This is fantastic recognition for Joanna’s many years of work in a career dedicated to improving safety, security and equality for women. Joanna has spent over 20 years working to address social justice issues, with a particular focus on preventing and responding to violence against women.
In accepting the award, Joanna said, ‘It’s great to have this work recognised, but there is still so much more to do. Violence against women remains widespread in our community and we need to address its key underlying drivers, primarily gender inequality.’
In her current role at Victoria Legal Aid, Joanna leads a large portion of our legal practice, which aims to help people resolve family disputes and achieve safe, workable and child-focused parenting and care arrangements, as well as helping parents to build their capacity to resolve future disputes without legal assistance.
As the former CEO of , Joanna worked with women experiencing disadvantage to address legal issues arising from relationship breakdown or violence. This included working on the development of the Family Violence Protection Act, advocating for the cross-examination ban in family law and, as a member of the inaugural state-wide Family Violence Reform Committee, working on the development of Victoria’s first state-wide plan to address family violence.
‘I hope this will draw more attention to the ways that legal assistance and legislative reform can reduce the harms of family violence, particularly for women engaging with the family law system’, said Joanna.
Reviewed 13 June 2023