McKinnon Prize 2017 Selection Panel

Dr Helen Szoke AO

Dr Helen Szoke AO is Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia and a strong advocate for foreign aid and international development, human rights, gender and race equity.

Helen joined Oxfam in 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

Helen is both a Vice-President and a board member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and the ACFID Humanitarian Reference Group (HRG) Champion. She also sits as an Executive Board Member for Oxfam International, Chairs the Public Engagement Committee and is a member of the Gender Justice Committee.

Helen lends her expertise on a number of advisory groups. These have previously included chairing the Australian College of Emergency Medicine Expert Advisory Group investigating racism and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Bullying and Harassment Advisory Group. Helen was Deputy Chair of the Royal College of Surgeons Expert Advisory Committee examining bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. In addition, she was a member of the Australia Federal Police Future Directions Advisory Committee.

Most recently Helen was awarded as a Victorian finalist in the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Deakin University in October 2015 for her contribution to Human Rights. In 2011, Helen was awarded the ‘Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award’ for her contribution to human rights and in 2014 she received the ‘University of Melbourne Alumni Award’ for leadership. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration, member of the International Womens Federation of Australia and Chief Executive Women.