SPEAKERS

PANEL
Ms Angela Lynch AM
, CEO, Women’s Legal Service QLD

 

Angela is a lawyer and the CEO of the Women’s Legal Service (WLS) and across her 26 years with the service has made significant front-line contributions to the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Angela has led and made important contributions to the development of law reform at a State and national level. Angela was appointed in 2016 to the inaugural Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board and reappointed in 2020. She is also and as a member of the Queensland Sexual Violence Roundtable. Angela is a member of the practitioner engagement group with ANROWS, was an advisory member to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System. Angela was awarded the 2017 Women’s Agenda leadership in the legal sector award and the Lawyer’s Weekly 2017 Not for Profit Lawyer of the Year and the Women in Law excellence award. She recently received a Member of the Order of Australia medal (AM) for her services to domestic violence prevention.

PANEL
Dr Anne Aly MP,
Member of Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System & Member of JSCAFLS, Parliament of Australia
(Virtual)

 

Dr Anne Aly is the Labor Federal Member for Cowan elected in 2016.

Anne’s background is as a Professor, Academic and Practitioner in the fields of counter terrorism and counter radicalisation. She has published over 100 articles and texts on terrorism and related issues and is the author and editor of five books. Prior to becoming an academic she worked in government policy.

Anne is the founder of Australia’s first non-government organisation to combat violent extremism. People against Violent Extremism (PaVE) is a not for profit organisation that developed a social media campaign against violent extremism.

Anne’s contributions to national and international security have been recognised internationally. In 2015 she was the only Australian civil society representative to be invited to speak at President Obama’s White House Summit on CVE. Later that year, she was again the only Australian representative to participate in the Club de Madrid +10 policy dialogues. Anne has also been an expert adviser to the United Nations Security Council and has participated in experts’ meetings.

In 2011, Anne was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2016 Anne was nominated for the Australian of the Year and received the prestigious Australian Security Medal.

PANEL
Vanessa A Fowler, 
Chair of the Board of Directors, The Allison Baden-Clay Foundation

 

Following the death of her sister who was murdered at the hands of her husband in April 2012, Vanessa and her parents turned their anger and sadness into something positive by starting a conversation around family and domestic violence.  Vanessa is on a journey to educate the community around the signs of domestic violence and teach tactics to become an active and effective bystander.  As an educator, it is important to Vanessa to address the underlying attitudes and cultural beliefs that perpetuate gender inequality and socialisation that leads to violence against women and children.


Professor Harry Blagg, 
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, UWA Law School, The University of Western Australia

 

Harry is a leading criminologist specializing in Indigenous people and criminal justice, young people and crime, family and domestic violence, crime prevention, diversionary strategies, policing and restorative justice. He has years of experience in conducting high level research with Aboriginal people across Australia (including urban, rural and remote locations) on a diversity of justice related issues. He has led a number of projects on Aboriginal Family Violence that question the mainstream narrative that violence can be understood largely in gender equality terms, and, instead, raises the question of colonial violence and trauma as central issues. He has increasingly argued for a ‘decolonising’ approach which builds partnerships between Indigenous communities and mainstream structures, aligned with Indigenous notions of place, leadership and culture and acknowledging the role mainstream institutions and belief systems have played in colonisation.

Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services (video)

 

Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, has been a Senator since September 2012.

Senator Ruston was appointed Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources in September 2015. She was subsequently appointed as Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific in August 2018. Senator Ruston is also the Manager of Government Business in the Senate.

Prior to becoming a Senator, Anne held several senior positions in government and the private sector, including as the inaugural chief executive of the National Wine Centre. She was also a primary producer and irrigator, owning and operating the largest commercial rose garden in Australia.

Born and raised in Renmark, on the River Murray in South Australia, Anne is a proud member of the community where she still lives and works to this day.

Mr Brad Chilcott, Executive Director, White Ribbon Australia
(Virtual)

 

In 2011, Brad founded the “Welcoming Australia” movement, now a national organisation with staff in four states, a range of initiatives across Australia and a national network of local government associations implementing the Welcoming Cities framework for building communities where everyone is welcome to belong, contribute and thrive. Brad is the Chair of the Welcoming Australia Advisory Panel and a Board director.

Brad was an Associate Director at Essential Media Communications, helping progressive organisations win campaigns to make Australia more equal, sustainable and inclusive.

Brad founded and convened the Family and Domestic Violence Advocacy Network in South Australia, created the annual Adelaide White Ribbon March, is on the Board of Reconciliation SA and the Advisory Board Food for Education (Kenya) and was named in South Australia’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018.

He has also worked as the Interim CEO of Australians for Mental Health and as advisor to Tim Costello and the Campaign for Australian Aid, leading the “Elite Influencers” strategy.

Brad was the founder and Lead Pastor of a progressive and inclusive Christian community in Adelaide called Activate Church and was on the national steering committee of Christians for Marriage Equality.

In addition to these advocacy roles, Brad has worked as a Ministerial Adviser at both the State and Federal levels and coordinates Australian support for a school for stateless children and a kinship foster program for Khmer children in Cambodia. Brad writes regularly for The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/profile/brad-chilcott

Mr Tarang Chawla, Founder, Not One More Niki
(Virtual)

 

Tarang Chawla is a writer, lawyer, anti-violence campaigner, mental health advocate and suicide survivor. Tarang founded the Not One More Niki campaign after his sister Nikita was murdered in 2015 by her partner. Tarang is an Ambassador for Our Watch and the Carlton Football Club’s “Carlton Respects” program promoting gender equality.

