Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Working Group
Tara Hunter (Chair)
Tara Hunter is based on Gadigal Land (Sydney) and is the Director of Client and Clinical Services at Full Stop Australia, first established in the 1970s and now one of the country’s most recognised sexual, domestic and family violence response services.
With a Master of Social Work and various workplace training and family dispute resolution certifications, Tara’s approach to leadership is trauma-informed and backed up by over 20 years of experience in the sector, from front-line client work to high-level strategic advisory roles.
Having managed sexual assault support services within the public health network system, led and mentored teams of clinicians through complex caseloads, spoken publicly and in parliament on key law reform matters, including sexual consent, Tara offers an important client-centred approach to the national conversation on ending violence and abuse.
Geraldine Bilston is a professional consultant and victim-survivor of family violence. Geraldine recently completed her Graduate Certificate in Family Violence and is currently undertaking a Master of Politics and Policy.
She was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council in May 2020, and sits across a number of consulting and advisory boards including the Mornington Peninsula Primary Prevention Collaboration and White Ribbon National Advisory Council.
A familiar face to many after sharing her experience of family violence through a number of media outlets and she has also published her own writing. Geraldine is an active advocate for the prevention of family violence through the media, at corporate, community and fundraising events.
Amie Carrington is the Chief Executive Officer for the Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC). DVAC provide specialist Domestic Violence Services and Perpetrator Intervention services in several communities across South East Queensland. Amie is passionate about ending gendered violence. Amie is a member of the WESNET Board (Women’s Services Network) and Management Committee member for Ending Violence against Women Queensland (EVAWQ).
Dr Alison Evans is the Director of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence at the Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing. Alison has a deep commitment to, and substantive knowledge and experience in, the area of violence against women, including service provision, advocacy, policy and legislation, and research and professional development.
Di currently oversees the family violence programs as the State Manager for the Northern Territory and Queensland, Salvation Army. She has experience within the government and the NGO DFV sector and has a broad skill set in community services sector and related governance spanning over 20 years. She has extensive experience working in remote areas and managed one of the busiest DFV services in Australia that covered over 760 000 square kilometres throughout Central Australia. Di has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Post Graduate certificate in Management.
One of her drivers for working in the domestic violence space is to improve practices to ensure they are accessible and inclusive and that all women and children can live free from domestic violence through innovation in service delivery that includes a collaborative approach.
Sophie Hantz is the Senior Policy Officer responsible for the area of domestic, family and sexual violence reduction and reform with the Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS). This is a critical national-facing role for the Northern Territory, a jurisdiction that records some of the nation’s highest rates of DFSV. In lieu of a DFSV peak in the Territory, Sophie is working with organisations from across the Northern Territory to implement, and advocate for, the DFSV reform agenda on a local and national level. NTCOSS is the peak body for the Northern Territory community and social services sector and a voice for people affected by social and economic disadvantage and inequality.
Megan is a Domestic Family Sexual Violence Specialist. Megan has over eight years of frontline Domestic Family Sexual Violence experience across most Australian Jurisdictions, including Central Australia and high-risk integrated response teams. Megan is a fierce advocate for victim-survivors, advocating for change, improved responses and culturally safe, trauma-informed, community-led solutions. Megan is passionate about amplifying the voices of underrepresented women with lived Domestic Family Sexual Violence experience to inform policy, legislation, and systemic change. Megan holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB, SCU), Post Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence (Post. Grad. Cert. DV, QUT) and Post Graduate Diploma in Practical Legal Training (Post. Grad. Dip. PLT, QUT) and Post Graduate Certificate in Mental Health (Post. Grad. Cert. MH, LA Trobe). Megan holds University leadership awards.
Megan is currently a Women’s Wellbeing and Sexual Assault Specialist. Megan continues to work with the National Women’s Rural (NRWC) Alliance in policy and on a community project as part of the NRWC Leadership Muster program. Megan is a member of the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance.
Chi-uh Neylon is an accomplished Operations Manager, People and Culture Manager, Social Worker, Project Manager and place-based installation artist with a wealth of experience in various fields. For the past three years, Chi-uh has served as the Operations Manager at She’s A Crowd, where she has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a strong background in social work and facilitation. She is responsible for providing wellbeing support to the team, and under her guidance, the team has grown from 3 to over 20 members within the past 24 months. Chi-uh’s expertise as a community practitioner shines through her specialisation in community engagement and community arts practice. Additionally, Chi-uh has completed the renowned Brene Brown Dare to Lead Course, further enhancing her abilities in leadership and management. Apart from her operational role, she also actively contributes to customer service and customer management at She’s A Crowd. Chi-uh’s multidisciplinary experience, combined with her inherent creativity, adds significant value in terms of innovation, problem-solving, organisation, and visionary thinking to every project she undertakes.
