2018 Indigenous SAY NO to Domestic and Family Violence Conference


Jenna Woods (Noongar Woman)
University Lecturer
Murdoch University
Western Australia

Jenna Woods is a 26-year-old Noongar woman from the South West of Western Australia. She belongs to the Calgaret family through her father’s blood line and is a mother of one.  After falling pregnant at 16, Jenna experienced severe abuse at the hands of her son’s father. After many years of violence, Jenna rebuilt her life and began her journey to self-empowerment through education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Community Development and Political Science, has recently completed Research Masters (Politics) and will begin PhD studies 2019. Jenna is currently teaching in Community Development and Australian Indigenous Studies at Murdoch University while giving guest lectures on a range of topics. Having personally witnessed the ways in which the current system is failing Aboriginal women and families, Jenna set out to provide clear evidence on the needs of our communities to address domestic violence. This is the basis of her Research Masters project and presentation to this conference which explores the barriers to Aboriginal women’s help seeking behaviours throughout their domestic violence experiences in the Perth region.


Adrian Geary

Sergeant, Queensland Police Service

Ambassador, White Ribbon


Adrian Geary is the officer in charge of the Gordonvale Police Station and White Ribbon Ambassador. Adrian believe women are equal to men and should be able to live their lives without fear. Adrian stated he have seen first-hand the destruction of men’s violence against women can have on individuals, children, families and the community. He want to be engaged and be part of the solution to ending violence against women, and challenge other men to also be part of the solution.

Emma Buxton-Namisnyk 
Clarendon Scholar & Research Analyst
NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team
New South Wales State Coroners Court

Emma Buxton-Namisnyk is a Clarendon Scholar undertaking part-time doctoral research at the University of Oxford, and she also works as the Research Analyst on the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team at the NSW State Coroners Court. Emma has masters degrees in International Human Rights Law (Oxford) and Criminology and Criminal Justice (University of New South Wales), and has previously published work in the Australian Indigenous Law Review examining the adequacy of UN systems for Indigenous women’s rights claims in respect of domestic and family violence.  


Nadia Shuttleworth
Project Officer
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Northern Territory

Nadia Shuttleworth is a project officer in the newly established Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics and Community Engagement at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Centre of Excellence supports increased access to and use of ABS data by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, organisations and researchers, and government by returning information back to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to inform their planning and decision making. The Centre of Excellence oversees the ABS' Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistical program including the development and conduct of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surveys (including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)) and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics produced by the ABS, such as the Census of Population and Housing.



Di Gipey 
Alice Springs Women’s Shelter

Northern Territory

Di Gipey heads up the Alice Springs Women's Shelter which is a domestic and family violence service that sees clients from a 760 000 km2 region in Central Australia. The service sees more than 3000 women and children a year and has a majority of Indigenous clients that come to the service from the Northern Territory and three neighbouring states.  Many of these clients are experiencing also homelessness.  Di has supported the growth of the Alice Springs based crisis accommodation to include a range of services aimed at not only crisis support; but also prevention, education and recovery for women and children.   The outreach arm of this service was commended by the Productivity Commission for its proven effectiveness. Di has lived in Alice Springs for over 13 years and has a broad skill set in the community services and related governance spanning over 20 years.   Di has qualifications in social science and has worked extensively in alcohol and other drugs, employment and health related capacities.  Di has been responsible for several innovative approaches including work looking into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder under the Strong Women and Strong Babies program in Central Australia and North Queensland.   One of her drivers for working in the domestic violence space is to see women and children live lives free from domestic violence through innovation in service delivery and collaboration with other services. 


Chris Boyle      

Managing Director     

Communities in Sync


Chris Boyle is a social worker who has worked in the child protection system for over 20 years, across non-government, government and now as a Managing Director of his own not for profit company, Commsync. He has a passion for social justice and giving a voice and opportunity to the most vulnerable children, young people and families in our community. In 2012, he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to pursue his passion and explore the latest research and practice in family preservation services to reduce the number of children removed from their families.

Josephine Cashman  

Founder & Managing Director 

Big River Impact Foundation

New South Wales

Josephine Cashman is a Warrimay entrepreneur from New South Wales. She is the Founder, Executive Director and Managing Director of Big River Consulting Pty Ltd, Big River Impact Investments Pty Ltd, and the Big River Impact Foundation Limited. Josephine is a lawyer, businesswoman and media commentator with more than two decades of experience working to create rapid business and socio-economic growth for Indigenous communities around Australia. She was an inaugural Member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and served as Chair of its Safe Communities Committee until 2017. She now sits on the Board of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, and the Reconciliation Working Group of Google Australia. Josephine worked for a decade as a lawyer in Australian courts. She has undertaken consultancy and voluntary roles for a variety of private, public and non-profit organisations, and was recently an invited speaker at a special session addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls before the United Nations’ Human Rights Council.

Dr Colette Mortreux  

Research Consultant  

The Social Research Centre  


Dr Colette Mortreux 

This research is commissioned by the eSafety Commissioner which is responsible for promoting online safety for all Australians. Dr Colette Mortreux is a Research Consultant at the Social Research Centre who is conducting this research on behalf of the eSafety Commissioner. She has over 10 years’ experience conducting qualitative research, with a view to enhancing knowledge and contributing to informed decision-making. Her research expertise lies in community engagement and support, with a focus on environmental policy and workforce participation. Her current research focus is on technology-facilitated abuse and its impacts on women from a range of backgrounds.

Jessica Dean      

Principal Lawyer, Children and Young People – Child Protection    

Legal Aid Queensland 


Jessica Dean is the Principal Lawyer of Legal Aid Queensland's Children and Young People team.  Jessica graduated from Griffith University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Criminology.  In 2009, Jessica completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and was admitted to the legal profession. Jessica currently manages Legal Aid Queensland's Children and Young People team, which provides responsive, targeted and child-focused legal information, advice and representation.  The team specialises in legal service delivery and policy advocacy in child protection, as well as providing legal services in domestic violence, family law and other related matters.

Acting Senior Sergeant Stephen Tillett

Detective Senior Constable Tod Dodson

Cairns Child Protection and Investigation Unit

Queensland Police Service


Stephen Tillet has 20 years experience as a Police officer with the Queensland Police Service. Stephen is a Torres Strait Islander man, was born in Palm Island and grew up in communities of Palm Island, Weipa, Bamaga, Thursday Island and Cairns. Stephen’s current role is Project Manager for Cairns Safer Streets but was one of two Indigenous Police officers to develop and implement the successful Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard project. This project was awarded the Youth Participation category at the 2017 Queensland Child Protection Week Awards. Stephen is a distinguished police officer, recently being awarded the Exemplary Conduct Medal.


Tod Dodson has 17yrs experience as a police officer with the Queensland Police Service. Tod is Aboriginal, was born in Townsville and grew up in communities of Townsville, Innisfail, Tully and Cairns. Tod's current role is project manager of the Speak Up, Be Strong, Be Heard project that he developed and implement with his colleagues.

Dominique Waltower

Social Worker,High School Dropout Prevention Mentor, Job Coach 

Inspire Perspective

United States of America

Dominique Waltower is a violence prevention advocate and a dynamic motivational speaker from San Diego, California USA. He shares his journey through domestic violence from being a victim as a child, becoming abusive as an adult to what was necessary for him to not only change his behavior but to change his thinking about abuse.   He  speaks about a difficult topic with a candidness and sensitivity that promotes thought, understanding and introspection from the audience. Dominique provides listeners with a rare first person view into the mentality of a former abuser. His authenticity about his experience is very powerful and thought provoking. Dominique has a bachelors degree in sociology and has worked in the social services field for over 20 years. He started working in group homes while in college and has also worked in drug treatment, probation, as an investigative children's  social worker, high school dropout prevention mentor and more recently as a job coach.  

Karyn Walsh 

CEO, Micah Projects 

Director, Australian Alliance to End Homelessness 


Karyn Walsh is the CEO of Micah Projects, a not for profit organisation in Brisbane committed to social justice. Over the past 20 years, the organisation has been actively involved in change processes in our service provision and in advocacy for investment toward more effective policy and programs which can end homelessness. As an organisation they are committed to integrated services which provide individuals and families with resources, services and opportunities to have a home, connection with their families and a quality of life. Karyn is a Director of the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness, a member of ministerial, government and NGO committees. In 2016, Karyn was awarded a Doctor of Social Work and Nursing honoris causa by the University of Queensland in recognition of her work in the not for profit sector for over 37 years. In 2017, Karyn was awarded a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her work in the homelessness sector and in mental health support.

Margaret Saunders nee Grant


Deadly Thinking Program



Margaret Saunders identifies as a descendent of the Wiradjuri People in Central New South Wales through her father. Margaret’s mother is non – Indigenous. Having completed both the ‘Deadly Thinking’ program and ‘Train the Trainer’ several times over, Margaret build on her existing communication and presentation skills to become an outstanding presenter of ‘Deadly Thinking’ workshops. An Aboriginal woman with a large family, Margaret has a huge amount of empathy and can relate to many sensitive issues. She presents confidently, in an appropriate manner, thereby achieving successful results with workshop participants. Margaret has worked with ATSI people in both Government and Non-Government sectors for many years. Margaret is conscious of cultural protocols at all times. She is discreet and maintains confidentiality when discussing sensitive issues with workshop participants. Margaret is currently a dedicated Deadly Thinking and Train the Trainer facilitator, traveling all over Australia. Margaret works by the philosophy that developing productive relationships can be achieved by being inclusive, approachable and openly sharing knowledge. Margaret’s skills in these areas are particularly effective when interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She represents an excellent choice of Trainer to support and promote awareness and understanding of Aboriginal culture to the wider community.