Natasha Stott Despoja

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png Natasha Stott Despoja   TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Natasha Stott Despoja Portrait 2012.jpg
Born9 September 1969
Alma materPembroke School (Adelaide), University of Adelaide
SpouseIan Smith (lobbyist)
Member ofWEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/2001
InterestsBurnet Institute
Australian politician, diplomat and advocate. WEF Global Leader for Tomorrow 2001

Employment.png Australia Ambassador for Women and Girls

In office
16 December 2013 - 21 November 2016

Employment.png Senator for South Australia

In office
29 November 1995 - 30 June 2008
Succeeded bySarah Hanson-Young

Natasha Jessica Stott Despoja is an Australian politician, diplomat, advocate and author. She is the founding Chair of the Board of Our Watch, the national foundation to prevent violence against women and their children, and was previously the Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2013 to 2016. She was also a Member of the World Bank Gender Advisory Council from 2015 to 2017 and a Member of the United Nations High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents in 2017. She is a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.[1]

She was selected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2001.

Early life and education

Stott Despoja was born in Adelaide to Shirley Stott Despoja, an Australian-born journalist and Mario Despoja, who was from Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia), and (possibly a member of Ustaša which was active in Australia) independence activist. She attended Stradbroke Primary and Pembroke School[2] and later graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1991. She was President of the Students' Association of the University of Adelaide (SAUA) and the South Australian Women's Officer for the National Union of Students. She then went on to work as a political advisor to Senator John Coulter and Senator Cheryl Kernot.[3]


Stott Despoja began her parliamentary career after being appointed to the Senate at the age of 26 serving as an Australian Democrats Senator for South Australia from 1995 to 2008. She went on to serve as the Deputy Leader and Leader of the Australian Democrats. She holds the record for being the youngest woman to sit in the Parliament of Australia and the longest serving Australian Democrats Senator.[4]

Later career

She was on the board of the Burnet Institute (Australia's largest virology and communicable disease research institute) from 2008 until December 2013, when Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the appointment of Stott Despoja as Australia's new Ambassador for Women and Girls, a role she held until 2016.

On 21 July 2015, Stott Despoja returned to the Burnet Institute as a Patron[5]

Her husband Richard Smith is a businessman, corporate advisor and former journalist. He is a founder of the firm Bespoke Approach, and is considered by The Power Index to be one of Australia's most influential political lobbyists.

Stott Despoja has also been an election observer for the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Nigeria (2011);[6] visited Burkina Faso for Oxfam (2012);[7] and went to Laos (2011)[8] and Burma (2013)[9] with The Burnet Institute.


Wikipedia.png This page imported content from Wikipedia on 01.01.2022.
Wikipedia is not affiliated with Wikispooks.   Original page source here