Day 1

Morning Sessions 

Strong Aboriginal Women

We are privileged to hear from powerful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women working in the domestic and family violence sector. Through their combined expertise and lived experience, they will discuss the critical issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers and clients, focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety, trauma informed care, boundaries and collective operation.

Speakers: Ashlee Donohue (facilitator), Bronwyn Penrith, Dixie Link-Gordon, Charmaigne Weldon, and Jennah Dungay


Children, Complex Trauma and Domestic Violence

This session presents latest research from NSW and Australia to ensure that the experiences and voices of children are an explicit focus in the broader national conversation on domestic and family violence currently underway in our country. The session will focus on the economic cost of violence against children and young people in NSW as well as emerging, cutting edge research on complex trauma and child abuse and its implications for enhanced practice.

Speakers: Associate Professor Michael Salter and Andrew Johnson


Minister’s Address

Minister Mark Speakman, Attorney General for NSW and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence will provide an inaugural address for the DVNSW 2019 Conference.


Afternoon sessions

The afternoon sessions will include; a choice of presentations in the main auditorium, more specialist sessions in break out rooms, or alternatively a half-day workshop:


Session 1. A choice of either:

Main auditorium:  Inclusivity and Accessibility

This panel will feature experts speaking about accessibility and inclusivity of domestic and family violence services, specifically in relation to people with disability, Aboriginal communities and LGBTIQ communities. Panelists will share their expertise as well as concrete strategies for workers, services and communities to become more accessible to marginalised communities.

Speakers: Kai Noonan , Polly Seymour and Freya Higgins


Break out session:  Practical Advocacy Skills

Caterina Giorgi, Founder and Managing Director of For Purpose, will work alongside workshop participants to help develop the critical skills required to navigate the policy development process and make change happen. This session will provide participants with the opportunity to develop tailored advocacy strategies, with innovative tactics, to achieve desired policy outcomes, for their own organisations.


Session 2. A choice of either:

Main auditorium – National and International Action

This session will bring together experts working nationally on gendered violence in Australia. The focus will be on Australian federal policy on gendered violence, the latest Australian research and knowledge translation on gendered violence and national advocacy on the continuing case for a specialist response to domestic and family violence across jurisdictions in Australia.

Speakers: Dr Merrindahl Andrew and Dr. Heather Nancarrow


Break out  – Achieving safety for Clients

This session will provide practical information for on-the-ground workers to support their clients to achieve safety. The session will feature three informative speakers; Michelle Jones from Legal Aid presenting on their state-wide Safer Pathway program, Alex Davis from Legal Aid presenting on online safety for clients and Nicole Yade from Lou’s place presenting on their program ‘Always Mum’ helping mums with children in out of home care connect with their children.

Speakers: Alex Davis, Alice Stiles and Nicole Yade,


Alternatively you can attend a full afternoon workshop:

Challenging Systemic Racism to Create Cultural Safety

In this session Louisa Consultancy will consider how we as a sector can improve and work more skillfully to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and children who are disproportionately affected by family and domestic violence. We are lucky to hear from the experts on how to create and maintain culturally safe spaces and challenge systemic racism in order to address this more effectively in ourselves and as a sector.

Facilitator: Yatungka Gordon



Morning Sessions


Shadow Minister’s Address

Trish Doyle, Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence will provide the shadow ministerial  address for the DVNSW 2019 Conference.


Forced Marriage, Trafficking and Women on Temporary Visas

Panelists will explore what domestic and family violence looks like in the context of forced marriage, trafficking and slavery – particularly with regard to the role of family members in addition to intimate partners. The panel will discuss the barriers that people experiencing forced marriage, trafficking and slavery face in accessing housing, financial, health, legal and social support. The panel will also focus on women on temporary visas as a group that is at risk of this type of violence.


Speakers: Katie Young, Grace Wong, Laura Vidal


A choice from three concurrent sessions:

Main Auditorium – Conversations with Men and Men’s Behavioral Change

Featuring a range of experienced experts in the field, this panel will explore engaging with men in the movement to end gendered violence and evidence based perpetrator behavioral change programs.

Speakers: June Wilson, Kathy Powell and Lizette Twisleton


Break out 1 – Youth & Domestic and Family Violence

This dynamic panel will feature a range of speakers with expertise working with young people who have experienced domestic and/or family violence. Panelists will explore both the unique experiences of young people from a diverse range of backgrounds who experience domestic and family abuse, as well as strategies for best practice which can be adopted by workers and services across NSW.

Speakers: Anna Hush, fEMPOWER, Kelly Royds and Susan Farrar


Break out 2 – Voices for Change

This session will introduce Voices for Change; a survivor media advocacy project run by DVNSW. The project aims to prevent violence against women and intimate partner violence through improving media reporting and supporting an increased number of survivor voices to educate the community about intimate partner and family violence. Learn from the voices of people with lived experience through short presentations by advocates involved in the project.


Afternoon sessions

Main Auditorium – Homelessness and Domestic and Family Violence

Facilitated by Homelessness NSW, a peak not-for-profit organisation that works with its members to prevent and reduce homelessness across NSW, this panel will inform participants of the latest trends and dynamics in homelessness and the homelessness sector. Participants will learn about current projects in NSW to end homelessness as well as key challenges for marginalized communities including Aboriginal women and young people.

Speakers: Annabelle Daniel and Monique Wiseman and facilitated by Katherine McKernan


Break out 1 – Sexual Consent

This session will explore the adequacy of NSW consent laws in relation to sexual assault offences, and the broader context in which they operate. The panel discussion will additionally explore systematic problems with sexual assault reporting and convictions, the question of specialist courts and the role of the law and society more broadly in informing cultural and societal change, especially in light of the #metoo movement.

Speakers: Saxon Mullins, Rachael Burgin and Erin Gough


Main Auditorium – Abortion and Coercion

This session will inform participants about the dynamics of reproductive coercion as a form of abuse and links to abortion. Advocacy to change conservative abortion laws in NSW has put this issue in the news; this session will explore and explain the issues further.

Speakers: Denele Crozier, Sinead Canning and Gina Rushton


Main AuditoriumSorting It Out

Gaining a better understanding of gay, bisexual and queer (GBQ) men’s attitudes towards and experiences of domestic violence and sexual assault is the focus of a landmark study ‘Sorting It Out’, conducted by ACON and researchers at Western Sydney University.  This presentation will explore the results of the ‘Sorting It Out research’ as well as the findings from the two subsequent community consultations with GBTQ men.

Speaker: Annaliese Constable