NSW Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Council

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The NSW Domestic and Family Violence Council (“The Council”) was established in August 2013. The Council expanded its remit and membership to include sexual assault in 2016 and was renamed the NSW Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Council.

The Council is an expert forum established to form an alliance between government and non-government service sectors, providing the basis for an integrated response to domestic and family violence and sexual assault in NSW.

There are currently nine non-government members appointed to the Council:

  • Ms Anne Hollonds (Co-Chair) has nearly twenty years’ experience as a senior executive in non-government organisations, working in the fields of domestic and family violence; child and family services; child protection; community mental health; education and organisational development.
    A psychologist, Anne was previously Chief Executive Officer of The Benevolent Society, a large non-government organisation well known for its child and family services as well as its research, evaluation and policy work. Domestic violence prevention and early intervention is a core element of its service delivery. Anne has recently taken up a position as Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Ms Libby Davies has over twenty five years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector including various CEO roles with peak bodies in the community services, social policy and advocacy fields and in relation to domestic and family violence services, prevention and male behaviour change.
    In her role as Chief Executive Officer of White Ribbon Australia, the only national, male-led, primary prevention organisation working to stop men’s violence against women, she is working in the developmental space of primary prevention action that works to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to the perpetuation of men’s violence against women. In March this year Libby presented on the work of White Ribbon Australia to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
  • Ms Tracy Howe is Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS).
    Tracy is a legally trained advocate with a commitment to human rights, addressing community disadvantage and gender inequality. Previously, Tracy has worked in both government and non-government settings, including with Domestic Violence NSW as Chief Executive Officer and as a senior legal advisor in Federal government.
    Tracy currently sits on the NSW Government’s Social Impact Investment Expert Advisory Group and is appointed to the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Council, the NSW Premier's Council on Homelessness and was the NSW non-government representative on the National Plan Implementation Panel for the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. Tracy is also a Director of Community 21, a community sector consortium that co-owns a banking service for not-for-profits.  Previously, Tracy was a delegate with the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the 57th and 58th sessions held at the United Nations in New York.
    In February 2015, Tracy won the Agenda Setter Award at the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. In May 2015, Tracy was appointed to the Prime Minister’s COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women. In August 2015, Tracy became an Ambassador of the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women.
    Tracy holds degrees in Gender Studies and Law.
  • Ms Susan Smith is a solicitor who has worked exclusively in the area of domestic and family violence for the past 10 years. Susan is the Coordinator of Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service at Redfern Legal Centre, which is funded by Legal Aid. The service provides court-based services to around 1,500 women and children experiencing domestic and family violence per year. Susan works face-to-face with these clients in the metropolitan Sydney area.
    Susan is also actively involved in domestic and family violence law reform and policy work. She has contributed to the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill of 2010 as well as a number of inquiries and reviews at a federal and state level.
  • Dr Jo Spangaro has over 25 years’ experience as a practitioner in the fields of sexual violence, child protection and family violence, working as a sexual assault service crisis counsellor with victims and perpetrators, as well as in policy development and management.
    Jo is currently Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences at University of New South Wales. She completed her PhD thesis in public health responses to family violence and has published widely on the issue. Jo has also worked at the international level, studying approaches to identification and assessment of domestic and family violence in health programs in the USA and Canada, and has presented her work at numerous international conferences.
  • Ms Christine Robinson is an Aboriginal woman with links to the Bundjalung Nation located in northern New South Wales with over twenty years’ experience working in domestic and family violence services, including elsie’s refuge. She is currently the Coordinator of Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre Inc. and an active member of the NSW Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Program Advisory Committee (WDVCAP), the NSW Police Aboriginal Strategic Advisory Council and the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team.
  • Ms Karen Willis OAM has thirty years’ experience working on issues related to domestic violence and sexual violence, in both prevention and service provision. As Executive Officer for the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, Karen has represented the Centre on a number of sexual assault prevention research projects with the Australian Research Council and the University of NSW and University of Western Sydney.
    In 2005 Karen was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to review the Management of Complaints of Sexual Assault in the Criminal Justice Systems and Support Services for Victims in South Africa, the United States of America and Canada.
  • Ms Diane Coleman is a Registered Psychologist and Manager for BaptistCare’s programs in the Macarthur region - counselling, women’s DV refuge, groups, No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) & DV NILS. Diane is also the Chair of the Men’s Behaviour Change Network in NSW. She has worked as a counsellor and therapist for over 30 years with a special focus on responding to Domestic & Family Violence. She has conducted many groups for women who have experienced violence and conducted numerous ‘men’s behaviour change programs’ (Domestic & Family Violence). In 2012 she developed and released a resource DVD ‘Not in My House’ to be used in training workers around the issues of intimate partner violence (ATOM industry award as ‘best educational resource’ 2012). In 2012 Diane piloted the DV NILS program in Campbelltown which is now also offered in Bankstown and the Central Coast.
  • Ms Moo Baulch is the Chief Executive Officer at Domestic Violence NSW (DVNSW), the peak body representing domestic and family violence services in NSW. DVNSW works with services, policymakers, practitioners, communities, corporate bodies and government to raise awareness of domestic and family violence and to develop safe strategies for women, children and families needing to escape from violent situations. Prior to DVNSW, Moo ran the domestic violence project at ACON (formerly the NSW AIDS Council), which aimed to increase awareness of domestic and family violence and the impacts on LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning). Moo has studied in the UK, Spain, South-East Asia and Australia on reconciliation, healing, peace and social justice. She has a Masters from the University of Queensland exploring Aboriginal community responses to the healing of the Stolen Generations

The non-government members join the following senior executives from NSW Government agencies:

  • Ms Elizabeth Koff (Co-Chair), Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Resources, NSW Health
  • Mr David de Carvalho, Deputy Secretary, Strategic Reform and Policy, Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Mr Jason Ardler, General Manager, Aboriginal Affairs NSW, Department of Education and Communities.
  • Ms Robyn Bale, Director, Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships, Department of Education and Communities.
  • Ms Lorna McNamara, A/Director, Office of Kids and Families, NSW Health.
  • Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller APM, Commander, Central Metropolitan Region, NSW Police Force and New South Wales Police Force Corporate Spokesperson for Domestic and Family Violence.
  • Mr Brendan Thomas, Deputy Secretary, Justice Strategy and Policy, Department of Justice.
  • Ms Natasha de Silva, Director, Women NSW, NSW Health