Violence Prevention Conference

Clementine Ford

Between her fiercely witty social media presence and prolific posts on Daily Life, Ford has become the go-to feminist for a new generation, unafraid to channel all of her eloquent rage into ground-breaking articles that shape the zeitgeist. Before the dictionary broadened the definition, before the Prime Minister made her speech, Ford articulated with flashing brilliance exactly what it meant to be a misogynist, and in doing so, changed the national conversation.


Scott Holmes

Scott Holmes is the Healthy Workplaces Senior Advisor for YMCA Victoria and Coordinator of the Y Respect Gender Project, one of VicHealth's Creating Healthy Workplaces projects. The Y Respect Gender project is implementing strategies to build the capacity of YMCA Victoria to practice and promote gender equity and respectful relationships. The project is based on the VicHealth preventing violence against women framework.  Scott previously worked as project coordinator for the Northern Interfaith Respectful Relationships Project, building the capacity of faith communities to implement primary prevention strategies to prevent men's violence against women. 

Scott has had a number of different professions. Initially he worked for 10 years as a librarian, including five years at the Bendigo Base Hospital Library. He was then ordained as an Anglican priest and worked in parish ministry for 20 years, most recently in Hawksburn in inner city Melbourne. In 2011 he worked on the Northern Interfaith Respectful Relationships Project and since 2012 has been at YMCA Victoria.

Scott draws on his personal and professional experiences of gender in his work, including his own history of reflecting on "what males should be", as well as his pastoral work with individuals and in the community. Scott is married to Cheryl and they have three adult sons, one granddaughter, two dogs and a cat. 


Linda Beilharz

Linda Beilharz was appointed to the position of Executive Officer of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee in August 2007. Linda is committed to the organisation’s health promotion approach and the long term investment required to build gender equity and address other determinants of rural women’s wellbeing thoughout the rural region.

Linda has a Masters in Health Sciences, Grad Dip in Community Development and has worked at St Luke’s Anglicare , Bendigo Community Health Services  and the Community Preparation Program in management, community development, counselling and group work over  25 years. Her roles have  included the supervision of several community building projects in the region,  provision of community building training nationally and a secondment part time to La Trobe University's Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities. Linda has published a book called Building Community, The Shared Action Experience (2002, Solutions Press; Bendigo).

Linda has received several awards including an OAM and Bendigo Citizen of the Year in 2013. She has been included in the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll. 

Margaret Augerinos

Margaret Augerinos (B.SW) is a qualified Social Worker who has been working in the not-for-profit community services sector for the last 28 years.  Margaret has worked in many different settings including family counselling, community health, community legal services, and advocacy and rights organisations.

Margaret is presently the Chief Executive Officer of Centre for Non-Violence (Bendigo) which provides a range of domestic violence and housing support to women and children who have experienced domestic violence and/or homelessness.  In addition, CNV delivers the multi-award winning schools based violence prevention program “Solving The Jigsaw”.  CNV is the lead agency for the consortium delivering the full range of programs for women and children who experience domestic violence and for men who use violence towards family members.  This consortium is recognised as a leader in Victoria in responding to and delivering a co-ordinated community response.

Margaret has served on a number of Boards and Committees over the years and is presently the Victorian representative on WESNET (Women’s Services Network - Australian Women’s Domestic and Family Violence peak), and an Executive Member of the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance and is on the Interim Board of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters.

Margaret has presented at many conferences nationally and internationally and has presented at side and parallel events at the 54th, 57th and 58th sessions of the United Nations Committee for the Status of Women.

Margaret is a passionate supporter of human rights and in ending gender-based violence against women. 

Lisette Aarons

Lisette Aarons is an Assistant Director in the Australian Bureau of Statistics' National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics. A criminologist and survey methodologist, she is responsible for the analysis and dissemination of Australian crime and safety survey data, including the Personal Safety Survey. These collections provide information about the prevalence and characteristics of people's experiences as victims of household and personal crimes. A key part of her role is to assist researchers to understand and interpret crime statistics, The National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics also produces administrative data on crime from the police, criminal courts and corrections agencies in each state/territory. 

Fiona McCormack 

Fiona McCormack is the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic), the peak body for family violence services for women and children in Victoria. DV Vic provides political advocacy on behalf of, and in partnership with its member organisations for violence prevention, systemic change and enhancement of systems. This includes broader representation on groups including the Ministerial Advisory Group on Addressing Violence against Women, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Homelessness, and the National Plan Implementation Panel. 

