Council members - Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Queensland Government)

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Council members

The Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council is chaired by Ms Kay McGrath OAM and includes representatives from key sectors in the community and government.

Council members are appointed by the Premier and are strong advocates for ensuring action on eliminating domestic and family violence in Queensland remains a focus.

  • Ms Kay McGrath OAM (Chair)

    Ms McGrath is an award-winning journalist and presenter with 40 years’ experience in the media. She has presented prime time news bulletins in Queensland for 32 years. In addition to her journalism, Kay has worked as a facilitator, speaker and Master of Ceremonies and supports a variety of community causes. She is patron of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, former patron and co-founder of Protect all Children Today, an 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.

  • Mr Lance Hockridge (Deputy Chair)

    Mr Hockridge is the former Chief Executive Officer of Aurizon Holdings. He is the founding member of Queensland’s ‘Male Champions of Change’ group that is leading diversity initiatives in the workplace in Queensland. Mr Hockridge won the Australian Human Resource Institute Diversity Chief Executive Officer Champion of 2014. He has enabled a partnership with the Australian National Committee of United Nations (UN) Women and has spoken at UN Women business events across Australia. Mr Hockridge is the Chairman of the Salvation Army’s South Queensland Advisory Board and a private sector member of the Australian Government’s Department of Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board.

  • Dr Kathleen Baird

    Dr Baird holds a joint appointment as Senior Lecturer in Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University and Director of Midwifery and Nursing Education, Women’s and Newborn Services at Gold Coast University Hospital. Dr Baird has been a midwife since 1996 and has clinical experience in a variety of positions. In her academic career, which stretches over a decade and two continents, Dr Baird has focused on women’s experiences of domestic violence during pregnancy. Her current appointments include Director of the Centre of Women’s and Newborn Research and Visiting Scholar for Metro South and Bayside Hospitals.

  • Ms Faiza El-Higzi

    Ms El-Higzi has extensive experience in multicultural affairs, including working with refugees and asylum seekers. She holds many advisory positions in community organisations and peak bodies such as the Queensland Council of Social Service and the Queensland African Communities Council, and is a respected Muslim community leader.

    Ms El-Higzi has experience in strategic policy at both state and federal levels and holds a number of post-graduate qualifications. She is currently undertaking PhD research on gender studies at the University of Queensland.

  • Mr Lachlan Heywood

    Mr Heywood is the editor of The Courier Mail and was previously the editor of the Townsville Bulletin and Townsville Sun newspapers. Prior to his editorship in Townsville, he was Deputy Editor of the Sunday Mail in Brisbane and Chief of Staff at The Courier-Mail. Mr Heywood has over 20 years of experience in communications and media.

  • Mrs Denise Kostowski

    Mrs Kostowski is the Principal of Forest Lake State High School. Prior to this, she was the Principal of Spinifex State College in Mount Isa. She has been actively involved and committed to the delivery of quality education programs to students in rural and remote Queensland schools for over 25 years. Mrs Kostowski is an active member of the Mount Isa community and has been recognised for her outstanding leadership by the Principals Australia Institute.

  • Mr Ian Leavers

    Mr Leavers is the General President and Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Police Union of Employees, a role he has held since 2009, and is a currently serving police officer. Mr Leavers began his police career in 1989 and has worked in General Duties, the Traffic Branch, the Accident Investigation Squad, the Criminal Investigation Branch and the Child Protection Investigation Unit. Mr Leavers serves on several boards, including as a director of QBANK, WorkCover Queensland, Vice-President of the Police Federation of Australia, and is a previous member of the Queensland Government’s Work Health and Safety Board. Together with his extensive policing qualifications, he is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Ms Natalie Lewis

    Ms Lewis is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP). QATSICPP aims to lead, support, resource and build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agencies who work alongside parents, families and communities to improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. Ms Lewis has worked in the USA developing and implementing juvenile diversion programs and gang prevention programs in collaboration with government agencies and law enforcement.

  • Ms Karni Liddell

    Ms Liddell is a disability specialist and a National Disability Insurance Scheme Ambassador and Advisor for the State of Queensland. Ms Liddell is one of Australia's most successful and well-respected Paralympic swimmers and has worked as a social worker, trainer and assessor, radio presenter/journalist and public speaker.

  • Mr Darren Lockyer

    Mr Lockyer is a former professional rugby league footballer, captaining the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australian Kangaroos. He has been highly sought as an ambassador and motivational speaker for various brands and the media. He is currently a Channel Nine commentator, a contributor for The Courier-Mail and an ambassador for Origin Energy, One Key Resources, NRL and the Brisbane Broncos. Mr Lockyer has been involved in a number of charity endeavours including the Life Education Awards and visits to Brisbane’s Children’s Hospital. Recently, Mr Lockyer joined other sporting legends and TV personalities in calling for an end to domestic and family violence.

  • Ms Kathryn McMillan QC

    Ms McMillan is a barrister and mediator practicing primarily in all aspects of Administrative Law, Family Law, Civil/Human Rights and Discrimination and Child Protection Law. She has a long-term interest in the legal issues around bioethics as well as domestic and family violence. Ms McMillan is also an Adjunct Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland.

