16 Days in WA page banner graphic.

Hon Simone McGurk MLA

Simone is the State Labor Member for Fremantle, and the Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence and Community Services.

As a Minister in the McGowan Labor Government, Simone is working to establish a whole-of-government approach to tackling the scourge of family and domestic violence and is ensuring that our state invests in children during the critical early years to build stronger families and communities.

Prior to her election in 2013, Simone worked in the union movement for over 22 years. She was one of the first women elected to be an Organiser for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, before being elected the Assistant State Secretary in 1997. She later worked with the union United Voice.

From 2007, Simone served as Assistant Secretary, and later Secretary, of Unions WA.

Simone holds degrees in History from the University of Melbourne and Media from Murdoch University.

“I am inspired by those joining together to speak out against violence in our community – from my parliamentary colleagues; community and private sector leaders; professionals from the sports and arts; to young people demanding a future of equality and respect for all – this is an issue which deserves our attention over these sixteen days and beyond.”

Stella Donnelly

Stella Donnelly has spent the past year touring relentlessly in support of her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Beware of the Dogs’ released in March 2019. The album received international praise from leading outlets such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Billboard, The New York Times and Stereogum among others.

The release of the record and preceding singles such as ‘Old Man’ & ’Tricks’ propelled Donnelly to new heights including studio sessions for NPR’s Tiny Desk & KEXP as well an envious international touring schedule which saw her sell out shows across North America and Europe as well as play prestigious festivals such as Glastonbury, Roskilde and a stand out performance at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival among many others.

Stella is a promoter of Safer Venues Western Australia, which sets out to improve standards of inclusivity and safety in Perth’s music and entertainment spaces.

"I have chosen to take part in the 16 Days in WA campaign because in this country we have an urgent need to deal with gendered and domestic violence. Too many people within our communities are dying so this conversation really needs to happen."

Myles Pollard

Myles has more than twenty years’ experience as an actor and has appeared in many Australian television series including Australia's most successful TV series McLeod’s Daughters, as well as Home and Away, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly, Double Trouble, East West 101, All Saints, Rescue Special Ops and Mystery Road.

His feature film credits include Wolverine and Drift for which he won the Best Actor award in the Western Australia Screen Awards. He acted in The Turning, The War That Changed Us, Looking for Grace, Jasper Jones, and The Gateway for which Myles was nominated for the Best Actor at FilmQuest Cthulhu Utah and was awarded The Best Actor award at the Austin Revolution Film festival Texas. Myles also featured in the Vietnam war movie Danger Close. Myles produced the feature film Drift which won the Extreme Cinema Award at the Maui Film Festival, won Best of Fest and the Audience Choice Best Feature Film award at the Rincon International Film Festival in Puerto Rico.

Myles has also taught thousands of children and adults acting in his workshops, many of whom have gone on to create international careers for themselves.

Last year, Myles participated in the Department of Communities’ STAND UP for White Ribbon initiative, a project which highlights men as the catalysts for change in condemning violence against women.

“Women bring harmony, love and strength to the world. They are our cornerstone. Men are natural protectors. If we love, protect and honour women and not hurt them...then the world has a chance!”

Noelle Martin

Noelle Martin is an activist and law reform campaigner fighting for justice in Australia and globally against image-based sexual abuse – a pervasive form of abuse that is often rooted in misogyny and is, in many cases, gendered in nature.

Noelle has survived around seven years of escalating online abuse after anonymous sexual predators doctored images of her into pornography and distributed it online without consent. After speaking out publicly and advocating for law reform across Australia, Noelle was involved in the efforts to criminalise image-based sexual abuse in New South Wales, Western Australia and at the Commonwealth level.

Despite her efforts, the perpetrators have continued the abuse and distributed fake pornographic videos of her.

Noelle continues to fight back, speaking out against the objectification and dehumanisation of women, victim blaming and slut shaming attitudes, and is advocating for a global response to this global issue.

She was awarded Young Western Australian of the Year for 2019 and was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List, Class of 2019.

"Women should be treated with respect and dignity, yet we still live in a world riddled with gendered violence against women. An issue deeply rooted in misogyny and sexism. It must stop.

We all have a role to play to combat this scourge.

Let's work together, raise our voices and fight for change because we can create a world where women are free from abuse and violence – a world that is better."

Ian Michael

Ian is an award-winning actor and director and Noongar man from Western Australia. He has worked for a number of theatre companies and festivals around the country and internationally; Black Swan State Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Ilbijerrri Theatre Company, The Basement Theatre (New Zealand), Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival and Sydney Festival. 

Ian co-wrote and performed the one person show HART (She Said Theatre). A verbatim piece based on the lives of people from the Stolen Generations, which toured for four years across Australia and New Zealand and was seen by tens of thousands of people.

Ian has been awarded Melbourne Fringe Festival’s Most Outstanding Indigenous Performer in 2013 and 2015. He has also been awarded Best Emerging Artist at the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival. HART was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Production (Independent) in 2016 and was awarded the Tiki Tour Ready Award (NZ) and SA Tour Ready Awards at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Ian was Nominated for Best Actor at the 2017 PAWA Awards for the lead role as Oskar in Let the Right One In (Black Swan State Theatre Company). 

Ian was a finalist in the Western Australian of the Year Awards in 2019 and was the recent winner of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Australia Prize for a Future Leadership.

“The pain left by domestic and family violence is far deeper than a bruise or a scar - the mark left on a person can last a lifetime. 

The number of First Nations women who experience domestic violence in their life is far higher than that of their peers and my community needs its mothers, sisters, aunties, daughters - they are the ones that keep our families and communities connected. 

And no number of excuses or apologies can make up for the staggering number of women who experience violence and abuse and who then have to live with that trauma and pain.

All forms of violence and abuse are not acceptable and it must end before it starts.”

Tim Winton

Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most decorated and beloved novelists. He has published twenty-nine books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into twenty-eight languages.

Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian Vogel Award in 1981, Tim has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows, Cloudstreet, Dirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music).

Tim’s latest book The Shepherd’s Hut revolves around ‘Jaxie Clackton’, a brutalised teenage boy looking for peace and freedom following a childhood of family and domestic violence and toxic patriarchy.

“Blokes shouldn’t need to be told this, but violence against women is not acceptable in any circumstances. If you dismiss it, or you excuse it, or you prefer to look the other way, you’re just part of the problem.

There’s no pride in being a man when women are afraid. You’ll never cut it out if you can’t call it out. And you can’t fix it if you don’t own it.”

Bellamore Ndayikeze

Bella was born in Burundi, but her family quickly fled to Tanzania when she was one because of war. She grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania, with her mother working for UNHCR and father working as a teacher. She lived in the refugee camp for seven years before her family was granted a humanitarian visa to Australia.

It was a difficult transition and Bella’s family was torn apart by domestic violence and her mother was left to raise five children.

Bella began work with the Edmund Rice Centre’s youth sports program in 2009. She showed potential from an early stage and was invited to be a youth leader the following year.

In 2011, Bella became the first black African female AFL coach in Australia, as the assistant coach of the Edmund Rice Lions, the first multicultural team in the country.

Over the next three years, Bella would become coach to the Youth Lions; coordinator of the Edmund Rice Lions team; debut as an AFL player with West Perth Football Club; coordinate the Edmund Rice Youth Leadership and Arts Program, receiving the AFL Sports Ready Trainee of the Year; and became the Community Engagement Coordinator with the WA Football Commission.

In 2016 she launched her business ‘Ignite Creative Media’ aiming to sponsor children to play sport; joined the Global Shapers team in Perth; and coached at the Female AFL Diversity Championships.

The following year, Bella was recognised as the face Grassroots Sports by being on the cover “Grassroots, The Secret Life of Sport and Recreation”. She was also employed by the Federal Member for Cowan and became a member of the first-ever Youth Ministerial Advisory Council with the WA State Government and in 2019 was named Youth Week Deputy Ambassador. Bella is also on the Board of the Joondalup Hospital and on many more community committees.