Jodie Martin

Jodie Martin is the Chief Executive Officer at Gippsland Women’s Health Service. She has over 15 years’ experience in the health and human services sector, having worked in community health and local government prior to working in women’s health. Jodie currently chairs the Gippsland Prevention of Men’s Violence against Women Strategy Steering Committee and the Gippsland Integrated Family Violence Steering Committee.  She has a particular passion for improving access to health education and services for young people in rural areas. 

Cam Davis

Cam Davis has been a member of Victoria Police for 24 years.  He has been recognised as a specialist in the Sexual Crime and Family Violence Crime Theme’s.  Cam is currently the Officer in Charge of the Box Hill Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team managing a team of 23 sexual assault investigators.  Cam has performed previous roles at the Family Violence Co Ordination Unit formerly known as the Violence Against Women & Children Strategy Group, Sexual Crimes Squad and he was the team leader of the Internet Child Exploitation Team.  Cam is an active White Ribbon ambassador having spoken at a number of public forums about family violence and violence against women.  He is also a member of ‘No to Violence’ and believes engaging men is crucial to reducing violence against women and children. 

Anj Barker

Life for Anj Barker changed forever when she was brutally bashed by her ex-boyfriend. She suffered severe brain injury and spent three gruelling years in hospital, rehab and a nursing home before being able to return home, still needing full time care. Anj describes the two-and-a-half years spent housed in a nursing home as ‘hell’. As a teenager living among the very elderly, she felt angry, sad and trapped. Despite the enormous challenges she faces daily, Anj is determined to open the hearts and minds of others. She campaigns to stop young people ending up in nursing homes for the elderly and for the introduction of a national no fault insurance scheme, so that people with acquired brain injury can have an equal opportunity to regain an active and productive life. Anj educates the public on anti-violence, talking to students, young women, police and politicians. She empowers others to say ‘no’ to violence, by advocating respectful relationships and has represented Australia at the United Nations. She also works to educate others to see the person, not the disability. Anj Barker is an exceptional young woman who has displayed strength and courage in the face of horrific injuries. 

Rosie Batty

Rosie Batty stood before Australia’s media, the day after the violent murder of her son and spoke courageously, carefully and calmly on family violence.   She has continued to speak out with clarity on these issues working to lift awareness, understanding and to ultimately bring an end to this violence.  

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has acknowledged the power of what he refers to as the “Rosie Batty factor”.

Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive officer Fiona McCormack says of Rosie:

''She's been somebody who exemplifies what women go through and who people have listened to because when she speaks out it's the voice of experience and she's measured, she's so ethical, she's so credible, she's a voice that's respected and she's done an amazing job of shifting attitudes and focusing on this issue.''  

Teresa Dowd

Teresa Dowd is the Policy and Projects Manager for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities at the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against women and their Children. She is responsible for providing strategic policy advice and direction for the Foundation’s work with CALD communities, while also managing time-limited funded projects. Previously she coordinated the Central Victorian Cluster of the state government funded project, Prevention of Violence Against Women in Our Community, a partnership between Mount Alexander Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and the City of Greater Bendigo working to implement prevention initiatives through local government settings. She is a member of the Victorian Cross-Sector Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and The Media, and has previously been on a number of advisory and governance bodies for prevention initiatives in rural Victoria. She has co-authored a training manual for working on prevention of violence against women from CALD communities, and has recently co-authored an article, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, on the outcomes of a three year prevention project with African mediators and elders.

Maree Crabbe

Maree Crabbe has worked with young people – and on issues affecting young people – for over 20 years. She has developed and delivered programs focusing on sexual violence prevention, sexual diversity and prevention of sexually transmissible infections. 

Maree is co-founder and project coordinator of Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people and sexuality, a violence-prevention project, addressing the influence of pornography on young people. 

Maree’s articles on young people, sexuality and pornography have been published in online and print media. She is co-producer/co-director of the documentary film Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, broadcast on SBS in Australia and also in Israel, Germany and Poland, and author of In The Picture, a secondary school resource addressing the influence of explicit sexual imagery. 

Professor Bob Pease

Bob Pease is Professor of Critical Social Work at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia. He has been involved in profeminist politics with men for many years and was a founding member of Men Against Sexual Assault in Melbourne. He has published extensively on masculinity politics and critical social work practice, including four books as single author and ten books as co-editor, as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. His most recent books include: Undoing Privilege: Unearned Advantage in a Divided World (Zed 2010), Men and Masculinities Around the World: Transforming Men’s Practices (co-editor, Palgrave 2011). Men, Masculinities and Methodologies (co-editor, Palgrave 2013) and The Politics of Recognition and Social Justice: Transforming Subjectivities and New Forms of Resistance (co-editor, Routledge 2014). 

Patricia Kinnersly

Patricia(Patty) Kinnersly is the CEO of a regional rural health promotion organisation, Women’s Health Grampians. She has a background in welfare, health and education with post graduate qualifications in management and education. 

In addition to her CEO role, Patty is a sought after contributor to regional, state and national community and government Boards, project control groups and advisory committees. 

Patty  is currently a non-executive director on the Rural Northwest Health and Australian Women’s Health Network Boards’ and a member of The Royal Women’s Primary Care and Population Health advisory committee. 

Patty is also the current Convener of the Women’s Health Association of Victoria 

Tui Leleisiuao 

Tui grew up in New Zealand, of Samoan Heritage, surrounded by violence. As an angry young man he was getting into fights on the streets and at home. Coming from a minority and low socio background with the complexities of language, cultural discrimination/prejudice’s and other barriers, violence was all too easy to accept as a normative often used as a coping mechanism to survive and to cope with life in general.

Tui owes it to family, in particular his mother and education. Education was his ticket, although later in life, Tui realises the importance of education, love, and faith.

He didn’t see himself as an abusive partner because he never physically hurt his wife. He later realised verbal abuse could do a lot more damage. The turning point for him was having his own son and realising the cycle of violence needed to stop.

“The cycle of Violence must be stopped… We must take this message to the next generation of men”

Now he counsels men with a history of physical violence helping them to confront their violence. 

Kellie Nagle

Kellie Nagle has a background in community development, primarily working in the public housing and homelessness sectors.  She has worked in the local government and preventing violence against women space for the past eight years, and is currently undertaking two part-time roles as Policy Advisor Preventing Violence Against Women at the Municipal Association of Victoria (the MAV), as well as working for the Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV) as the Preventing Violence Against Women Senior Policy and Project Manager.  

Jenny Hill

Jennie Hill is one of five Administrators of Destroy the Joint, Australia’s largest online women’s activist group. Destroy the Joint is run by volunteers, and was set up in 2012 to combat the increasing sexism aimed at high-profile Australian women by the media, and now works to address women’s issues across many important issues. Jennie is a qualified teacher of special education, and has spent the last 20 years operating a non-profit organisation providing advanced driver training programs for young drivers, with a particular focus on the sexism faced by women and girls in the driving field.  She lectures around Australia and internationally on driving issues, and is the author of two books for young drivers and their parents. 

Joanne Mulchahy

Joanne Mulcahy is Executive Manager Communications, Strategic Advocacy and Customer Service at Yarra City Council. As the Chair of Yarra’s Gender Equity Committee Joanne helped develop Yarra’s first employee Gender Equity Strategy which champions a respectful, just and fair workplace and the prevention of violence against women. Joanne’s career spans 20 years in local government management positions at Yarra, Kingston and Whitehorse Councils, as well as some years consulting across the sector. 

Rodney Vlais

Rodney Vlais is a psychologist and social change worker with No To Violence in Victoria. Over the past ten years he has woven together experience in providing training, systems advocacy, men's behaviour change program facilitation, practice development and policy writing in responding to and preventing men's violence against women. Rodney was previously involved in a number of other social justice struggles at the global, national and local levels, both in Australia and overseas. He is passionate about working alongside women to transform patriarchal institutions and structures, and in helping men identify and loosen gender-based and other forms of privilege. 

