Thu. May 19th, 2022

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Former Political Officer and Women’s Security and Equality Advocate Brittany Higgins has been named the first visiting member of the Australian National University’s Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL).

As part of the GIWL, Brittany will help advance the work on a proposed code of conduct to prevent and respond to abuse, harassment and sexual offenses in the House and Parliamentary workplaces.

Brittany became nationally prominent in February 2021 when she claimed she had been raped in a ministry in the House of Parliament by a then colleague. It sparked a heated debate about the treatment of women in parliament and, more broadly, jobs around the country.

Higgins will work with GIWL on key issues, including the implementation of the Respect @ Work report, promote the results of the independent survey of the Commonwealth’s parliamentary workplaces expected in November 2021, and highlight the importance of young women’s leadership.

GIWL at ANU is a non-partisan organization that undertakes pioneering research and advocacy driven by evidence to support women’s leadership and improve gender equality in the workplace.

ANU is the first university in the world to partner with the original Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London, established and headed by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Julia said Brittany was “a strong force for change that had already greatly accelerated national dialogue and pushed for reforms in one of the most confrontational and pressing issues facing Australia.”

“In Brittany, Australia has an incredible leader who is already making a huge impact,” Julia said.

“I applaud her courage to come forward with her experiences and her determination to ensure that other women never ever have to go through what she has.”

“Her bravery should and must lead to meaningful change, not just in our workplaces, but across our entire society.”

“Brittany will be a wonderful advocate and I’m glad she’s joined GIWL and ANU. I look forward to working with her and other members of the global GIWL team on these vital issues. ”

Brittany said she looked forward to working as a channel between government, academics and those in the field to ensure that best practice models are adopted to create systemic change in Australia.

“I am dedicated to driving meaningful change in Parliament and all Australian workplaces so that our systems work better to prevent and respond to inappropriate workplace behavior.”

“All women have the right to feel safe and respected at work and in society more broadly.”

“The 2021 Women’s Summit was a good first step in addressing these challenges. Now more than ever in the midst of growing inequality due to COVID-19, it is important to ensure that words are translated into action. ”

“I am determined to ensure that we are able to leverage the momentum that was kick-started this year to implement real change for Australian women so that they can better serve our major institutions.”

Professor Michele Ryan, director of GIWL at ANU, said young voices like Brittany’s were fundamental to driving real change.

“Sexual harassment, sexual assault, inequality, abuse: these are issues that women have faced in the workplace and in society for too long,” Professor Ryan said.

“But Brittany is a voice for change that will not only help advance the cause of reforms in Australia, but that will inspire a new generation of women to continue to demand nothing less than what they all owe: respect.”

“We should not demand it. But we are so lucky to have young leaders like Brittany while we still do. ”

“GIWL at ANU conducts research, advocacy and practice to improve equality in the workplace and accelerate women’s leadership. We have a world-class research team that builds the evidence base and finds out what works. ”

“As our inaugural visiting member, Brittany Higgins will help us in our advocacy business to ensure that the evidence and research we produce reaches a wider audience and can be transformed into policy change and better practice in the workplace.”

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