  • Mr Edward Mosby

    Mr Mosby is a psychologist with Wakai Waian Healing and has worked at the Helem Yumba Central Queensland Healing Centre. The Helem Yumba model of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families prioritises the safety of victims and families while working with perpetrators of domestic and family violence in a culturally appropriate manner. Mr Mosby was a member of the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children and has presented and published on a number of topics including addressing Indigenous males on family violence and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

  • Ms Janette Phelan

    Ms Phelan is a psychologist who has worked in private practice, education, guiding and church organisations. She is currently working in private practice and as Mission Action Partner for Churches of Christ in Queensland and is a member of the newly established Churches of Christ in Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Taskforce. She previously worked as a Disaster Recovery Trauma Counsellor in the wake of the 2011 Queensland floods and has had a range of coordinating and teaching roles in Queensland and Victorian schools. Ms Phelan has also undertaken a range of voluntary work, including board appointments, lecturing and couples counselling.

  • Dr Wendell Rosevear OAM

    Dr Rosevear is a General Practitioner and Director of Stonewall Medical Centre and has worked in the areas of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, suicide prevention, rape and sexual abuse, gay, lesbian, intersex and transgender health, HIV/AIDS, counselling, and prisoner health. Dr Rosevear 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.

  • Associate Professor Annabel Taylor

    Associate Professor Taylor joined Central Queensland University in 2014 as Director of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research. In 2015 she was appointed to the Queensland Child Death Review Panel. Her research and publications have encompassed criminal justice, social work, and gender-based violence. She has completed national Australian and New Zealand projects investigating domestic and family violence, and child abuse. Associate Professor Taylor has been a pioneer in introducing extensive domestic and family violence education and training options at both Higher Education and Vocational levels in partnership with Central Queensland University.

  • Ms Karyn Walsh AM

    Ms Walsh is the Chief Executive Officer of Micah Projects which provides a range of support and advocacy services to individuals and families. Ms Walsh has 37 years’ experience in the community sector developing organisations and implementing programs to create opportunities for personal and social change. She has been involved in a range of projects including homelessness partnerships, inclusive health partnerships, the work of Lotus Place, mental health and disability services and domestic and family violence services.

Ex-officio members

  • Judge Ray Rinaudo AM

    Judge Rinaudo is a Judge of the District Court and the current Chief Magistrate of Queensland. Prior to commencing as Chief Magistrate, His Honour served as a Queensland Magistrate for 10 years throughout south east Queensland and regional Queensland. His Honour has extensive experience in alternate dispute resolution and international experience in teaching mediation both in Hong Kong and Malaysia as well as locally, having taught in Arbitration and Mediation at the University of Queensland. Judge Rinaudo has also held the positions of President of the Queensland Law Society, Crime and Misconduct Commissioner and Legal Aid Commissioner. Judge Rinaudo is Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Science, University of Queensland.

  • Dr Graham Fraine

    Dr Fraine is the Deputy Director-General of Policy Division in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In this role, Graham is responsible for developing specific policy advice for the Premier on key issues, providing high level strategic social, environment and economic policy advice for the Premier and Cabinet and the implementation of key government decisions. Graham has more than 20 years’ experience in public policy development and social science research specialising in transportation, program development, and service delivery.

  • Ms Natalie Parker

    Ms Parker is the Director of Domestic and Family Violence Court Reform and was previously the Director of Child Safety in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.  Ms Parker practised as a social worker and as a solicitor before becoming a policy officer with the Queensland Government. She worked at Women’s House in the mid-1980s and so has a practical understanding of the impacts of domestic and family violence on women and their children. She has worked for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General since the early 2000s and led the development of legal frameworks for Victim Assist Queensland and the Public Guardian.

  • Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing

    Deputy Commissioner Pointing joined the Queensland Police Service in 1978 and during his career has performed a range of roles around the state. His service has been recognised with the awarding of the Queensland Police Service Medal, the Australian Police Medal, the National Police Service Medal and Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation. During the 2010-2011 season of disasters, Deputy Commissioner Pointing was appointed the Executive Officer to the State Disaster Coordination Group. Deputy Commissioner Pointing accepted the position of Deputy Commissioner (Regional Operations) on 1 January 2013 and took responsibility for coordinating the disaster recovery of Bundaberg and North Burnett Regional Council areas. In October 2015, Deputy Commissioner Pointing transitioned to lead the Strategy, Policy and Performance portfolio for the Queensland Police Service.

  • Ms Merrilyn Strohfeldt

    Ms Strohfeldt is the Deputy Director-General, Service Delivery and Practice in the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. In this role, she is responsible for commissioning domestic violence support services, as well as the safety and wellbeing of children impacted by domestic violence. Ms Strohfeldt has extensive experience in the delivery of services to vulnerable people and has worked across Australian and state government jurisdictions, the not-for-profit sector, and private industry. Ms Strohfeldt’s qualifications include an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Griffith University and the Australian New Zealand School of Government, and a Bachelor of Speech Pathology from the University of Queensland.

Where to get help

If you are in immediate danger, phone the police on Triple Zero (000).

For help and advice, call:

  • DVConnect Womensline
    1800 811 811
    24 hours, 7 days a week
  • DVConnect Mensline
    1800 600 636
    9am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week
  • Sexual Assault Helpline
    1800 010 120
    7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days a week
  • Elder Abuse Helpline
    1300 651 192
    9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

More domestic and family violence services

More women's support services 

Download the Resource pack - Domestic and family violence referral references (PDF, 368 KB)

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.