PROGRAM COMMITTEE

Hayley is the Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Safety NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours and University Medallist), a Bachelor of Business, and post graduate qualifications in mediation, family disputes resolution, financial planning and political economics. Hayley is deeply passionate about the work of women's specialist services and the importance of having diverse women’s voices represented in addressing the issues of gender inequality and gender-based violence. Hayley has over 15 years’ experience in the domestic and family violence (DFV) sector across the following areas: frontline specialist women and children’s services; violence prevention; accredited men’s behaviour change; family law practice; family disputes resolution; policy; law reform; advocacy; sector development; and organisational management. Throughout this time, Hayley has worked with diverse population groups and organisations in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote settings across the government, non-government and corporate sectors. Hayley has particular expertise in integrated, multi-sectorial strategies to address DFV, child safety, and family, civil and criminal injustice. Hayley brings a focus on evidence-to-action and genuine participatory research to Women's Safety NSW's work in legislative, policy and practice reform.

Brad is the Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia.

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 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

Beck is the CEO for DVConnect, Qld’s State-wide domestic violence 24/7 crisis response service, sexual assault helpline and specialist counselling partner for 1800RESPECT. Beck is deeply passionate about ensuring the safety, choices and diverse life experiences of people impacted by violence is acknowledged and respected.

As an inclusive queer feminist, Beck has dedicated her professional career to social justice; championing equality and self-determination through her work in adult, child and youth mental health (rural and remote), specialised domestic & family violence support and advocacy, women’s health, child protection, LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing, family counselling and mediation services.

Beck has particular expertise in the design and delivery of complex clinical services in a virtual
environment, with the implementation of the National Telephone Dispute Resolution Service and Qld’s Victims Counselling Support Service (Relationships Australia), the National Support Centre for Ageing and Disability Services (The Benevolent Society), Cancer Council Helpline (Qld), Parent Coaching (Reach Out.com) and now DVConnect, all part of her diverse senior management experience.

Beck is also the Vice President of the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation, on the National Sector Advisory Committee for 1800RESPECT, Stopping Gender Violence Advisory Board for QUT Centre for Justice and a member of the CALD Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Roundtable Advisory Group for the Qld State Government.

Matthew is the Manager, Education and Strategic Development at Rainbow Health Victoria within The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University and is a leading voice in Australia on LGBTIQ domestic and family violence.

At the helm of the ‘LGBTIQ Family Violence Capacity Building Project’, Matthew leads a team delivering an interconnected suite of LGBTIQ intimate partner and family violence and inclusive practice initiatives for the mainstream domestic violence service sector in Victoria. Since 2014 Matthew has also driven LGBTIQ domestic violence public educational projects and media campaigns through producing & directing the innovative educational theatre piece “My Other Closet the Cabaret”.

Matthew also gave one of the plenary presentations at STOP DV 2019 entitled “Shining a Light on the Dark Side of the Rainbow” that was talked about by many delegates for much of the conference afterwards.

I am a Wiradjuri woman, Dabee descent, born on Gamillaroi Country, Coonabarabran, living on Bundjalung Country, Northern NSW for many years. I worked in Department of Housing NSW for 7 years, when in 2004 changed focus to child protection working in Casework, Specialist and Permanency positions. I joined Ngunya Jarjum as Programs Manager in 2019.

I was also a presenter at the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Summit and STOP DV 2020.

Working within families leading with cultural practices, offers families a chance to bind together. Our families have ability to change, with sustainable outcomes that is inclusive of all family and kin.

Geraldine Bilston is a victim-survivor of family violence. In 2015 she escaped an abusive relationship. She had spent half a decade loving and living with a man who she should have felt safe, secure and happy with, but she left bruised and broken.

She would spend a further 2 years dealing with police, courts and ‘the system’.

Geraldine is determined to help make a difference to the way we approach family violence in Australia. She is currently studying for her Graduate Certificate in Family Violence, and was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council in May 2020. She is committed to helping create better outcomes for victim survivors, including in areas like victim support, technology-based abuse, and sexual violence.

A familiar face to many after sharing her experience of family violence on ABC's ‘You Can’t Ask That’ in 2019, ‘Q&A’ in March 2020, and ‘The Drum’ in December 2020, and she has also published her own writing through the website ‘Mamamia’.

Geraldine has been both a client and an advocate at Safe Steps, Victoria’s 24/7 family violence support service and is an active advocate for the prevention of family violence through the media, at corporate, community and fundraising events.

Elisabeth is the CEO of Relationships Australia (NSW).

Elisabeth is a clinical and counselling psychologist with extensive experience in relationship services. In addition to leadership in clinical governance and professional ethics, she also coaches executives within the not for profit and public sectors. She has taught at ACU, UNSW and Newcastle universities in areas of clinical practice, management and professional ethics, and routinely presents and publishes work in these areas.

Elisabeth is a senior consultant at The Ethics Centre, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and sits on a number of Boards.

Jackie McMillan is a Project Officer in the Evidence to Action team at Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), where she works to translate research evidence into policy and practice. She has qualifications in social philosophy and women’s studies, with a focus on sexual consent.

Jackie has 20 years’ experience in the health and human services sectors, with extensive experience working with sex workers. At ANROWS, Jackie has overseen projects related to domestic violence, health and mental health, translating this evidence into organisational submissions to a broad range of inquiries.

Freya Higgins is a human rights activist, speaker, and facilitator. She is currently leading the Building Access project on behalf of People with Disability Australia. She has worked directly in numerous forms of disability advocacy over the past ten year and is a proud disabled woman.