Elaine Butler has worked as an academic, educator, researcher, consultant and activist in the field of gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) for over four decades. This work has been at local, national, local, regional and international levels, with an enduring focus on education and training, decent work and policy outcomes to enhance the wellbeing of women and girls and marginalised groups.
Policy discourses, provision and practices that impact access to affordable, relevant quality education and training for women and girls in the Australian VET system and elsewhere continue as her long standing areas special interest. Elaine is also involved in research and advocacy relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at regional and national levels.
Elaine was a member of the Australian Government delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW55) in New York in 2011 and Visiting Scholar 2013 – 2014 for the Erasmus Mundus European Masters of Lifelong Learning: Policy & Management (MA LLL) program.
As Ambassador for WAVE, Elaine is WAVE’s representative on Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Women’s Major Group (WMG), Australian Coalition for Education and Development (ACED), Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) and Adult Learning Australia (ALA). Elaine also attended UNESCO APMED 4 2018 meeting in Bangkok that focused on SDG 4 targets 4.3 & 4.4 – inclusive TVET. Recently she participated in consultations for 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference (APREMC-II), CONFINTEA (International Conference on Adult Education) VII and Australia’s Jobs & Skills Summit.
In 2021 she was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia for her ‘significant service to women, to vocational education, and to gender equity’.