Australian Ambassadors and other representatives
Ambassador for Gender Equality
Ms Stephanie Copus Campbell AM
Ms Copus Campbell has extensive experience working across the public, private, philanthropic and community sectors in Australia and the Indo Pacific. She has served as head of Australia's bilateral aid programs with Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tuvalu and head of Australia's Pacific Regional programs. Ms Copus Campbell has worked in senior executive roles with CARE Australia and the Oil Search Foundation.
Stephanie is a founding Director on the Femili PNG Board (providing services to survivors of family and sexual violence) and the PNG City Pharmacy Ltd. Board. From 2018 to 2023 she was Chair of the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority Board (the third largest province in PNG).
Stephanie holds a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University (UK) in international relations and a bachelor's degree from the University of California in political science, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is currently undertaking a Masters of Social Work through the University of Melbourne. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She volunteers in palliative care at Clare Holland House Hospice and as a wildlife carer and rescuer for ACT Wildlife.
The Ambassador for Gender Equality is a lead advocate for Australia’s work on gender equality and the human rights of women and girls.
The Ambassador for Gender Equality engages in international advocacy, public diplomacy, and outreach in support of Australian Government policies and programs to:
- promote gender equality
- eradicate sexual and gender-based violence
- eliminate discrimination against women and girls, and persons of diverse gender identities
- ensure better educational and health (including sexual and reproductive maternal health) opportunities and outcomes for women and girls
- enhance the participation of women in decision-making and leadership
- implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda
On 20 December 2022, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, appointed Stephanie Copus Campbell as the Ambassador for Gender Equality.
The Office of the Ambassador for Women and Girls was established by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and former Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis in September 2011. Ms Penny Williams was Australia's first Ambassador for Women and Girls, followed by Ms Natasha Stott-Despoja (2013-2016) and Dr Sharman Stone (2017-2019). On 8 March 2020 the former Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, announced Ms Julie-Ann Guivarra as Ambassador for Gender Equality, Ms Guivarra left the position on 1 October 2021. Christine Clarke CSC served as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls throughout 2022.
The creation of the Ambassador position reflects the Australian Government's commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, including advancing the human rights of women and girls, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.