Cathy Humphreys

Cathy Humphreys holds the Alfred Felton Chair in Child and Family Welfare, a chair which is now supported through the Sector Research Partnership, a collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and a consortium of 14 Victorian community sector organisations which are driving research in the children, youth and families area. Her research in the domestic violence area includes projects on: substance use; mental health; child abuse; multiagency working and reform. A three year action research project, Talking To My Mum developed activity books to strengthen the mother-child relationship and provide support for workers engaged in intervention which crossed the silos between adult women’s services and children’s services. More recently research projects have focused on the domestic violence policy reform in Victoria, Australia; the development of good practice guidelines and standards for women with disabilities living with domestic violence; and a policy critique of mandatory reporting for children living with domestic violence. Engaging men who use violence in relation to their fathering is a new program of research beginning in 2014. She has recently published a book with Lesley Laing: Domestic Violence and Social Work, Critical and Reflective Practice, Sage, London, 2013. 

Janet Menzies

Janet Menzies is co-founder and Executive Committee member of Head Over Heels.  The mission of Head Over Heels is to increase the representation of women leading high growth businesses.  Head Over Heels works with Connectors and a select group of CEOs to provide access to the strategic networks required for growth.  The organization selects and develops outstanding women CEOs, offering game-changing connections that lead to meaningful impact.

Janet is also an independent management consultant.  Before setting up her own practice, she spent 9 years with McKinsey & Company’s West Coast US Office – half as a consultant and half leading the people, development and staffing functions for the complex.

Since relocating to Sydney, she has served a variety of clients on a range of topics including increasing people productivity and revenue, improving key talent retention and building high performance culture.

In 2011, she worked in collaboration with McKinsey & Company serving the Male Champions of Change, a group of Australia’s leading CEOs, to distil and document best practices for increasing the representation of women in leadership.

Janet is a lecturer in the University of NSW Australian School of Business /AGSM’s Executive MBA program. 

Paul Hamilton

Paul Hamilton is the Regional General Manager for AFL Central Victoria. He works with his Commission in developing the Australian game throughout the region. They have developed a strategic plan that amongst other subjects outlines the value of the game to the community and the influence the game can have on communities. In regional Victoria, Football and Netball work closely together and the clubs are often the social hub of their districts. Paul is a strong believer in the power of education of young people and the ability of positive role models in influencing important decisions that young people must make. He has seen the positive effect programs such as the AFL’s ‘Respect and Responsibility’ can have and believes that sport can play a leadership role in a range of social issues.

Paul has had an extensive history in Australian Rules Football as a player, coach and administrator.  He holds an Honours Degree in Commerce and has had experience in a range of businesses prior to focussing his energies on the Sporting Industry. He has sat on a number of community boards and committees and is passionate in the building of strong communities. 

Libby Davies

Libby Davies is currently the CEO of White Ribbon Australia. Prior to this position, and in recent years, Libby has worked extensively across the social policy and community services sector holding leadership and senior executive positions and as a consultant.  She has worked as a business development consultant to a number of organisations such as Frontier Services, the national provider of aged and community services across rural and remote Australia; senior policy adviser with the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, and as a consultant in the areas of social policy, strategic planning and mentoring to the community sector. Libby has also held a number of chief executive positions, such as CEO for Family Services Australia, National Director of UnitingCare Australia and Executive Director of the Head Injury Council of Australia (now Brain Injury Australia). She is currently a Director of Lifeline Australia, member of the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Council and member of the NSW Preventing Domestic and Family Violence Social Investment Advisory Group.  Libby has served on a variety of Boards including immediate past Chair of the Board of UnitingCare NSW.ACT, the House with No Steps, The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and held a range of representative positions (including at executive and ministerial level) in health, ageing, and family and community services including ACOSS. Before moving into national social policy and advocacy work in community and welfare services, Libby worked in projects of national significance with the Australian Government relating to education and national curriculum development, and was a secondary teacher of social sciences. 

John O’Brien

Head of Industrial Relations, National Australia Bank

John has worked in industrial relations in both the private and public sectors in Australia over the past thirty years. He held a number of senior employee related positions in the Victorian Department of Labour including drafting employment related legislation and advising Ministers on industrial relations matters. In September 2001, John joined the National Australia Bank (NAB) as a Senior Industrial Adviser and has headed up the industrial relations function since March 2005. .

John  has overseen the NAB’s recent implementation of a Domestic Violence Support Policy for their 28,000 workers Australia wide. The policy supports staff members who may require time away from employment due to recovering from a physical attack, court appearances, moving premises, attending counselling etc. NAB has trained a dedicated team of staff who are able to deal directly with these staff members in a fully confidential manner. The policy was introduced in June of this year. The NAB are the first bank, and one of the first major companies in Australia to introduce such a policy.