2021 — 9 speeches
The Honourable Nicola Roxon
Ms Roxon is currently the Chair of HESTA - the health and community sector superannuation fund - and Chair of VicHealth - Victoria’s independent health promotion agency. She is also a non-executive director on two listed property boards and the board of charity HealthJustice Australia.
The Honourable Nicola Roxon was a member of the Australian Parliament for 15 years, representing Labor in the western suburbs of Melbourne seat of Gellibrand. Elected at 31, she served as Australia’s Health Minister for four years from 2007 and oversaw major reforms to Australia’s public hospital, primary care and preventative health systems.
In 2011 Ms Roxon became Australia’s first female Attorney-General, overseeing the establishment of the Royal Commission into the abuse of children within institutions.
She has received national and international awards in recognition of her public health work, particularly in tobacco control. With Ms Roxon’s leadership Australia successfully introduced a world first: all tobacco sold must now be in plain packaging with large, graphic health warnings. Ms Roxon’s personal and professional story was recorded in a documentary Kicking the Habit, produced by the ABC’s Australian Story.
Originally trained as a lawyer, protecting the dignity of workers and promoting the standing of women has been a hallmark of Nicola’s career. Prior to entering parliament, Ms Roxon worked as an industrial lawyer, union organiser and an Associate to High Court Judge Mary Gaudron.