Elise is a registered psychologist with 15 years’ experience in leadership roles in the non-government sector. Elise has lived experience of domestic and family violence and is passionate about influencing systems-level change to increase safety, prevent violence, bring healing for victim-survivors and hold people who use violence accountable. As Deputy CEO and Team Manager of Policy, Research and Advocacy at peak body Domestic Violence NSW, Elise prioritises stakeholder engagement and advocating with Government for greater investment where it is most needed.
Mary is General Manager of Embolden, South Australia’s peak body for domestic, family and sexual violence services. With a background in social work and social policy, Mary has diverse experience across delivery and management of non-government services and strategic policy and projects for government. Mary has a longstanding commitment to social justice and gender equality. Between 2018 and 2021, she led a project to improve how SA public sector agencies prevent, identify and respond to violence against women, in partnership with Our Watch and White Ribbon Australia. Late last year, she undertook a Churchill Fellowship in the UK to gain insights into how coercive control laws are operating on the ground and emerging impacts for victim-survivors.
Dr Gabrielle Morrissey is a distinguished academic and internationally experienced not-for-profit CEO, media commentator, writer and presenter on all aspects of relationships, from healthy to unhealthy. With a PhD in Sexology/Forensic Sexology, the author of 3 books, a relationships and divorce advice columnist since 2000, and former radio host, Dr Gabrielle has listened to and helped every kind of relationship from aspirational to abusive. Through Associate Professorships at university medical schools in the US and Australia, she has conducted research on love, respect, the social determinants of good health, and what makes a relationship good or bad, sharing her insights internationally at conferences and on podcasts. Passionate about empowering women and changing how society addresses women’s safety and rights, she is now the CEO of Women and Children First, a comprehensive domestic abuse and family violence response and prevention service with two shelters in Northern Sydney.
Dr Anastasia Powell is Associate Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies at RMIT University. Anastasia is a leading researcher into family and sexual violence, specialising in justice responses, primary prevention and technology-facilitated abuse.
Anastasia has contributed to policy specific research for the Victorian State Government and to a number of projects commissioned by VicHealth, including the National Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women Survey. She also plays a key role in the university sector’s National Student Safety Survey.
Tulika has more than 20 years of research and field experience in gender equality, gender mainstreaming and gender-based violence, particularly domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace and primary prevention of violence against women.
She is currently working at YWCA Canberra where she manages violence prevention training and education program and a Domestic Violence Support Service. She has a PhD from the Australian National University and a Masters in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. Her PhD thesis was on domestic violence policies and their impact on survivors.
Louise leads Safe and Equal’s approaches to policy analysis, strategic advocacy, government, partner and member engagement, and broader campaigns and awareness-raising. She oversees our Policy, Communications and Engagement Unit – made up of three multi-disciplinary teams that design, develop and deliver policy advocacy, media and digital engagement, and key strategic projects including our work embedding lived experience within the family violence system and supporting private sector partners to recognise and respond to their workforces’ experiences of family violence.
Louise has a Master of Public Policy and a Graduate Certificate in Environment and Planning. She has worked in the Victorian community sector for 15 years, holding positions in DVRCV, No To Violence, and across the housing and homelessness sector.
Yvette Vignando is the CEO of Mary’s House Services, providing a refuge, case management service and a range of therapeutic and wellbeing programs for women and their children. Her career spans leadership in not-for-profit environments and in the education sector, as well as legal practice, publishing and media, company secretarial, and executive coaching with a specialisation in emotional intelligence. Yvette is a non-executive board member on three not for profit boards including the peak body Domestic Violence NSW, and is an AICD graduate. Formerly, Yvette was CEO of Justice Support Centre, one of NSW’s largest domestic and family violence service providers. She is committed to contributing to community wellbeing and safety, particularly children’s social and emotional wellbeing, gender equality, social justice, health and education.
Sue is a LGBTIQA+ community advocate as well as a passionate violence prevention and respectful relationships educator and advocate. She has been working in this space and aligned violence response and primary prevention spaces for over 15 years, having most recently worked at the Australian National University leading their Respectful Relationships Unit prior to taking her current role as CEO of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service.