I formed Challenge DV (formerly Australia's CEO Challenge) in the mid-1990s with a number of other dedicated women from business, the community sector, unions and government and with the support of then Brisbane Lord Mayor, Jim Soorley who believed that if one woman was not safe in her own home, then Brisbane could not be called a safe city. Based on a model created by Jim Hardeman in the US, we believed we could contribute to making the world a better and safer place for women and that workplace could play an important part in this agenda. With the support of MinterEllison to form this movement into a not for profit company and to provide us a base within the corporate world, Challenge DV was established.
Over my 15 years as chair of Challenge DV (2002-2017) I have seen it grow from a small organisation based on volunteers, then our first part time employee - to a now vibrant and respected company with strong offerings to support the business world understand DFV and play their part in prevention and in supporting their employees impacted by violence. Challenge DV has always been based on partnerships - with refuges and community services, with other organisations with aligned goals, with businesses and workplaces, and with the government to bring the widest possible perspectives to the table to stop violence. I am proud to have founded and led this organisation which has such positive impact.
I am currently a Senior Executive in the UK civil service with responsibilities for property management, corporate strategy and change management. Previously a Senior Executive with the Queensland Government with roles including Chief Strategic Policy and Innovation Officer for the Department of Science, IT and Innovation; Assistant Director General for Shared Corporate Services delivering back end corporate services (including payroll and financial transaction services) for nearly 50 government departments and agencies; and General Manager of Smart Service Queensland providing the one-stop shop for Queenslanders across online, phone and counter.