Julia Banks and Virginia Haussegger were in conversation on Julia's new book Power Play. Breaking Through Bias, Barriers and Boys' Clubs, an honest guide for women who aspire to leadership in the workplace and in the world.
Having won the 'unwinnable' seat that secured the Coalition Government majority in 2016, Julia Banks shocked Australia when she announced she would stand as an independent MP in 2018, having experienced a toxic workplace culture in the country's centre of power - designed by men for their dominance. Julia doesn't just know what power looks like in a political sense; she made it to the top of her game in the legal and corporate sectors before running for parliament. And at every level, she had to navigate through the bias, barriers and boys' clubs that aim to silence women or deter them from leadership roles.
Power Play reveals the unvarnished realities of any workplace where power disparities and gender politics collide: from the unequal opportunities, casual sexism and systemic misogyny, to pressures around looks, age and family responsibilities, and the consequences of speaking out. Julia shares personal stories, practical advice, and a resounding argument for why women aren't the problem - but why more women in decision-making positions will help us find the solution.
Julia Banks has unique leadership experience spanning a career in law, the corporate business world and as a Member of the Federal Parliament of Australia. Julia graduated in Arts and Law from Monash University, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She worked in global companies for over twenty years, in senior executive director roles and as General Counsel. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 as the only candidate to win a seat from the Opposition, resulting in the Coalition returning to government with a one-seat majority. Amidst controversy in 2018, she resigned from the Coalition Government's Liberal Party and stood as an independent MP. Julia is now the principal consultant in her own business and a public speaker in the areas of governance, workplace culture, and women in leadership.
Virginia Haussegger AM, a passionate women's advocate and communication specialist, is the former Chair and Founding Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, at the University of Canberra, where she is an Adjunct Professor. The Foundation has a singular focus on improving the representation of women in leadership and key decision making roles across all levels of government and public administration. Virginia anchored the ABC's flagship TV News in Canberra from 2001-2016. She was the 2019 ACT Australian of the Year. In 2020 Virginia launched the popular podcast series BroadTalk, which takes a deep dive into contemporary debate around Women, Power and the wayward World.
Award-winning author and ABC Insiders regular Niki Savva gave the vote of thanks. Niki was Peter Costello's press secretary for six years, and was on John Howard's staff for four. Niki's book The Road To Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own government, won the 2017 best non-fiction book of the year by the Australian Book Industry Association.
This event was in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop.