In 2019, DVNSW establish the DVNSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is comprised of a diverse group of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with cultural, community and sector expertise in prevention, early intervention and response to domestic, family and sexual violence in their communities.

The vision of the Steering Committee is to provide an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lens on policy and practice opportunities and to have real influence through lobbying and advocacy. The committee amplifies the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women as advocates in their survivor experiences and guides DVNSW’s work. The group also provide expert advice and advocacy on the issues that matter in their communities to DVNSW, government and the sector more broadly in order to ensure that culturally safe practices are developed and promoted.

MEET THE COMMITTEE

Ashlee Donohue is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Dunghutti nation, born and raised in Kempsey, NSW.  A highly sought after facilitator, speaker and powerful advocate for the anti-violence message.

Ashlee has written and co-created numerous anti-violence campaigns. Presented at the United Nations in NYC. Self-Published her memoir titled ‘Because I love him’ a personal account of love, motherhood, domestic violence and survival.

Currently Ashlee is the Co-ordinator at Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation-Women’s Centre. Sits on the ‘Our Watch’ Aboriginal Women’s Advisory Board, City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory panel and is Chairperson of Warringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Service.

Maryanne is a proud Wailwan/Kamileroi and Gumbainggir woman who grew up in Inverell NSW. She is second generation of the Stolen Generation as her mother was also stolen.    

Maryanne is a case worker supporting women escaping domestic violence at the Lismore Women’s and Children’s Refuge. Prior to this, Maryanne was the Aboriginal Specialist Worker with DVCAS for eight years which involved providing court advocacy and community development where she delivered domestic violence education and awareness raising initiatives.  

Maryanne sits on the LGBTIQ Aboriginal Domestic Violence Board which helps to fulfil her passion to improve the education and visibility of the minority groups represented on behalf of this board.  Maryanne has played a role in modifying publicly available resources to make them more relatable to Aboriginal people which ensures their inclusion and visibility within issues that are important to communities as a whole. 

Maryanne is very driven to raise awareness and continues to be a voice for marginalized peoples in equality, fairness and visibility. 

Bio coming soon.

Dr Vanessa Lee, from the Yupungathi and Meriam people, resides on the land of the Gadigal. Dr Lee is a social epidemiologist, human rights advocate, educator, writer, poet and public health/ health sciences researcher. In 2005, Vanessa was awarded an Australian Government award for Outstanding Citizen in the Torres Strait for her work in public health to empower the community.  In her capacity as a social epidemiologist Vanessa has actively challenged government policy to provide culturally safe services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the sexuality and gender diverse populations.  As the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander director with Suicide Prevention Australia, Dr. Lee is engaged with other directors in suicide prevention for Australia. Vanessa has published her poetry across a number of different anthology’s including the Australian poetry journal. Vanessa’s overarching focus addresses the social issues of the burden of disease to strengthen the health and wellness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural identity.

Dr Kyllie Cripps is a Palawa woman, Scientia Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales. She has worked extensively with Indigenous communities over the last 20 years in the areas of family violence, sexual assault and child abuse. She has led several major grants (ARC and AHURI) in these areas and has contributed to the evidence base through empirical studies that have defined violence on Indigenous terms, identified the factors contributing to violence, as well as examined Indigenous peoples’ access and availability to services in the aftermath of violence. Her work has also been responsive to the identification of critical gaps in current responses, including providing solutions to support policy and practice change. 

Kyllie places a high priority on knowledge exchange ensuring that her research is communicated to State and Federal governments; but more critically that the research is available and accessible to the Indigenous community, to that end she routinely provides advice, support and training to Indigenous communities and professional groups in her areas of expertise.

Bio coming soon.

Bio coming soon.

Mary Ronayne is the Community and Culture Manager of the Wilcannia Woman and Children Safe House. Mary derives from the Kamilaroi nation. She has managed the Wilcannia Safe House (WSH) since 2013 and is part of the DVSM Leadership Team. Over the last 20 years Mary has worked in a range of coordination and management positions within the Domestic and Family Violence sector in rural NSW. Her focus has always been to support women and children to realise their potential and help them understand that they are important and can reach their dreams. She has a wealth of experience working with Aboriginal women and is aware of the complexities and disadvantage that comes with being an Aboriginal person. As such she is concerned with improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal women and children, families and communities. Through Mary’s expertise in listening to others, building relationships and connections with people and supporting people to come together and understand each other’s view point to reach a common goal, Mary won the Central Darling Shire 2019 Australia Day award for “Event of the year” for the 2018 Dream Big Fashion parade. This program was developed to raise self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect of children living in rural and remote community of Wilcannia NSW. Mary is passionate about seeing people’s lives change for the better.

Dixie is a proud and resourceful Gurang Gurang woman from south east Queensland. Having moved to the inner city of Redfern in 1980, Dixie has earned the respect of the local and broader Indigenous community through her work as a domestic violence community educator and advocate across New South Wales.

Dixie is a strong advocate for Indigenous women and families and is the Founding CEO Member of the Mudgin-gal Aboriginal Women’s Corporation. A recognised leader in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community, Dixie has received awards and accolades for work to deliver culturally appropriate services and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. 

Bronwyn Penrith is a widely respected Aboriginal Woman who has a lifelong commitment and engagement with her Community. She holds the Family responsibilities of a Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, and is a recognised kinship Carer. She is a recognised Elder by her Community.

As well as her Position as Senior Director Burbangana Group a private consulting company  and a member of Supply Nation.  She is  Chairperson of Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women Centre in Chippendale and a Director of the Redfern Foundation Ltd. She is also a past member of Women representatives on local, state and National levels. And is a current member of the City of Sydney Aboriginal Advisory Panel. 

Bronwyn is a trained facilitator experienced in Community education workshops, cultural awareness and Mentor and a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, of long standing, with the Australian Government Department of the Attorney General. And on the NSW legal aid Mediators Panel, in family law and including Care & Protection Mediation. 

In addition to the former work experience Bronwyn is an advocate of lifelong learning and has qualifications in area that include Indigenous Governance and – Mentoring through Diversity;  Project Management and can include Trauma Informed Care work.

Much of her work is in a voluntary capacity and She has recently been recognised for her voluntary delivery of series of Lateral Violence Workshops at the Women Centre.

Bronwyn is the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women Alliance NSW  representative. Natsiwa have identified Gendered Violence, Aboriginal Women in Business  as priorities  and issues impacting on Aboriginal Women and our Communities.

A Board member of Womens Legal Resources NSW

And also member of the NSW Women Legal Resource Centre  Aboriginal Women Consultative Network.

In June, 2016, Bronwyn fulfilled the role of Elder of the “Building Better Lives for Ourselves’. Conference of 100 A&TSI Women bought together by PM&C .

She is on a journey of Reclaiming Culture, and is a Student of Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Nation Building at Charles Sturt University. Through language, and Cultural Practice, last year Bronwyn led the Making of a Possum Skin Cloak at Mudgin-gal Women Centre the first sewn by local community Aboriginal Women hands in 200 years. Through Mudgin-gal  Bronwyn initiated an invitation for Aboriginal women to reclaim their  Corroroboree and Ceremony

This preparation for Ceremony to which over 60 Women responded, from Grandmothers and daughter and granddaughter and great Grandaughters

Furthermore, Bronwyn is deeply connected to Country, and recently, travelled to her home Country, to witness the first Traditional Burn of Country in that area since the coming of the Whites population to the Brungle Valley.  

She is an avid reader and likes to stay up to date with current politics. 

Bio coming soon.

Kowana is a proud Gumbaynggirr and Gamilaroi women. She has grown up in the Redfern and Waterloo community she is a mother of four and is a strong advocate for her people, more so Kowana is a living proof that you can triumph from your traumas. She has dedicated her journey of survival from horrific domestic violence to being an advocate for women, domestic violence, improving the justice system and educating communities all over NSW. Kowana currently works back in the community she grew up in and is thriving in her role as Health & Well-being Co-ordinator.