founding Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute. She has completed two ARC Research Council grants, as Chief Investigator and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a listing in the Financial Review’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ for her work in public policy, and awarded the inaugural Edna Ryan award for ‘leading feminist changes in the public sphere.’ Kim is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She regularly appears in mainstream media, in both print and broadcast, with her extensive commentary on citizenship keenly sought and widely reported.
Michelle Marfurt, Manager of Policy & Regulatory Strategy, Victorian Legal Services Board and Commission
Michele is the manager of Policy & Regulatory Strategy Victorian Legal Services Board and Commission. Michelle’s team oversaw the 2019 Sexual Harassment survey of the Victorian Legal Profession, which found a staggering 36% of lawyers have experienced sexually harassing behaviour. Michele is a lawyer and legal policy expert, with experience working across the public sector. Michelle has significant regulatory, policy and legislative experience, having worked for various Victorian government regulators in her 15 year career with the Victorian Public Service.
Michelle Sheppard, Disruptive Influencer
Michelle Sheppard “Mama Mish” is a well-known advocate in the LGBTIQA+ community, a highly respected presenter, advocate, and trainer in the gender equity space using her disruptive influencing and own style of advocacy to help make change where it needs to be done. As a transgender woman, she appreciates the difficulties within the grey created by the gender divide and not only traverses them herself, she willing takes others on the ride with her. Some of her high profile engagements include JOY 94.9, AFL, ANZ, BMW, Transport Industry, and Channel 9 and she hopes that by having a high profile in various industries will pave the way for other transgender and gender diverse. She embodies dignity, grace and the change that is needed to make a positive difference in others’ lives, empowers women and challenges barriers to inclusion, discrimination, and harassment. In her most recent role with Level Crossings Removal Project, Michelle hopes to shape the Transport industry further as a safe, accepting and inclusive place where all people thrive as professionals.
Reem Yehdego, Community Builder, Organiser and Educator
As an active member of the Flemington and North Melbourne communities, Reem Yehedgo’s grassroots work is centred on principles of truth, care, justice, love and compassion. While her work focuses primarily on members of the Flemington and North Melbourne community, it is also intended to contribute to the work being done for the broader Black African diaspora. Reem’s work as a community builder seeks to collaborate, mobilise and nurture Black African communities in Narrm/Melbourne. Reem organised Victoria’s only 2013 People’s Hearing into Racism and Policing, in 2013. As a co-founder of IMARA advocacy, the hearing created a safe, multi-racial and generational space centred on Black womanhood empowered Indigenous, African, Pasifika and many other people to share and bare witness to accounts of police violence, neglect and degradation. Additionally, Reem is a graduate from RMIT University with first-class honours with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Social Sciences in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Su Robertson, Academic & Clinical Legal Educator
Su is an Academic & Clinical Legal Educator – Su describes herself as a ‘Place-based learning & reflective practice specialist’ whose passion is gender and justice in the real world. ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ is her mantra. She creates learning experiences that are all about inspiring a new normal for 21st century professionals, especially women. Su’s passion comes from extensive experience in applied social justice partnerships, connecting law students with community organisations that work for systemic change from the ground up. She has more than 10 years of experience in this field, at national and international levels. She is driven by the knowledge that these partnerships are key to a new future, guided by leaders who model kindness, integrity and respect. She is especially excited by the capacity for place-based learning to incubate our future innovators and change-makers, who will, of course, be feminists. Su has researched, published and presented on a variety of issues associated with poverty law, clinical legal education, feminism and the legal system. Her work has been tabled in Victorian State Parliament and featured in the media. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Australian National University. The working title of her thesis is: Clinical Legal Education, the Benchmark Lawyer and Disruptive Women.
Suzette Mitchell, PhD, Intersectionality Research Adviser and Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Respect Victoria
Suzette Mitchell comes from a background of working in the United Nations and NGOs. She was the Executive Director for the International Women’s Development Agency from 2004-2007 and the head of the UN Women office in Vietnam from 2007-2013. She spent eight years focusing on gender, disaster and climate change, working as the UN Women Gender, Disaster and Climate Change Specialist for the Asia Pacific region and as an independent consultant for the UN, Asian Development Bank and the Global Green Growth Institute. She was a member of the Expert Working Group for the UN Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Regional Asia Pacific Meeting on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She co-authored the regional gender paper for the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2014 titled Towards the Post-2105 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: Women as a force in resilience building, gender equality in disaster risk reduction.