Students offered exciting opportunity to experience iconic speech

Published: 05 Apr 2023

Karen Jacobsen would love for every school age student to know the words of Julia Gillard’s iconic misogyny speech.

It was a speech that included the famous line - “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not.”

The Mackay performer, best known as the voice of Siri, said it was her hope that by creating a pop orchestral work around the speech, titled Misogyny Opus – Not Now, Not Ever, she could “create a wave of equality” that would inspire people to take action.

“Misogyny Opus is a creative advocacy project designed to spark conversations and give encouragement and inspiration to women and to girls,” Ms Jacobsen said.

The MECC will be presenting a student preview performance of the stage show on Friday, April 28, from 10.30am.

The show will be followed by a post-show Q&A with some of Mackay’s most influential leaders.

Deputy Mayor Karen May, who will be a panel member at the Q&A, encouraged students to submit questions early by emailing

“Sexism and misogyny are such important topics for us to discuss openly in our community,” Cr May said.

“Research has shown that one of the biggest blights on our society, domestic and family violence, usually has its roots in men’s attitude towards women,” she said.

“If we can help change attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender inequality, especially among young people, we have a real chance of drastically reducing violence against women.”

Misogyny Opus came to life after Ms Jacobsen rewatched the speech and was so inspired that she sat down at her piano and started putting Julia Gillard’s words to music.

“This is the longest work I have created, and a unique experience as a composer,” she said.

“There are quite a number of nights I lie awake with Julia Gillard’s powerful words swirling in my mind as I have been reviewing the music and the way it all fits together.”

Ms Jacobsen said she was delighted when she reached out to the former prime minister for permission and Julia Gillard gave her blessing.

Ms Jacobsen will be joined on stage by word-class musicians from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Cellist Craig Allister Young, who brings with him over 30 years of experience in arranging and orchestrating music, was deeply moved during the process of orchestrating the piece.

Mr Young said this incredibly important speech had defined the appalling inequalities that women find not just in politics but in most industries.

“During the (orchestral) process, I found myself feeling angry that this type of behaviour was present in our highest offices, not in a distant past but at a time where Australia is moving towards a more equitable society,” he said.

“I hope this piece is seen all over the country to help people realise the disgraceful way our first female prime minister was treated.”

A full premiere performance of Misogyny Opus – Not Now, Not Ever will be held in the MECC Auditorium on Saturday, April 29, from 7.30pm.

Tickets are available from the MECC Box Office or online at

About Karen Jacobsen: International concert artist, songwriter and professional speaker Karen Jacobsen, has a speaking voice that unexpectedly led to a unique pop culture status. Now heard in over a billion GPS and smartphone devices worldwide, including the original Aussie voice of ‘Siri’, Karen Jacobsen is the voice of reason, telling listeners where to go and what to do daily. In real life, through her songs, concert performances and speaking presentations, she also entertains and inspires people to recalculate their way to their dream destination in life.