Elise Stephenson is a youth social entrepreneur and PhD Candidate from the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University, Brisbane. Her PhD is focused on women's leadership in international affairs, specifically diplomatic and security agencies. Elise is an Australian representative on the Commonwealth Youth Gender Equality Network, a member of the QLD State Government LGBTI Roundtable, and a member of the Roundtable on LGBTI Human Rights in the Asia and the Pacific. Elise also convenes an annual international human rights festival in Hong Kong focused on documenting and debating critical intersectional human rights issues particularly from minority LGBTI and women’s perspectives.
Elise is passionate about gender equality and women's leadership, is recognised as one of 25 'Young Women to Watch in International Affairs', and was recognised by the United Nations Australia Association QLD Community Award for her pioneering work in co-creating Australia’s first national intimate partner violence workshops for minority communities. Elise is also a former New Colombo Plan Scholar from its inaugural year where she conducted research on women’s leadership in Australia and Asia. Elise has represented Australia in official capacities for work and research through Taiwan, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey.