WorkUP Queensland (WorkUP) was created in May 2019 to offer support and training to help meet growing demand for the state’s 188 specialist sexual violence, women’s health, domestic and family violence services.

We were founded by The Healing Foundation, in partnership with Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). The Queensland Government has committed to fund WorkUP for five years.

The Healing Foundation brings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, cultural awareness and healing to improve the way services interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. We also aim to increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in the sector with cultural awareness forming a key part of the training we offer.

ANROWS brings leadership in the development of Knowledge, Translation and Exchange (KTE) in Australia as applied in preventing and responding to violence against women. This KTE practice involves synthesising the results of research and developing resources and communication strategies to support the transfer of the evidence to policy and practice.

Our logo was created by Elaine Chambers-Hegarty of Cultural Edge Designs, working with Monique Proud of Cultural Grounding. The design emerged from consultation with ANROWS, The Healing Foundation and domestic and family violence, sexual violence and women’s health sector professionals from Queensland.

The name WorkUP Queensland reflects our focus on developing the sector to meet the challenges of the future. The ripple effect in the logo highlights the domestic and family violence, sexual violence and women’s health workforce’s impact in ending violence in Queensland. The circle elements of the design also represent the broader community coming together in a holistic approach to end domestic and family violence and sexual violence in Queensland.

Our Governance

WorkUP Queensland is led by a Steering Committee with advice and sector lead support provided by the Reference Group.

The Steering Committee provides strategic direction and project governance and its members are:

Fiona Cornforth

Chief Executive Officer of The Healing Foundation

Fiona Cornforth was appointed the role of The Healing Foundation CEO in April 2020. Fiona is a Wuthathi (Shelburne Bay) descendant with family roots in the Torres Straits. She has an extensive background working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Fiona is a Masters Graduate of ANU’s College of Business and Economics, and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the UK. Holding past senior roles in community and government organisations, she utilised her global experience in education, leadership and business development to raise awareness around the impacts of intergenerational trauma.

Padma Raman

Chief Executive Officer of ANROWS

Padma has a wealth of experience as a senior executive at both state and federal levels, and in 2018 was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding service leading significant cultural, technological and governance change. For the past 11 years, she has been Chief Executive of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Prior to that she established and was Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Law Reform Commission for nine years. Ms Raman sits on a number of boards including the Human Rights Law Center and the ANU Council. She has a Master of Laws in research focusing on the experiences of immigrant and Indigenous women under the Australian legal system.

WorkUP Queensland Reference Group

The Reference Group supports the Steering Committee and ensures the sectors’ voices are taken into account when developing our programs. The Reference Group also advises on key initiatives including Practice Studios, action learning, knowledge circles, and the statewide workforce strategy.

The Reference Group is made up of stakeholders from domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing services across Queensland. Membership is for a 2 year period. The Steering Committee are permanent members of the Reference Group.

Reference Group Members:

Dr April O’Mara

Centacare Family Relationship Services

Dr April O’Mara is the Manager Practice, Governance and Research for Centacare Family Relationship Services and works in the Moreton Bay Region. Within this role, Dr O’Mara and her team have identified a range of workforce issues including recruitment and retention, skill deficits, specialist skill sets required, access to training and resources, the need for greater innovation, embedding innovation and the impact of vicarious trauma.

Dr Brodie Evans

Brisbane Domestic Violence Service

Dr Brodie Evans has worked within the Domestic and Family Violence sector for over two and a half years, primarily as a co-facilitator and coordinator of a Men’s Perpetrator Intervention Program. In addition, Dr Evans is an academic and researcher at the School of Justice at QUT and is also a member of the SPEAQ (Services and Practitioners for the Elimination of Abuse Queensland) network. Dr Evans values collaboration and developing a collective voice.

Katrina Weeks

Centre Against Sexual Violence

Katrina Weeks is the Operations Manager at the Centre Against Sexual Violence in Logan and the Redlands. She has worked in the sexual assault and domestic violence sector for twenty years. She is committed to working towards the elimination of violence against women, working collaboratively and advocating on behalf of women survivors.

Steph Chen

Children by Choice

Steph Chen is a social worker. Over the past 20 years Steph has practiced in crisis services and hospitals in Victoria and at Children by Choice as a non-directive pregnancy options counsellor and training facilitator since relocating to Queensland in 2018. Steph describes her ethical framework as including respect for persons, social justice and professional integrity.

Julia Yorkston

Lena Passi Women’s Shelter

Julia Yorkston is a Torres Strait Islander living and working with her community on Thursday Island. Julia is currently engaged as a part time project officer with Lena Passi Women’s Shelter. She has been an active member of many organisations and networks within her community including as secretary for both Lena Passi Women’s Shelter Board and Mura Kosker Sorority Board and member of the Social Justice Interagency Services.

Lynette Anderson

Helem Yumba

Ms Lynette Anderson has worked in a management position with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence sector for approximately 14 years and is the CEO for Helem Yumba in Rockhampton. Ms Anderson has taken a lead role in networks including Rockhampton coordinated HRT; CEO’s monthly gathering of DFV services, QPS DV Steering Committee and the Primary Health Network Community Advisory Committee.

Michelle Royes

Relationships Australia Queensland

Ms Michelle Royes is a Program Manager for Relationships Australia based in Brisbane. She works with a range of RA service delivery areas, working to establish organisational approaches and systems for personnel meeting practice expectations. Ms Royes values include communication, collaboration and learning and believes that if you build something that supports the most vulnerable, everyone will benefit.

Paul Monsour

SPEAQ (Services and Practitioners for the Elimination of Abuse Queensland)

Mr Paul Monsour has been the SPEAQ secretary for the last 12 years. He has supported the professional development of SPEAQ members through a range of activities including organising SPEAQ’s regular stakeholder meetings, training and other events. Mr Monsour values genuine consultation, dialogue, inclusion, recognition of diversity, cooperation, collaboration, diligence and gender equality.

Rosemary O’Malley

Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Inc

Ms Rosie O’Malley has extensive experience working within the field of Domestic and Family Violence and is currently the CEO for the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre on the Gold Coast. Ms O’Malley is often consulted and provides domestic and family violence training to other organisations. Her values include client centred practice, a strong work ethic and “stubbornness to keep going until we collectively create something that increases sustainability in the DFV sector”.

Talia van Gils

Community Action Gympie

Ms Talia van Gils works at Community Action Gympie and for the past 7 years has managed programs working with people experiencing Domestic and Family Violence. She is a certified trainer in the ‘Safe and Together’ model and previously managed the Integrated Workforce Development Strategy for the Health and Community Services Workforce Council. Ms Gils believes in the power of groups to effect change.