Jessie Street Luncheon 2018

Event Date: 
23 March 2018
Event Type: 
Event Location: 
NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Event Time: 
12:15 for 12.30 p.m. start
Event Cost: 

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the United Nations Development Program

With Tanya Plibersek 

Helen Clark served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, and from April 2009 to April 2017 she was the first woman to lead the United Nations Development Program.

Clark was the second woman to serve as Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the first to have won office at an election. During her period in office, other women also held many prominent elected and appointed offices in New Zealand. As a female head of government, Clark was a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.

In 2009, she resigned from parliament to take up the post of Administrator of the United Nations Development Program. She worked to reform the administration and bureaucracy of the UNDP, putting an emphasis on greater transparency in the organisation.

While holding the office as administrator for UNDP, Forbes magazine ranked her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world in 2016. In that year, she also stood for election for Secretary General for the United Nations.

The Jessie Street Lunch has been held annually since April, 1989, the centenary of Jessie Street’s birth. It is always held at the NSW Parliament House in Sydney. The lunch is an inspiring platform for discussion of the social justice issues that were dear to Jessie’s heart and for which she fought: the rights of women and indigenous Australians, peace, and an end to all forms of discrimination.

This year will see the 70th anniversary of the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 2018. Australia was among the leading countries in developing and urging the adoption, and Dr Evatt presided over the occasion as the President of the General Assembly, the highest position in international affairs ever attained by an Australian. Jessie Street and the Commission on the Status of Women helped ensure there was provision for equal pay regardless of sex (Article 23(2)), equal rights in marriage and divorce, and social security protection for widows (Article 25).


See also: