WLIA warmly welcomes new Fellows, Dr Anjalee de Silva and Emma Dawson

Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) is delighted to announce two new WLIA Fellows – Dr Anjalee de Silva and Emma Dawson, two women who are leading voices in their fields and whose work creates tangible change for gender equality in Australia.


Fellowships are awarded to those who are leaders in their respective fields, women who have innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change. Through advocacy, policy and research fellowships, WLIA is building a community of leaders focused on achieving greater gender equality in Australia.


Dr Anjalee de Silva’s work examines vilification or ‘hate speech’ directed at and about women, as well as the role of law in deterring, regulating, and mitigating the harms of such speech. Anjalee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. Anjalee is an expert in administrative, anti-discrimination, and free speech and media law and theory, with a focus on harmful speech and its regulation, particularly in online contexts.



Anjalee has also held the roles of Honorary Fellow and Teaching Fellow at Melbourne Law School. She holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours and a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) from the University of Melbourne.


Outside academia, Anjalee is a local government Councillor on Monash City Council, where she also serves on the Gender Equity Advisory Committee.


"Hate speech against women silences women by preventing them from speaking, marginalising and devaluing their speech, and building structural constraints impeding their speech. If democratic legitimacy rests on equality of opportunity to participate in democratic processes, hate speech against women represents a crisis of democracy itself. The law plays a crucial role in responding to and mitigating some of these harms, and I’m honoured to have the support of the WLIA to continue my work in this area." - Dr Anjalee de Silva


Emma Dawson is a leading voice in emerging policy issues in Australia. She is Executive Director of public policy think tank Per Capita. She has previously worked as a researcher at Monash University and the University of Melbourne; in policy and public affairs for SBS and Telstra, and as a senior policy adviser in the Rudd and Gillard Governments.


Emma has published reports, articles and opinion pieces on a wide range of public policy issues. She is a regular contributor to Guardian Australia and The Australian Financial Review, is a frequent guest on various ABC radio programs nationally, and an occasional panellist on The Drum on ABC TV. She appears regularly as an expert witness before parliamentary inquiries and often speaks at public events and conferences in Australia and internationally.


Emma is the co-author of Per Capita’s landmark report Measure for Measure: Gender Equality in Australia, and co-editor, with Professor Janet McCalman, of the collection of essays What happens next? Reconstructing Australia after COVID-19, published by Melbourne University Press in September 2020.


"I am honoured to receive the support of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia and the Trawalla Foundation and delighted to join such an esteemed group of women leaders in the fellowship program. WLIA models a style of leadership that promotes cooperation and collaboration among women from diverse backgrounds and professional roles. The fellowship will support my ongoing work to improve Australia’s performance against global gender equity measures, and to develop the necessary tools and processes to enable government, industry and civil society organisations to apply a gender lens to their policies and practice." - Emma Dawson


WLIA Fellows include Danielle Wood, Dr Leonora Risse, Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa, Isabelle Reinecke, Andrea Carson and Cordelia Fine. To learn more about our WLIA Fellows, visit our website.


For media enquiries, please contact Bella Skelton: bella@trawallafoundation.com.au 0432 016 869.