Senior public servants leading advisory group to end violence against women

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday June 21, 2021

(Image: Adobe/Taras Vyshnya)

Two Australian Public Service deputy secretaries have been appointed to lead a new advisory group that will inform the development of the government’s national plan to end family, domestic and sexual violence.

Co-chairs Alison Frame, from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women, and Liz Hefren-Webb, from the Department of Social Services, have been joined by representatives from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Indigenous communities, and LGBTQIA+ communities. People with disability, children and young people have also been represented.

The members include:

  • Pru Goward, former sex discrimination commissioner,
  • Anne Hollonds, national children’s commissioner,
  • Dale Wakefield, former Northern Territory minister for territory families,
  • Gulnara Abbasova, executive officer, Harmony Alliance,
  • Karen Bentley, contract manager, Australian Women Against Violence Alliance,
  • Sandra Creamer, CEO, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance,
  • Catherine Fitzpatrick, director, Customer Vulnerability and Financial Resilience, Westpac Bank,
  • Hayley Foster, former CEO, Women’s Safety NSW,
  • Carolyn Frohmader, executive director, Women with Disabilities Australia,
  • Patty Kinnersly, CEO Our Watch,
  • Eloise Layard, program coordinator, ACON,
  • Donnella Mills, chair National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation,
  • Michele Robinson, director, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (attending on behalf of incoming CEO, Padma Raman),
  • Dr Michael Salter, associate professor, UNSW,
  • Joanne Sheehan-Paterson, chair National Association of Services against Sexual Violence,
  • Jodie Sloan, acting CEO Women’s Safety Services SA,
  • Jacqui Watt, CEO No to Violence.

Minister for women Marise Payne and women’s safety minister Anne Ruston announced the appointments on Friday, noting that the group attended a virtual meeting of the Women’s Safety Taskforce that day.

During the meeting, commonwealth, state and territory governments discussed their progress toward ending violence against women and children, while advisory group members voiced support for evidence, data and clear monitoring for all items in the upcoming national plan.

“This will ensure we can thoroughly assess and track our long term target to ending violence against women and their children,” Ruston said.

The advisory group’s contributions will be detailed in a consultation report, to inform the national plan. The group will work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council to ensure relevant Closing the Gap targets are embedded in the plan.

The public can give feedback on the plan until July 31.

READ MORE: Government opens public consultation on plan to reduce violence against women and children


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