In 2019, DVNSW established 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 CEO of Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation-Women’s Centre. She also 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.
Monique Wiseman is the Senior Aboriginal Project Officer at Homelessness NSW. Monique is
responsible for providing strategic advice and building strong collaborative partnerships with
services and community members, to establish a connected voice that addresses the core
drivers of Aboriginal homelessness across NSW. Previously Monique worked for over eight
years with the Aboriginal community of Kings Cross as the Aboriginal Program Manager at
Wayside Chapel. Under Monique’s leadership, the Aboriginal program grew from eight case
files to over four hundred engaged community members. Monique’s legacy was a sustainable
program that provides a culturally appropriate service for Aboriginal communities both locally
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.
Christine Robinson is Bundjalung woman from northern NSW.
Christine has worked in the area of domestic and family violence, and sexual assault for over twenty-five years. She has previously worked in women’s domestic violence refuges and has been employed in her current role the Coordinator of Wirringa Baiya for over ten years.
Wirringa Baiya is a community legal centre located in Sydney. The Centre provides legal advice, casework and community education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and youth across NSW. The Centre also contributes to law reform.
Wirringa Baiya was established to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait women with a gender and culturally specific service to assist, support and improve access to justice for these women, children and youth. The Centre pays particular attention to working with victims and survivors of violence.
Christine received a Bachelor of Arts in Adult Education and Community Management from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and was the recipient of the UTS Human Rights Award for her work in the area sexual assault in Aboriginal communities.
Christine is currently a member of the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team.
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.
Yatungka Gordon has worked in a variety of roles within the women’s sector including as a project worker at Mudgin-Gal, at the Rape crisis Centre, as a trainer at the Education Centre Against Violence and as a consultant with Homelessness NSW. Yatungka and her Aunty Chantay have recently started the consultancy organisation Louisa Consultancy, which offers training on a range of issues, focusing on creating cultural safety and challenging structural racism.
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.