Dr Helen Szoke is Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia and a leading thinker and advocate for foreign aid, human rights, gender and race discrimination. 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, representing the work of the HRG which provides a mechanism for Australian agencies engaged in humanitarian assistance work to share information, strengthen coordination, and drive policy dialogue and development for the improvement of humanitarian relief work.
Helen lends her expertise on a number of advisory groups. She is currently the Chair of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Bullying and Harassment Advisory Group. Helen was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons Expert Advisory Committee examining bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. In addition, she sits on 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 and a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration.