Essays

May 1, 2024
Future Woman podcast
Hear Virginia on Future Woman with Helen McCabe
April 1, 2023
Shaping the Century of Women: Feminine Power across the Globe
What is feminine power? It’s not a trick question. But think about it too long, and soon you’re caught in...
February 24, 2023
The Woman President: Book Review
The Woman President: Leadership, Law and Legacy for Women Based on Experiences from South and Southeast Asia Ramona Vijayarasa Oxford University Press
November 1, 2022
Feminism and the Making of a Child Rights Revolution 1969-1979: Book Review
With a title like this, of course I was going to dive into Feminism and the Making of a Child...
July 25, 2022
Changemakers: who gets a seat at the table?
On 21 June, 2022, Dame Quentin Bryce launched the Australian Women Changemakers exhibition, at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD),...
June 28, 2022
Changemakers: an exhibition for our times
On 21 June, 2022, Dame Quentin Bryce launched the Australian Women Changemakers exhibition, at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD),...
June 24, 2022
So… what makes a ‘Changemaker’?
When I was asked by the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), back in 2021, to work with them on their...
October 10, 2019
Women in Parliament: A global perspective on Australia’s lazy lateness
When Enid Lyons and Dorothy Tangney stepped over the threshold into Parliament House in 1943 they were late. Not by...
August 23, 2019
The Gender Agenda: Boom, Bust and Bullyboys
A media bonanza for the shelias’ The Turnbull to Morrison years proved to be a bonanza for women in politics,...
June 1, 2011
Prospects for Women: Gender and Social Justice in Afghanistan
Television journalist Jamila Mujahid will never forget the day she broke the biggest story of her life. And she did it wearing her bedroom slippers! The city of Kabul had been under heavy fire for days, and the Taliban were weakening. Finally on the 13th of November 2001 they succumbed, and before dawn truckloads of Taliban fled the capital. Later that morning a fierce gun battle with the remaining hardliners ended in a bloodbath, with Taliban bodies splayed on the street. When the shooting stopped Jamila ran out of her home and raced through the streets in her Burqa and slippers.
October 1, 2008
A Glorious Kill and a Grubby Demise
The essay, "A Glorious Kill & a Grubby Demise", was published in "ANIMALS", by Finlay Lloyd Publishers, October 2008. The illustration is by Ingeborg Hansen
June 1, 2008
Love & Money: Correspondence
Quarterly Essay Issue 30
March 1, 2002
Up the Bamboo Path
I am following Ariya Nani, an elegant and beautiful Swiss Buddhist nun, up rickety bamboo stairs in a rambling forest monastery in the heart of Burma. In a few minutes, my private ordination ceremony will take place as I kneel before one of this country's most distinguished Buddhist monks.