Studio Session: HerVote Melbourne

By Eden Faithfull


By Eden Faithfull

Future Women are proud to present #HerVote in Melbourne.

For women in leadership, the time is now. Movements are assembling, momentum is growing. The renewed women’s movement is demanding equal representation in parliaments across the globe and women voters are mobilising to build a fairer, kinder and more inclusive world.

However, in Australia, we’re not making those same gains. Over the past decade, our country has fallen from 15th to 50th in the world on gender representation in national parliament. It’s not necessarily that we’re going backwards — there is currently a record number of women in Cabinet — but the rest of the world is moving forwards, faster.

Join us for a town hall style event where you’ll hear from today’s politicians and emerging candidates about representation in politics: where we’re at and where we need to get to.

Future Women aims to amplify the voices of female political talent in Australia. Attendees will get to know the women behind the campaigns, as well as the reasons they’re passionate about politics and its future.

Arrival at 5.30pm for a 6pm sharp start.


Confirmed speakers: 

Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens Senator for South Australia

Sarah Hanson-Young was born in Melbourne, and is a Greens Senator for South Australia. In 1999 she was awarded the Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year award for Gippsland, Victoria.

She is the youngest woman to be elected to federal parliament, winning election at the age of 25 and taking office at the age of 26. She was also the youngest person ever popularly elected to the Senate.

Since entering the Senate in 2008, Sarah has been a consistent voice calling for compassion and fairness in Australia. After being named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2016, Sarah has continued to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people in Australia and around the globe.

Sarah has held a number of portfolios, including Education, Finance & Trade, Water, Arts and Youth.

Shireen Morris, Labor candidate for Deakin

Shireen Morris, Labor’s candidate for Deakin, grew up in North Ringwood and lives in Nunawading. She was born in Australia, and is of Indian and Fijian-Indian heritage.

Through her twenties she worked as an actress and singer, performing Shakespeare in the Botanic garden, plays, singing in bands and songwriting.

Shireen later studied to be a lawyer and earned a PhD in constitutional law. She spent 7 years as a policy expert and advocate at Cape York Institute, working on Indigenous constitutional recognition and developing the concept of a First Nations body in the Constitution. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at Melbourne University Law School.

Shireen has published three books as well as several academic articles, and is a regular commentator in print and on TV and radio.

Julia Banks, Independent member for Chisholm

Julia Banks was elected in the 2016 Federal Election as the Federal Member for Chisholm in the Australian House of Representatives.

Born, raised and educated in Melbourne, Australia, Julia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree from Monash University. Julia is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Prior to entering Parliament, Julia worked in the business and corporate world for over 25 years, beginning her career as a lawyer in private legal practice.

Throughout her career Julia has been strongly involved in supporting community work for a number of charities and not for profit organisations. Her experience drives her to provide ongoing support and mentoring for women and for people from culturally diverse backgrounds and gives her an understanding of the issues that directly impact the wider community of Chisholm in their day to day lives.

Julia and her husband Mike have raised two children, now both young students attending university in Melbourne.

Katie Allen, Liberal member for Higgins

Katie Allen has been a Higgins local for over 40 years, involved in the community and volunteering for many causes.

Together, Katie and her husband Malcolm have raised their four children in Higgins. As a working mother, Katie is a passionate voice for delivering essential services to her community. She is committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to access excellent education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

As a doctor of paediatrics at the Royal Children’s hospital, Katie has dedicated her career to helping others and improving their quality of life. Katie is now committed to using her professional experience to advocate for the growth and development of her local community.