Hon. Robyn Mary McSweeney holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology and her main interests and passions lie in issues relating to social and family policy. She is best known for her role in leading and setting long-term goals as both Minister and Shadow Minister in the social portfolios of child protection, seniors and volunteering, local government women’s interests and emergency services. She was elected as a Member of the Legislative Council for the South West Region in 2001. Robyn also chaired the Legislative Committee on the Adequacy of Foster Care Assessment Procedures in 2005 and served two terms on the Environment and Public Affairs Committee.
Robyn’s current role as Minister for Child Protection, Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering and Women’s Interests is the result of many years of representation at both the local and State level including Bridgetown-Greenbushes Shire Councilor, Member of the South West Development Commission Advisory Council, Local Government representative on the H.A.C.C. Board, Member of the State Women’s Advisory Council, Member of the State Juvenile Justice Board, and Member of the State Family and Children’s Advisory Board
Dr. Chris Laming (PhD, MSW, BSW(Hons), Dip. Hindi, Dip.Gen.Stud.) has worked for twenty years in Australia and overseas, in community development and social work and is a senior lecturer at the Gippsland Campus of Monash University. His PhD, A Constructivist Approach to Challenging Men's Violence Against Women, combines Personal Construct Theory with an integrated response to family violence. Chris lives and works in a rural area and his current research reflects regional issues of concern.
Chris is part of the Social and Community Research Unit (SACRU) based at Monash Gippsland and currently undertaking a number of research projects, two of which include engaging with Australian Indigenous men about ways of preventing family violence. Chris is also on the Editorial Board of the journal Practice Reflexions (http://www.aiwcw.org.au/practicereflexions/).
Ms. Fataneh Naghavi is a PHD student in Psychology of Child Development at the Faculty of Human Ecology, University Putra Malaysia UPM. She worked as a faculty member at the Islamic Azad University in Iran and as Dean of Counseling Center and Head of Department of Psychology and Educational Science at the Islamic Azad University of Dorood branch.
She finished her Masters degree of Educational Sciences - Educational Planning at the Isfahan University Iran and Bachelors degree of Educational Sciences-Education of Kindergarten and Primary School Children at the Shahid Chamran University in Ahvaz, Iran respectively.
She has presented at many national and international conferences and in 2010 presented to the Canada International Conference on Education (CICE-2010) her paper entitled:The Relationship between Family Functioning and Alexithymia.
Julie Oberin, Bachelor of Arts Honours, Master of Social Work (La Trobe University) has worked in the domestic and family violence field in Australia for more than 20 years.
Julie has published papers, delivered conference papers nationally and internationally on domestic and family violence and homelessness, and undertaken important research on women’s domestic and family violence services across Australia. She is an experienced practitioner, both working with women and children who have experienced violence, and also more recently with men who have used violence against family members.
Julie is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Annie North Inc. Women’s Refuge and Domestic Violence Service in central Victoria, Australia.
Julie serves on a number of Boards. She is currently the National Chairperson of WESNET (Women’s Services Network). WESNET is the national women’s peak advocacy body which facilitates and promotes policy, legislative and programmatic responses relevant to women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence. WESNET is the peak organisation for women’s domestic and family violence services across Australia and is lead agency for the newly establishing Australian Women Against Violence Alliance. She is also a founding member and current national Executive Board member of Homelessness Australia, the peak organisation for homelessness services across Australia, and on the Board of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. Julie is passionately committed to social justice and gender equality.
Ms Nafiseh Ghafournia completed her Bachelor of Arts with honours in Social Inquiry and her Master of Arts with honours in ‘Sociology- Women’s Studies’, at Tehran University (Iran) in 2000. She received a Graduate Certificate in Policy Studies from the University of Sydney in 2009. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Social Work at University of Sydney, a university tutor and research assistant at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She investigates “The relations between cultural beliefs and seeking services by battered Muslim immigrant women in Sydney”. Her research focuses on the issue of domestic violence against women among Muslim families and the policy responses to this problem in a multicultural society like Australia.
She was one of the members and organisers of “National Committee on Domestic Violence against Women” in Iran between 1998 and 2000. She will be speaking about “Battered at Home, Played Down in Policy: Migrant Women and Domestic Violence in Australia”.
Dr. Heather Douglas is an associate professor at the T.C Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. She researches in the area of criminal law. She is particularly interested in the way the criminal law impacts on and constructs women. Her writing has been published in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. Heather was a part-time commissioner with the Queensland Law Reform Commission from 2001-2007. In 2004 she was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University.
She will be speaking about “Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice Interventions” which explores the operation of the criminal justice process in Queensland Australia in relation to prosecution of domestic violence related offences.
Atty. Jeswynn Yogaratnam is a trained corporate lawyer with a heart in Human Rights. After being in tax legal practice, Jeswynn moved tothe
His research interests include indigenous land rights; fiscal policies in relation to climate change; anti-terrorism laws; social justice and capacity building in new nations. His current focus is on health rights of displaced persons as a result of internal conflict, especially in
Jeswynn was granted an AusAid grant in 2009 to work on socio-legal law reform in Timor Leste. He was also granted the Australian National Award in the category of Early Career Academic by the Australasian Law Teachers Association for outstanding research paper in 2010. He has published in various law journals.
Dr. Karen Crinall lectures in Community Welfare and Counselling, and is the course coordinator for the Master of Human Services Management. She has over twenty five years experience working, researching and teaching in the human services sector. As a researcher Karen has conducted practice-based and academic projects utilising feminist, visual and participatory action research methods. Karen has published on the topics of women and homelessness, family violence and homelessness policy reform, rural and regional responses to social change, working with young women, the visual representation of homeless women and young people, social documentary photography of women as homeless, and the use of arts-based methods in social science research.
She is currently a member of the SAFER ARC Linkage project, researching the Victorian integrated family violence reforms, and is also engaged in researching management issues in human service organisations, restrictive interventions in disability accommodation services and Australian Indigenous leadership in addressing family violence at the community level.
Svetlana M. Mikryukova is a docent of social work department at Udmurt State University. She has had teaching experience at the university for more than 30 years. She is also a member of the Methodology Board at Institute of Pedagogy, Psychology and Social Technologies. Since the 90s of the 20th century, she ran NGO programs that provides social and psychological support for those in need.
Svetlana Mikryukova actively participated in international social projects with social and educational institutions and agencies in the UK, Finland and Germany. Her current research interest lies in gender issues, in particular domestic violence problems and confession and ethnic support for those in need in multicultural society. She will be presenting her research study about the social and psychological conditions contributing into domestic violence.
Robyn Edwards, Bachelor Social Work Honours, UNSW, has 30 years experience as a community and social worker, working in Australia and the United Kingdom for a range of local non-government organisations and government agencies. She has experience in community development, social policy and planning, and social research. Robyn is currently employed as a Research Associate at the Social Policy Research Centre, located in Sydney at the University of New South Wales. Her current research projects focus on domestic violence, homelessness and disability.
Robyn worked for ten years with the innovative NSW Strategy to Reduce Violence Against Women (1996 – 2006). The Strategy used a community development and community education approach to complement legal and criminal justice responses to domestic violence. Robyn conducted the Staying Home Leaving Violence qualitative research study for the UNSW Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse (2004). The study has led to new approaches in working with victims of domestic violence which aim to prevent further violence and prevent women and children’s homelessness when they leave domestic violence. Robyn has a commitment to social justice, gender equality and indigenous rights; and to research findings being usefully applied to practice.
Ms. Farhana Nosheen is heading the department of Home Economics,
Margaret Augerinos (B.SW) is a qualified social worker who has been working in the not for profit community services sector for the last 25 years. Margaret has worked in many different settings including family counselling, community health, community legal services, and advocacy and rights organizations.
Margaret is presently the Chief Executive Officer of EASE & the Centre for Non-Violence (
Margaret has served on a number of Boards and Committees over the years and is presently the Victorian representative on WESNET (Australian Women’s Domestic Violence peak), the Diversity Issues Board representative on Homelessness Australia and is on the committee of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. Margaret has presented at many conferences and in 2010 presented to the 54th session of the United Nations Committee for the Status of Women. Margaret is a passionate supporter of human rights and in ending gender based violence against women.
Ms. Maria Liza A. Edubas has a wide range of experiences in various disciplines and is heavily involved and active in the fight against domestic violence. She had witnessed the sufferings of her own mother and that of her sister-in-laws, whom are all victims of domestic violence in the hands of their husbands. She worked as the community nurse for Family to Family, Incorporated in the South of the Philippines where she also coordinated with Peace Corps volunteers to implement community projects involving the evacuation of victims away from their perpetrators and referred victims of domestic violence to the appropriate government agencies.
She is now connected with Thailand’s largest hospital network, The Bangkok Hospital Group and she’d been instrumental in establishing the Email ‘Medical’ Correspondence Unit of Bangkok Referral Centre; providing online correspondence between patients, medical specialists and the like. Nevertheless, she continued to fight against domestic violence by serving as the President of the Global Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCA-DV). She's also the current CRM Director of SOS Medical Tourism Services.