The Equal Workplaces Advisory Council

The Equal Workplaces Advisory Council has been established to promote gender equality in Victorian workplaces. The council will report to and advise the Minister of Industrial Relations, Natalie Hutchins about initiatives that will tackle the gap in women's pay and workforce participation, including gendered occupational segregation.

The council is a key founding reform of the Victorian Government's Gender Equality Strategy in recognition that private and public sector workplaces are key settings to drive women's economic security and independence.

The Women@Work Conference

The Women@Work Conference is a major initiative of Industrial Relations Victoria, the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council and the Office of Prevention and Women's Equality.

The conference will be held on the 21 March 2018 starting 12:30 pm at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square.

Providing practical tools for businesses and organisations to enable them to boost workplace equality, the conference will feature experts to explain the gender pay gap and demonstrate a business case for its closure. It will focus on equal pay, flexible work and unpaid care.

Following at 6:30 pm a networking event will be held until 7:30 pm in The Lightwell at Federation Square.

To register your interest in attending, please send your details to:

The agenda for the conference is as follows


Agenda item


12:30 pm

Doors open, registration

The Lightwell

1 pm

Opening address

MC Martine Harte – Director, Engaging Women

Cinema 2

1:10 pm

Equal Workplaces for Victorian Women

The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Women

Cinema 2

1:30 pm

Panel and Q&A session: The Gender Pay Gap and the Questions You Can't Ask

Moderator: Liberty Sanger - Principal, Board Member and Practice Group Leader at Maurice Blackburn and Chair of the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council

Panellists: Julie Lander - CEO CareSuper

Pia Cerveri – Women's and Equality Co-Lead Organiser, Victorian Trades Hall Council

Santilla Chingaipe – Journalist/Filmmaker 

Cinema 2

2:45 pm

Afternoon tea

The Lightwell

3:30 pm

Break-out sessions: Practical 'How-To's' for Industry and Employers

  • How to undertake a gender/equal pay audit - Workplace Gender Equality Agency
  • How to implement flexible work arrangements - Office of Prevention and Women's Equality and Australian Industry Group
  • How to address gendered violence and OHS obligations - Victorian Trades Hall Council 

Each break-out session will contribute some of the material for the 'Gender Pay Equality Toolkits'

Cinema 1

Cinema 2

The Cube

4:30 pm

Panel and Q&A session: 'Shifting the Dial': The Business Case for Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Moderator: MC Martine Harte

Panellists: Fiona Vines – Global Head, Inclusion & Diversity BHP

Julie Toth – Chief Economist, Australian Industry Group

Professor Jeff Borland – Academic Economist, The University of Melbourne

Cinema 2

5:30 pm

Keynote speech: A 'call to action' on gender equality

Jackie Woods, Engagement Executive Manager, Workplace Gender Equality Agency

The Lightwell

6 pm

Gender Equality Pledge and closing address

MC Martine Harte

The Lightwell

6:30 pm

Networking event commencing with address: Celebration of 'Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy' – Actions and Achievements Report, Year One

The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Women

The Lightwell

7:30 pm



Council chair and members

The council is chaired by Liberty Sanger, a principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and one of Victoria's most respected workplace lawyers.

In addition to the chair, the members of the council are:

  • Andrea Carson – Lecturer, University of Melbourne
  • Sara Charlesworth – Professor, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Barbara Cullen – Director, Small Business Victoria, DEDJTR
  • Catherine Dixon – Executive Director, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
  • Emma King – Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Council of Social Services
  • Kathryn McAnalley – Manager, Employment Policy, DEDJTR
  • Jane Mckay – Director Human Resources, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Michael Mead – Director, Workplace Relations, Australian Industry Group
  • Ingrid Stitt – Secretary, Australian Services Union
  • Wilhelmina Stracke – Industrial Campaigns Officer, Victorian Trades Hall Council,
  • Lissa Zass – Director, Industrial Relations Victoria, DEDJTR

Page last updated: 20 February 2018