“Co-leadership of EJA will significantly strengthen both the organisation and the broader environment movement,” says Elizabeth.
“It means two sets of skills, experiences, networks and passions,” adds Nicola. “It also means high quality decision making, super-charged brain power and elevated energy at the senior ranks of EJA. And it sets a positive example for our organisation, our movement and the broader public about female leadership and job-sharing at the leadership level.”
In its first statement announcing the findings of the inquiry, the high court identified six recommendations that it intended to implement. Two of these were starkly oriented towards “victim responsibility”; the first being that the induction materials provided to associates should “make sure to cover material directly relevant to their specialised role”; and secondly, that “the court should make clear to associates that their duties do not extend to an obligation to attend social functions”.
What about making it clear to judges not to inappropriately touch and harass their associates at social functions? To police the conduct of their colleagues at social functions?
The high court then announced that it had invited 100 former associates that worked at the high court during Heydon’s tenure to share any relevant experiences.
What about inviting the judges and other senior members of the court during that time to explain what they knew, if anything, about the alleged “open secret” and what they did or did not do about it? Surely that is the next step in order to identify what systemic problems exist.
Heaven knows it is not just a woman’s job to speak out – we have enough to do.
On Wednesday morning, Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston revealed the names of the organisations as the federal government confirmed all six would be punished through bans on future funding.
Senator Ruston’s office said on Wednesday it was still investigating how it could revoke tax concessions such as the organisations’ charity statuses.
Former Family Court chief justice Diana Bryant said she believed it was the first time the court had agreed to hear expert evidence critical of the pro-trans “affirmative” treatment model that dominates children’s hospital gender clinics.
Former Federal Circuit Court judge Stuart Lindsay said it was possible the case might develop into a challenge to the Family Court’s landmark 2017 re Kelvin ruling, which is celebrated by gender clinics, the trans lobby and human rights lawyers for making it easier, faster and cheaper for under-18s to get irreversible cross-sex hormones by cutting back judicial oversight of treatment decisions.
In re Kelvin, the full court cited the justification of “advances in medical science in treating and understanding gender dysphoria (distress at feeling ‘born in the wrong body’)” and relied on expert evidence from paediatrician Michelle Telfer, director of Australia’s biggest gender clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
“The way (re Kelvin) was conducted, we ended up only hearing from one side of a very keen scientific and medical controversy,” Mr Lindsay said.
The department responsible for advising the prime minister on women’s policy was excluded from consultations about a $150m program to improve female participation in community sports that was subsequently caught up in the sports rorts saga.
Melanie Perkins has become one of the wealthiest women in Australia this week, after her graphic design company Canva, which she co-founded with Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams, raised US$60 million in new funding.
This latest round of funding makes Canva the largest privately-owned company in Australia. The Sydney-based company, with more than a thousand employees operating across multiple countries across the world, operates on a “freemium” model that allows its users to access its software for free to design products including posters, websites and business cards.
Most women in prisons have gone through violent or sexual abuse. These already vulnerable women are then subjected to more abuse from the state. They need people to start speaking out for them, not judging them.
As an advocate for First Nation women prisoners, especially Yamatji prisoners, I find the present situation disturbing. Prisoner numbers just keep growing and new prisons keep getting built. I have learned that the number of First Nations women being locked up is growing at a faster rate than any other demographic. These women, who have more than likely encountered an aggressive police officer or two, are taken from their children or, even worse, their children are put in state care. Prison breaks up families, causing more social issues back in the community.
Women detainees also face violations of their bodies via multiple strip searches. What the average Australian would call a violation of a woman’s body is done legally in prison. The prison system legally violates a woman’s body in the name of law and order.
I support prison abolition and while people are being locked away in cages, I will continue to be an abolitionist. There is not only a strong need to abolish the police force but an even stronger need to abolish the prison system. They work hand in hand, the police and prison systems.
[Deborah Green is a Yamatji woman and writer.]
The investigation was prompted after Josh Bornstein, Principal lawyer with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, wrote to the Chief Justice and the Chief Executive of the Court in March 2019 notifying them of complaints of sexual harassment against Mr Heydon, as well as raising concerns about inadequate procedures within the High Court for addressing judicial misconduct.
Mr Bornstein said the investigation had unveiled a pattern of predatory behaviour and sexual harassment over many years by Mr Heydon towards young female associates he employed and highlighted a gap in both addressing judicial misconduct and protecting their employees from that misconduct.
“At the time that this sexual harassment occurred, Dyson Heydon was in his 60s, a conservative judge, a prominent Christian and a married man,” Mr Bornstein said.