Louisa Margaret Dunkley – Women in Politics Forum 2019

At the heart of the Greater Frankston region is the federal seat of Dunkley, one of the most hotly contested over recent years, which is named in honour of Louisa Margaret Dunkley (1866–1927), a feminist who founded the Victorian Women’s Post and Telegraph Association in 1900 and campaigned for equal pay for women.

Given the ongoing public debate about the under-representation of women in Australian politics, we have invited a panel of high-profile women from all parts of the political spectrum to talk about their experiences and how to inspire more women to consider careers in politics. The forum will be headlined by high-profile independent federal MP Julia Banks and Deputy leader of the Victorian Liberal Party Cindy McLeish .


About the Headline Speakers: 

Julia Banks MP

Independent MP for the federal seat of Chisholm, (contesting the seat of Flinders in 2019)

Julia Banks was elected in the 2016 Federal Election as the Federal Member for Chisholm in the Australian House of Representatives. Julia is Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Women’s Health, the Australia-China Friendship Group and the Parliamentary Friends of Greece.
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. Her extensive business and leadership experience includes various Executive Director and General Counsel roles in Legal, Corporate Affairs and Media, Compliance and Governance, and Risk and Crisis Management in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
Julia has experienced first-hand the challenges of balancing home, children, work and community life. 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.

Cindy McLeish MP

Deputy Leader of the Victorian Liberal Party, Member for Eildon

Cindy McLeish was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 2010 and has been the member for Eildon since 2014. In 2018 she was appointed Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Shadow Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Regional Cities. After completing her studies at The University of Melbourne Cindy worked briefly as a secondary school maths and science teacher and continues a passion for ensuring young people can reach their potential through a strong education.

In 2001, Cindy completed an MBA from Melbourne Business School, which she studied part-time, whilst juggling work and a family.  Immediately prior to entering Parliament, Cindy worked as a senior consultant in organisational effectiveness and leadership and also served as CEO of Women’s Golf Victoria.

Forum moderator:

Fran Henke 

Frances Henke is an author, photographer, artist, disability advocate and retired journalist and political campaigner. During 50 years in journalism she worked in London for Fairfax Media, in Australia for The Canberra Times, National Times and The Australian, and in Melbourne at SBS Radio. In London she began her book publishing career with Granada Publishing going on to write 23 books on gardens, cookery, golf history, polio history, and recently publishing a trilogy of novels based on key events in Victoria during the 1800s from the gold rush to Federation. Her work has been included in five anthologies of garden writing and journalism, and she is a published poet. Frances has been media adviser and speech writer for state and federal politicians, a member of the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board, and public relations manager for Peninsula Health.

With her husband, Frances moved to the Mornington Peninsula more than 25 years ago and worked for regional newspapers as a columnist and editor including 15 years for Hastings-based Independent News Group where she was best known for the irreverent Council Watch column.



About Louisa Margaret Dunkley (1866–1927)

The political heart of Greater Frankston is the federal seat of Dunkley, named in honour of Louisa Margaret Dunkley, a telegraph operator in Melbourne in the 1890s. Telegraphists used a telegraph key to send and receive Morse code, the only way of communicating rapidly over long distances before telephones and two-way radios. Telegraphist is considered to be one of the first high-technology professions of the modern era. A campaigner for equal pay for women, Louisa became a union leader and feminist at the start of the 20th century. She co-founded the Victorian Women’s Post and Telegraph Association in 1900 and campaigned for equal pay and status for women.

About the forum:
The inaugural Dunkley Women in Politics Forum will give current women MPs from all parts of the political spectrum the chance to enhance the current debate about the under-representation of women in Australian politics as well as discuss how more women can be encouraged and inspired to consider a career in politics.  Equal participation of women and men in politics is an important condition for effective democracy and good governance. It could have many positive effects including creating a more equitable society and inclusive governance, a higher standard of living, positive development in education, health and infrastructure, and a decrease in political corruption. (European Institute for Gender Equality)

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Mar 28 2019


12:00 PM - 02:00 PM


$55 for members, $70 for non-members

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McClelland Gallery
390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin, 3910

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