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International Women's Day Breakfast 2019

Thursday, 7 March 2019 from 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Palladium at Crown, Southbank, Australia




Stand up comedian and TV and radio host

Josh Earl is an award-winning comedian, cake enthusiast and TV and radio host.

A winner of the Perth Fringe Festival's 'Best Comedy' award, Josh has toured Australia with his stand-up comedy shows including Josh Earl is a Librarian and Josh Earl vs The Australian Women’s Weekly Cake Book.

Josh has hosted and written for Spicks and Specks, and appeared on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Allstars Gala, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, Mad as Hell, Adam Hills Tonight, and Triple J, Triple R, and ABC Radio Melbourne. He has shared screen and microphone with the likes of Tim Minchin, Ade Edmondson, Arj Barker, Hamish Blake, and Lawrence Mooney.

"You'll want him to stay on stage as you realise his show is about to come to an end" - Herald Sun.

"FIVE STARS - Do Not Miss. Hilarious" -The Clothesline.

"5 Stars - Brilliant" - The Music.

"4 and ½ stars - Hilarious" - Beat Magazine.


Journalist, author and presenter

Catherine Fox is a leading commentator on women and the workforce. A Walkley award-winning journalist, author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia and often appears in the media.

During a long career with the Australian Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the "Corporate Woman" column.

Catherine has also published five books, including "Stop Fixing Women" for which, along with her journalism, Catherine was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women's Leadership in Media. Her latest book "Women Kind" (with co-author Kirstin Ferguson) examines how female solidarity and support is rebooting the global women’s movement.

Catherine helped establish the annual Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2012 and was named a Woman of Influence in 2018. She has been a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board, sits on the Australian Women Donors Network Board, and is co-founder of the Sydney Women's Giving Circle.


Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner

Kristen Hilton was appointed as Victoria’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner in 2016. Kristen’s role is to promote and protect human rights and equality across the state and lead the Commission’s work in creating a rights respecting culture within organisations, governments and communities. 

Kristen commenced legal practice as an industrial relations lawyer, before pursuing a career in social justice and human rights. Kristen was the CEO of the Public Interest Law Clearing House (now Justice Connect) before joining the executive team at Victoria Legal Aid.

Kristen is a Churchill Fellow and in 2007 spent time in various countries investigating the right to adequate housing. Kristen was named the LIV Community Lawyer of the Year in 2006 and was the recipient of the inaugural NAB Access to Justice Award.

Kristen is the Chair of the expert panel in both the Fire Services Review and Victoria Police Review and chairs the recently established Male Champions of Change group for Fire and Emergency Services.

Kristen and her partner Jack are the parents of their three lively children.


Director, Maurice Blackburn

Josh Bornstein is a Director of Maurice Blackburn and the National Practice Leader of both its Social Justice Group and its Employment and Industrial Relations Group.

Josh has over 20 years’ experience as an employment and industrial relations lawyer, advising executive, managerial and professional employees throughout Australia. He is a veteran of far too many sexual harassment cases. In addition, he has represented many of Australia’s trade unions and the ACTU. He is currently also acting for civil society organisations Get Up and 

Josh is deputy chair of the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board and a board member of the Australia Institute. He tweets a lot @JoshBBornstein.


Founder and leader of the Reason Party and politician

Fiona Patten is a Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council and is the founder and leader of the Reason Party.

Since being elected in 2014, Fiona has garnered respect from all sides of the political divide and has worked tirelessly to deliver legislative reforms that many thought impossible. Described by ABC Radio’s Jon Faine as ‘without doubt, Australia’s most effective legislator’, her political achievements include drug and electoral law reform, voluntary assisted dying laws, and safe access zones around women’s reproductive health clinics.

Fiona’s decision to run for political office came after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of small business owners, sexual health organisations, sexual freedoms, and censorship reforms. She was best known as the CEO of Australia’s national adult goods and services lobby group, the Eros Association. In 2009, frustrated with the lack of social change on censorship, drug law reform, euthanasia and marriage equality, she founded the Australian Sex Party with her partner Robbie Swan.

In August 2017, the Australian Sex Party was dissolved to make way for the Reason Party, a movement of common sense which advocates for a future-focused, evidence-based approach to deliver equality, sustainability and freedom.


Director, Centre for Innovative Justice

Rob Hulls is the inaugural director of RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice. The Centre’s objective is to develop, drive, and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users.

Rob completed his law degree at RMIT and began his career as a solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria and West Queensland Aboriginal Legal Service.

Rob served one term in Federal Parliament from 1990 to 1993 as the Member for Kennedy, Queensland, before returning to Victoria where he served in the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Niddrie from 1996 to 2012. In Victoria, Rob held the offices of Attorney-General, Minister for Manufacturing Industry, Minister for Racing, Minister for WorkCover, Minister for Planning, and Minister for Industrial Relations.

As Attorney-General, Rob instigated significant changes to Victoria’s legal system which saw the establishment of the State’s first Charter of Human Rights, and specialist courts for Victoria’s indigenous community, people with mental health issues and drug addiction, and victims of family violence. He also opened up the process for the appointment of people to Victoria’s judiciary to ensure that more women and people from diverse backgrounds were appointed.


Research Fellow

Dr Emma Burrows is a research fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, where she leads a research progam aiming to understand the neurobiology underlying cognitive disorders.

Emma completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne before travelling to train at the University of Cambrdige on a Victoria Scholarship.

Emma is passionate about her work and implementing wide-reaching strategies that increase diversity and inclusiveness in the Australian research sector. As a board member of Women in STEMM Australia, Emma has led efforts to promote gender equality in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) at institutional, regional, and national levels.

Emma is also the co-chair of The Florey Gender Equality Committee, where she has overseen the introduction of new policies, initiatives, leadership, and mentoring programs for change, and is involved in leading cross-institute initiatives through her work in Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP), a collaborative network of five of Australia’s biggest medical research institutes.

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