Christina is a well known and respected communications expert with a highly visible career in the media and a solid reputation for developing communications plans for key customers that are authentic, informative and engaging. While you may know her best in her public role as a talk back radio host, TV News Presenter, current affairs journalist or travel show host , she has also worked successfully in the print industry, including her role as editor of Perth Woman Magazine where she provided end-to-end project management for a highly successful Western Australian publication both growing the publication in size and distribution and sub editor at WA's only regional daily newspaper, The Kalgoorlie Miner. As co-director of a successful Continuous Improvement Consultancy she provides communications expertise to fully integrate the development and implementation of change management strategies and plans across multiple sites and team levels in the mining and resources sector.
Colin Pettit - Commissioner for Children & Young People WA
Colin has spent his career working to improve the wellbeing of children and young people, particularly in delivering education services and programs to children and young people living in regional and remote areas of the State. Colin has worked with children, young people, families and communities all over the State as a teacher and then principal in a number of regional schools, before holding the role of Executive Director Regional and Remote Education at the Western Australian Department of Education for three years. Between 2010 and 2015, Colin was the Secretary of Education for the Tasmanian Department of Education. He is a former President of the Primary Principal’s Association of WA and Deputy President of the Australian Primary Principal’s Association. Colin is an Ambassador for Barking Gecko Theatre and the Valuing Children Initiative, the Vice Chancellor of the Children’s University WA Partnership and in February 2019 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education from Edith Cowan University. He is a father of three and a grandfather of three.
Hon. Simone McGurk - Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family & Domestic Violence; Community Services
Simone is the State Labor Member for Fremantle, and the Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence and Community Services. As a Minister in the McGowan Labor Government, Simone is working to establish a whole-of-government approach to tackling the scourge of family and domestic violence, ensure that our state invests in children during the critical early years to build stronger families, and implement a Housing First approach to break the cycle of homelessness in WA. Prior to her election in 2013, Simone worked in the union movement for over 22 years. Simone holds degrees in History from the University of Melbourne and Media from Murdoch University
Emeritus Professor Simon Forrest
Simon Forrest was born and raised in Wadjuk country (Boorloo or Perth). His mother is Wadjuk Balardong Nyungar and his father Badimia Wongutha. He trained as a primary school teacher and worked in schools in in Aboriginal communities and rural towns. He has also worked in the public sector in senior managerial positions in education and Indigenous affairs policy and implementation. Simon is WA’s most established Aboriginal academic having been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students since 1983. He was appointed Inaugural Head of School Kurongkurl Katitjin at Edith Cowan University in 1995. In 2010 he was appointed as Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University and in 2014 as the inaugural Elder in Residence at Curtin University. His services are widely sought particularly as a presenter and facilitator in the areas of Aboriginal Education, History, Politics, Cultural Awareness and Competency. He has given seminars and taught at other universities in Australia, the United States at Michigan State and Colgate Universities, Canada, Scotland, Germany and Malaysia. In 2005 was awarded National Scholar of the Year at the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee Awards and in 2017 awarded Male Nyungar Elder of the year at the WA NAIDOC awards. He retired in December 2019 and in recognition of his contributions to Reconciliation and teaching of Aboriginal studies and Aboriginal education at Curtin University, Western Australian and internationally he was awarded a Curtin University Fellow and Emeritus Professor status. Since his retirement Simon’s main focus is continuing to work with his close friend Elder Eugene Eades at the Nowanup Bush Campus promoting and teaching about Aboriginal society and culture with a focus on Healing Land, Healing People through many different On Country programs.
Koongart Nguni Koolangkas - Carrying our children on our shoulders
Dorinda Cox is a First Nations (Noongar and Yamatji) woman from Western Australia with ex- pertise in developing and delivering First Na- tions/Aboriginal specific social policy programs and initiatives. Dorinda is a skilled consultant, mentor, advocate, strategist and runs her own business - Inspire Change Consulting Group. Dorinda has over 20 years experience working in government and the non-government sectors at both the local, state, national and in- ternational levels and now delivers training, keynote speeches and presentations to a wide range of stakeholders. Dorinda’s passions include using her big picture visions and inno- vate thinking to create new methodologies to challenge, improve and strengthen our current service systems to achieve better evi- dence based outcomes, she has a particular interest in creating new opportunities and investing in local driven and mutually benefi- cial solutions for Aboriginal/First Nations people and the broader community. Dorinda has been pre selected by the Western Australian Greens Party as the Lead Candidate for the next Federal election in the Senate, which is looks forward to making a significant contribution to legislation and policy in the Federal Parliament
Kyalie Moore, a proud Wadjarri Yamaji woman from Western Australia. Passionate about ending Family and Domestic Violence in First Nation Communities. Kyalie has worked as a Specialist Family Violence Court Coordinator for Barndimalgu Court which is the only Aboriginal Specific Family and Domestic Violence Court in Australia. Kyalie has MBCP practice and supervision experience working in Aboriginal Specific MBC programs in the community and prison. Kyalie recently completed a two-year National project working on NTV’s federally funded Dept. Social Services Project. The project aimed to increase family violence perpetrator accountability by building capacity in regional and remote Aboriginal communities across Australia. Kyalie’s work at No to Violence in the National Sector Development Manager role, keeps Kyalie engaged in the FDV sector Nationally to strengthen practice and build capacity in the workforce. Kyalie has an advanced Diploma in Family Therapy and Counselling and currently studying a Bachelor of Psychological Science.
Dennis is the CEO and founding director of the Maar Koodjal Aboriginal Corporation. Maar Koodjal means 'hand in hand' and has a central ethos of building the communities we want to live in. Dennis is a respected cultural educator in Nyoongar Country and one of the few Nyoongar Men with a degree in Psychology. These two areas of expertise come together to facilitate a cultural approach to mental health and behaviour change. Maar Koodjal works to share Nyoongar culture, promote intercultural awareness, heal the trauma affecting our communities and develop social enterprise. Maar Koodjal is involved in numerous cultural and enterprise including: * Consultancy * Cultural Mental Health/ Behaviour Change on Country * Coaching and Mentoring in the mining industry * Culture Awareness training * Film production * MC and Event Management support.
Dr Joe Tucci
The need for trauma responsive specialist therapeutic services affected by family violence
Joe is a registered psychologist and social worker with significant experience in child protection and working therapeutically with children. He has worked in the field of child abuse for the past 30 years. He is an accomplished practitioner-researcher with significant experience in child protection and working therapeutically with children and families. He is a Clinical Member of the Victorian Association of Family Therapists and a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Joe graduated with Honours in Psychology (1986) and Honours in Social Work (1988) from Monash University. His experience includes child protection work, family counselling at the Nth Melbourne Community Health Centre, and child abuse research with the Department of Social Work at Monash University. He has been a guest lecturer in child abuse and family therapy at Monash, La Trobe and Deakin Universities. He is an Honorary Research Fellow with Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia (CAPRA) at Monash University. In 1993, he was awarded a Creswick Foundation Fellowship in Child and Family Relationships to work with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the United Kingdom. He has acted as consultant to the Department of Human Services (Victoria) and the Department of Health and Human Services (Tasmania), Office of Children and Families (NT) on a number of child abuse and child welfare evaluative projects. He has demonstrated experience in developing and implementing child focused therapeutic programs and child abuse prevention campaigns. Joe completed his Doctorate into emotional child abuse at Monash University in 2005. He has presented at national and international conferences on family therapy and child abuse. His writing has been published in both Australian and international academic journals and the broader media. He has served on a number of government advisory bodies including the Australian Council for Children and Parenting, an advisory body to the Commonwealth Government.
The Insidious Nature of Coercive Control
Luke Hart, and his brother Ryan Hart, share their family’s story of coercive control and domestic homicide. In 2017 they released their book, Remembered Forever, and set up their organization, CoCoAwareness, to increase the awareness of coercive control. So far, their work has taken them to over 13 countries and they have trained tens of thousands of professionals in identifying, understanding, and ending domestic abuse. They have also worked closely and frequently with the national media on domestic abuse reporting and are White Ribbon Ambassadors and Refuge Champions speaking out against male violence towards women and children.
The Impacts of Coercive Control on Children and Young People
Jess Hill is an investigative journalist who has written and researched domestic abuse since 2014. Before that, she was a producer for ABC Radio, a Middle East correspondent for The Global Mail, and an investigative journalist for Background Briefing. Jess was listed in Foreign Policy’s top 100 women to follow on Twitter. She was named one of the 30 most influential people under 30 by Cosmopolitan magazine (two publications rarely listed in the same sentence). She has won two Walkley awards. Has received an Amnesty International award. And is the recipient of three Our Watch awards. Her debut book was the first to chart the phenomenon of domestic abuse in Australia. See What You Made Me Do is in stores now. Stay up to date with Jess Hill on Twitter. Enquire today to book Jess for your next event.
Eroticising Inequality: Pornography, young people and violence prevention
Maree Crabbe is co-founder and Director of the Australian violence prevention project, It’s time we talked (formerly Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people and sexuality). She is Co-Producer and Co-Director of the documentary films Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, broadcast on SBS in Australia and in 35 other countries, and The Porn Factor, broadcast on SBS. She is also author of In The Picture – a resource to support secondary schools to address the influence of explicit sexual imagery. Maree has worked with young people – and on issues affecting young people – for over 25 years. She has developed and delivered programs focusing on sexual violence prevention, sexual diversity, pornography, sexting, and the prevention of sexually transmissible infections. Maree’s contributions to public conversations about young people, sexuality and pornography include television and radio interviews, and articles in academic and news media. h
The Right to a Voice: Courageous Conversations in Healing from Violence
Patrick Gunasekera is a young arts practitioner and youth rights advocate, working from Sinhala diaspora on Whadjuk Noongar boodjar. He is the creator of poetry, non-fiction, theatre and live art, and is driven by the strength of self-determined narratives in liberating an oppressed community’s independent voice. As a survivor of childhood family domestic violence, his work documents the grassroots peer support practices of survivors in healing from and preventing violence across community and public institutions. Patrick has been a firm advocate and educator on the needs and rights of young people in the mental health system, having survived preventable medical trauma when accessing health services while living at home. In resisting systemic barriers to healthcare, education and independence as a disabled second-generation young person of queer experience, his work and presence have been a rich and necessary contribution to local systemic advocacy. He is a lived experience speaker with Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network WA’s Shout Out program, through which he has empowered many young people when sharing his stories at high schools and youth centres. His work experience includes peer support work in LGBTIQA+ youth mental health, and cultural consultation across the public health sector and in academic research. Patrick has presented on workplace discrimination and exploitation at TEDxYouth@Perth 2021, and has presented on survivor-led community organising at New Economy Network Australia Conference 2019 and People with Disabilities WA State Conference 2020—where he also premiered the devised theatre production on autistic culture Unapologetic, co-created with Daley Rangi and Adam Kelly. Patrick is also an arts journalist with Seesaw Magazine, and has published creative memoir on violence and the body in Growing Up Disabled in Australia, To Hold the Clouds, and in Midsumma’s online Living in the Queerantine commission—for which he won the Dal Stivens Award.
Emma Gierschick OAM is a multi-award-winning keynote speaker, and a nationally recognised voice and authority for vulnerable children facing violence or abuse and their need for recovery from trauma. She has been a mum or step mum to 6 children, 3 of which have a significant intellectual disability, including her young daughter Amelia who has Down syndrome. Despite having a 10year case management background – (which included managing a women’s refuge), Emma unexpectedly found herself engulfed in an extremely violent and abusive relationship with her daughter’s father. Amelia’s experience of violence and abuse commenced from conception. They finally escaped on their 3rd attempt when she was just 20 months old. After discovering the complete oversight of children with a disability in all State and Federal Governments reports or inquiries, Emma immediately embarked on a solo national campaign. She began writing submissions, meeting with Ministers and Commissioners and presenting at conferences to generate awareness. Her work began to be published in Royal Commissions, UN Reports, Parliamentary inquiries, and Family Law inquiries. Meanwhile Emma was embroiled in multiple legal battles, as abuse by proxy commenced. Once again, she discovered a complete lack of awareness or understanding of children with a disability at all levels of the judicial system. The only way to successfully protect Amelia was to study and self-represent in court. Emma was then suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer. She now faced a dual fight for life, a physical fight to save her own life and a mental fight to save Amelia’s life through her representation. She was ultimately awarded full sole custody and parental responsibility, along with a long term IVO and Victims of Crime status’s for both of them. Emma’s strength of character, and tenacity to protect vulnerable children has been credited through many accolades, most notable being named the Inaugural Kingston Woman of the Year 2019, The Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence 2018, and parliamentary nominations for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2019 and 2020. Most recently, she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honour list in 2021.