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The Brave Voice with Natasha Stott Despoja


A huge component of being brave as a woman is using one of the most powerful tools that we have – our voices. For so long, the voices and opinions of women have been hushed and marginalized. The more we choose to speak out against injustices, the louder we become and the more we are heard.

I spoke with Natasha Stott Despoja on The Very Brave Podcast this week and, if anyone knows what it’s like to speak up about injustice, it’s her. Natasha was the youngest woman to ever sit in federal parliament at the age of 26. She has held roles as a politician, senator, and political party leader.

She spends her time now as a diplomat, ambassador, and a nonexecutive director of multiple non for profit causes as well as a member of the UN Treaty Body Committee on elimination of the discrimination against women.

Natasha and I speak about what it means to be brave enough to speak out against the injustices we see, even if it’s not popular or the consequences may be unfavorable. By being the voice of women everywhere who may not have a voice for themselves, we can light the way for others to speak up and unify our voices to be heard. Together, we can make a better life for the women who come after us.


Natasha Stott Despoja

Natasha Stott Despoja AO is an Australian politician, diplomat, gender equality advocate and author. 

Throughout her life, Natasha has worked tirelessly to further the rights of women and girls through public policy. 

Natasha was appointed as a Senator for South Australia at age 26, becoming the youngest woman to enter the Australian Federal Parliament, where she served from 1995 to 2008, including as Leader of the Australian Democrats.

In 2020, Natasha was elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Committee, made up of 23 independent experts, monitors the progress of UN member states’ efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.

Natasha is the founding Chair of Our Watch (2013-2021), Australia’s national organisation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children, and was Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013-2016), working to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world.

In 2018, she was named one of the Top 100 Global Influencers on Gender Policy by Apolitical, and in 2019, she authored On Violence, detailing the state of domestic violence in Australia, published by MUP. 

Natasha is a Principal at Deloitte and currently serves as a non-executive Director of The Australian Ballet, Global Citizen and Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer. She is also a member of the Broad Agenda 50:50 by 2030 Advisory Group and the George Washington Global Women’s Leadership Council.

In September 2022, Natasha undertook the role as Professor in the Practice of Politics at ANU. 

She lives in Adelaide with her two children Conrad and Cordelia and husband Ian Smith.

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