Bella has had an amazing journey and she continues to live life to its fullest. In spite of her hardships, she has recently formed exciting platforms for young people to explore opportunities for self-expression and the freedom to speak about their passions and aspirations. These platforms include BN Collective, Mental Health Discussion, Rose Run Movement, BNC Mentoring.

Bella hopes to create long-term change through ongoing activities with youth.

“I believe gender based violence is morally wrong, it negatively impacts people in all parts of life and also externally influences the future of others physically, psychologically, economically, this issue can only change through strong and active advocacy, a firm approach to a holistic education in all areas.”

Conrad Liveris

Conrad Liveris is a corporate adviser and labour market economist, focusing on making workplaces more inclusive.

In his first management roles, he saw the need for workplace gender equality for both our professional and personal lives.

Since establishing himself as a consultant, Conrad has worked prominently on measures that facilitate gender equality, particularly the gender pay gap, flexible working and women in leadership. He has worked across public and private sectors with companies in Perth, across Australia and internationally.

His research has helped set the discussion for gender equality at work, regularly cited in the media and by business and political leaders. His annual Gender Equality at Work series sparks discussions in workplaces across the country.

“When violence against one woman is stopped it makes it easier for the next woman.

Violence against women is a stain that spreads widely, and as workplaces grapple with this, we are realising the great extent and impact it has - on productivity, time away from work and on families and society itself.

Our workplaces can facilitate a world without violence against women by building inclusive and respectful environments, by giving women leave when they, regrettably, require it and by expecting men to play their role at work and at home.

I will never accept violence against any woman, against anyone. There is no benefit in demeaning another person in any way, particularly not with violence.”

Drisana Levitzke-Gray

Drisana Levitzke-Gray is the recipient of the 2015 Young Australian of the Year Award in recognition of her passion and dedication in advocating for the human rights of Deaf people. She raises awareness about Auslan (Australian Sign Language), and the right of Deaf children in Australia to access Auslan from birth. 

Passionate about accessibility and human rights, she uses her platform as an ambassador to Our Watch and Full Stop Foundation to advocate for information and services in Auslan, regarding domestic violence in Auslan. Domestic violence does not discriminate and those who are marginalised are often the least likely to receive services and support as well as being more likely to experience domestic violence.

“As a Deaf woman, I am acutely aware of the lack of services and information available in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) for a wide range of important topics, particularly the area of domestic violence.

There is the need for Auslan fluent service providers who understand the cultural and linguistic intersectionality that arises for Deaf women, as well as the inclusion of women with disabilities.

To raise awareness about domestic violence is to include every single woman in the conversation.

It is imperative to end gendered violence for Deaf women, for disabled women, for all women.”

Damian Green

Damian Green is the CEO of Stopping Family Violence (SFV), and a passionate advocator and researcher of perpetrator responses in Australia. Through his work at SFV, Damian is an experienced Research Associate within the Social Work discipline at Curtin University and is involved in national research projects exploring perpetrator interventions in both an advisory and investigatory capacity.

Prior to this, Damian worked for nine years at Communicare and he was responsible for a directorate that included a Professional Training Institute, Psychological Services, Family and Domestic Violence Services and Justice Services. He has previously worked in out of home care with youth and spent 10 years in the management of child care services.

Following on from his work in the family and domestic violence sector he passionately advocates for, Damian is a Board member of Starick, a not for profit organisation that provides support services to women and children affected by family and domestic violence. He is also a registered psychologist, a registered Safe & Together, White Ribbon Ambassador and WA State Committee member, a member of the National Fatherhood Program Expert Reference Group and is strongly committed to the goal of ending violence towards women and children and putting a stop to gendered violence. His vast experience over the whole sector has given Damian a unique insight into many of the issues which intersect with family and domestic violence.

“Being an involved partner and a good dad is a good thing for men and most guys in men’s behaviour change programs do want to be a good dad. It shakes those foundations when they understand what they do to their partner also affects their children.

We are calling for all men to stand up, recognise their behaviour and work towards doing better.”