DFV Prevention Council members

Ms Kay McGrath OAM (Chair)

Kay is an award-winning journalist and presenter with 44 years’ experience in the media. In January 2020, Kay retired from reading prime time news bulletins to focus on her community work and other media projects. In addition to her journalism, Kay has worked as a facilitator, speaker and Master of Ceremonies and supports a variety of community causes.

Kay is Patron of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Patron and Co-Founder of Protect All Children Today, Lifetime Ambassador for Act for Kids and Vice Patron of the Queensland Breast and Prostate Cancer Association.

She is also the face of Women in Media Queensland. In 2019, Kay was honoured as a Queensland Great in recognition of her tireless work in the community.

Ms Brigita Cunnington

Brigita has over 20 years' experience in the justice portfolio working in various legal, policy and management roles. Brigita practiced in native title law including at Crown Law and has been employed in various roles in Queensland Courts since 2006 including as Director of the Office of the State Coroner (now the Coroners Court of Queensland) and Director of the Courts Innovation Program.Since 2016 Brigita has been Executive Director, Magistrates Courts Service within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. In this role Brigita is responsible for leading court administration to ensure the effective and efficient operation of Magistrates Courts across Queensland.

The role is also responsible for the Coroners Court of Queensland and the Courts Innovation Program incorporating specialist courts and intervention programs and programs focussed on access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander court clients and the Community Justice Group program. Brigita has had oversight of a major program of court reform in response to the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report including the successful trial of a specialist domestic and family violence court in Southport and rollout of a specialist approach to other locations.

Brigita has also been responsible for establishing other specialist court programs including Murri Court, the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court and Court Link. Brigita was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2000. In 2017 she completed the Australian and New Zealand School of Government Executive Masters of Public Administration.

Ms Rachel Durdin

Rachel is a high-profile champion of diversity at Rio Tinto, who has progressed major changes to policy, and has helped steer the company to become a global business leader in domestic and family violence issues. Rachel’s advocacy work has measurably improved outcomes for women in resources, other Australian businesses and the communities in which Rio Tinto operates.

In her role as Chief Advisor, Social and Stakeholder Engagement, Rachel is leading the company’s domestic and family violence response, which includes becoming the first Australian global mining company to achieve White Ribbon workplace accreditation.In 2018, Rachel was named Gender Diversity Champion at the 2018 Women in Resources National Awards. Rio Tinto also won the Award for Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance for their work in domestic and family violence.

Ms Faiza El-Higzi OAM

Faiza El-Higzi OAM is a political scientist and recognised social advocate for her work as a social change expert. Her professional experience includes strategic policy at both state and federal levels and refugee advocacy. Currently Faiza's focus is on gender and social inclusion. Sitting on a number of community organisation boards, Faiza volunteers her expertise at an executive level to build institutional capacity.

Internationally, Faiza has worked with community organisations and academic institutions to build capacity and raise awareness of the intersection of gender rights and cultural norms. Faiza holds a number of postgraduate qualifications.

Ms Dianne Fletcher

Dianne is the Chief Executive Officer of Sarina Russo Job Access, one of the largest Australian-owned private sector employment and apprenticeship services providers with over 100 sites in Queensland, Victoria, ACT, South Australia and New South Wales. Before joining the Sarina Russo Group in 2014, Dianne spent 30 years in the employment and training sector in the Australian Public Service, including 12 years in the Senior Executive Service.Dianne played a lead role in the design and implementation of the welfare reform activities in Cape York. She also negotiated the Regional Partnership Arrangement for the Western Cape area designed specifically to create sustainable employment opportunities.

Dianne’s passion is to support disadvantaged Queenslanders into work to help them become economically independent.

Miss Karni Liddell

Karni is a disability specialist and a National Disability Insurance Scheme Ambassador and Advisor for Queensland. She wears many hats, including clinical social worker, diversity trainer and assessor, radio broadcaster, television presenter and public speaker. Karni is currently working in the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors as the Manager, Engagement, Disability Connect Queensland. Karni is also a member of the Queensland Government Sexual Violence Roundtable.

Karni was diagnosed with a neuro-muscular wasting disease at birth. She went on to become a champion swimmer, breaking her first world record at 14 years of age, winning medals at every Paralympic Games she competed at, and she regards captaining the Australian Paralympic Swim team at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games her greatest sporting achievement. Karni has also won a range of other awards, including Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award (2015), Queensland Training Awards VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year (2014) and Pride of Australia Medal (2014).

Karni holds a Clinical Master of Social Work (QUT), a double Degree in Communications (Bond University) and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is an Ambassador for a range of organisations, including the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, Muscular Dystrophy Qld and Montrose Access. Karni is dedicated to mentoring young people and changing perceptions of people with disability.

Dr Wendell Rosevear OAM

Wendell is a General Practitioner and trainer, and Director of the Stonewall Medical Centre in Brisbane. He has worked in the areas of prisoner health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, suicide prevention, rape and sexual abuse, counselling, HIV/AIDS, and gay, lesbian, intersex and transgender health. Wendell is the founder of the Gay and Lesbian Alcohol and Drug support group (GLADS), the Men Affected by Rape and Sexual Abuse support group (MARS), and co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Health Service.

Wendell is the recipient of various awards, including Brisbane Citizen of the Year (1996), the Australian Medical Association National Award for Best Individual Contribution to Health Care in Australia (1996), the David Kopp Memorial Award for Service to the Gay and Lesbian Community (1996), and an Anti-Violence Award for Work with Male Victims of Sexual Assault (1997). Wendell believes passionately in the value of each person and in nurturing honesty to deal with life’s issues. His life motto and aim is “…to make Love infectious”.

Mr Andrew Taukolo

Andrew is an Australian male of Tongan descent who coordinates the YFS Men4Respect program and is a youth ambassador for the broader award-winning R4Respect program. R4Respect and Men4Respect use a peer-to-model to support young people to develop the values, knowledge and skills required to build respectful relationships.Andrew is also a Case Manager for the YFS YouthLink program, working with young people aged 12 to 21 years who are disconnected from schooling, work and their families. Andrew graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. As a member of Griffith Logan University's premiership winning Redbacks Rugby League Club, Andrew initiated a partnership between the Redbacks and R4Respect resulting in R4Respect sponsorship branding on the Redback's jersey.

Andrew has presented at a range of national and international conferences on gender-based violence, and violence in relation to young people. He was also a member of the Policy Advisory Group for the National Communities Attitudes towards violence against Women Survey which is led by Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

Ms Karyn Walsh AM

Karyn is the Chief Executive Officer of Micah Projects, a non-for-profit organisation providing services across the Brisbane metropolitan area to over 6000 people experiencing poverty, domestic and family violence, social isolation, adversity and trauma impacting their health, wellbeing and community participation. Karyn has worked in the community services sector for over 40 years in direct service delivery, management, governance, collective and collaborative work and has contributed to national, state and local Boards. She is a member of the Queensland Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce, and the Sexual Violence Prevention Roundtable.

Karyn is trained as a registered nurse, and in 2016 was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Social Work and Nursing by the University of Queensland. She has been involved in a range of projects including homelessness partnerships, inclusive health partnerships, the work of Lotus Place (a dedicated support service and resource centre for people who experienced abuse in an institutional setting), mental health and disability services and domestic and family violence services.

Ex-officio members

The Council also includes ex-officio members representing the following Queensland Government agencies with domestic and family violence reform responsibilities:

  • Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Depatment of Justice and Attorney-General
  • Department of Education
  • Queensland Health
  • Queensland Police Service.