Tarang has received multiple honours for his work. He is a Young Australian of the Year Finalist, India-Australia Young Community Achiever of the Year
and was named as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Australians working for Social Change by Pro Bono Australia. Tarang’s work can be seen in all major Australian media outlets and he has appeared on ABC’s Q&A and the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Director, Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Monash University
(Virtual)

 

Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon is Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and an Associate Professor in Criminology in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University (Victoria, Australia). Kate conducts research in the field of family violence, femicide, criminal justice responses to family violence, and the impact of criminal law reform in Australia and internationally. Kate has advised on homicide law reform and family violence reviews in several Australian and international jurisdictions. In 2016 she was appointed to the Victorian Government’s Special Minister’s Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions and in 2018 she was appointed to the inaugural Board of Directors of Respect Victoria.

The Hon Chief Justice William Alstergren, Family Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court of Australia

 

The Honourable Chief Justice William Alstergren was appointed as Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia on 10 December 2018. His Honour holds a dual commission as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, to which he was appointed on 13 October 2017. His Honour is also the administrative head of the Appeal Division of the Family Court of Australia.

After graduating from Melbourne University in Law (and completing an LLM), Chief Justice Alstergren undertook articles in family law with Kenna Croxford & Co. From 1991 he practiced as a
barrister in Melbourne and took silk in 2012. His Honour was regularly briefed in large and complex commercial, family, industrial and tax trials and appeals in the Federal Court and state superior courts.

He was a member of the Bar Ethics Committee, the founder of the Bar’s Pro Bono Duty Barristers Committee and received the Distinguished Pro Bono Service award by the Victorian Chief Justice in 2008. His Honour is a former Chairman of the Victorian Bar. Immediately prior to coming to the Bench, His Honour was the President of the Australian Bar Association.

In his spare time, Chief Justice Alstergren enjoys spending time with his family, walking his two kelpies, playing electric guitar, surfing and reading. His Honour enjoys all things Norwegian and supporting the Hawthorn Football Club.

Ms Lisa O’Neill, Registrar Practice & Procedure, Family Court of Australia

 

Lisa has extensive experience in all aspects of family law, domestic violence and child protection litigation and policy development. She developed and is leading the Lighthouse Project, an integrated response to family violence and other risks to litigants and children which will be piloted in the Federal Circuit Court in Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta later this year. The court will introduce risk screening in these locations to identify the best case management pathway for cases based on the level of risk. Dispute resolution and the judicial list will be tailored to the level of risk in the case.

Previously Lisa led the Discrete property and PPP500 lists which provide litigants with a quicker and cheaper way to resolve property only disputes. Before starting work in the Family Court Lisa was seconded from DJAG to the Federal Court of Australia to set up the Parenting Management Hearing Panel. At DJAG Lisa developed family violence education for Magistrates and policy related to Queensland’s specialist domestic violence courts.

Lisa has a special interest in children’s cases, having previously been an Independent Children’s lawyer. She has extensive experience in many long trials in the family court on complex issues such as allegations of sexual abuse, substance misuse, mental health issues and parental rejection.

Lisa has a commitment to solving disputes by alternative dispute resolution. She trained as a mediator with CDR Associates in Boulder Colorado in 1990 and as a collaborative lawyer in 2012.

Lisa also has experience in administrative/ disciplinary matters as a tribunal member for accountants and medical radiation technologists. She was the Chair of the Teachers Disciplinary Committee and the Professional Standards Board for Patent and trade mark attorneys for two terms each. She is an experienced advocate having appeared in inquests and court and tribunal hearings. She has experience on non-government boards.

Dr Mike Freelander MP, Member for Macarthur, Member of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence
(Virtual)

 

Dr Mike Freelander has served the Macarthur community both as a paediatrician for over 40 years, and the Federal Member for Macarthur since 2016. He has dedicated his life’s work to bettering children, families and the general community and advocates for policies that will benefit them.

Dr Freelander serves on the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, which is holding an Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Additionally, Dr Freelander supports establishing a multi-jurisdictional justice precinct in Macarthur to reduce the current 18-month average wait time for AVO in Southwest Sydney, and successfully secured ongoing funding and support for domestic violence case managers in Macarthur from the NSW Government.

Mike has been a paediatrician in Campbelltown for over 40 years and has dedicated his life’s work to make sure our kids get the best start in life.

Mike trained as a paediatrician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Camperdown after completing his residency at the Royal North Shore Hospital. In 1984, Mike and his wife Sharon moved to the Macarthur Region where they raised their six children. At this time Mike commenced work at Campbelltown Hospital where he took on the role as Head of Paediatrics from 1986 to 2013.

Mike set up practices in Campbelltown and Camden because he saw that the growing needs of the region were not being met. Despite his workload as a paediatrician Mike still finds time to give back to his profession, teaching the next generation of doctors as a lecturer at Western Sydney University.

His hard work and dedication to the region has earnt him the respect of local families and residents. In his near 4 decades as a paediatrician in the Macarthur region, Mike has seen over 200,000 patients.

Mike has increasingly seen his patients and their families face issues of access; access to healthcare, access to work, access to housing and access to education. It is these issues that drove Mike to run for the Federal seat of Macarthur.

Sandra Creamer, CEO of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, Lawyer and Adjunct Professor in Public Health at the University of Queensland.

 

Sandra Creamer is a Waanyi/Kalkadoon Indigenous woman from Australia. Sandra is the CEO of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, Lawyer and Adjunct Professor in Public Health at the University of Queensland.

Sandra was awarded a Member of the Order Of Australia (AM) award on the Queens Birthday 2019 by the Attorney General of Australia for her work with Indigenous women and peoples.

Sandra is an advisor for the Seventh Generation Board Fund, on the Board of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum and on the Advisory team for the Queensland Human Rights Commissioner.

Sandra advocates on human rights for Indigenous women and peoples and Sandra has been involved with the international arena for many years and in particular working with Indigenous women globally. Sandra has attended the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous peoples and was the co-chair for the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus.