Closing plenary speaker on Saturday 1 October, 3.50pm – 5.00pm
Family violence campaigner Rosie Batty became the 2015 Australian of the Year and the Pride of Australia’s National Courage Medal recipient for her extraordinary efforts to stop domestic violence following her own devastating personal tragedy.
In February 2014, Rosie’s 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father after cricket practice at a Melbourne cricket ground. At the time, Greg Anderson was subject to two intervention orders. He was shot dead by police. Just 24 hours later, Rosie both shocked and inspired Australians by speaking out amid her grief to confront a widespread problem. Soon after she established the Luke Batty Foundation to help others in her situation.
Since then, Rosie’s name has become synonymous with the words courage and resilience. She has jolted the country into talking about family violence, calling on Australians to recognise that it can happen to anyone, no matter what their circumstances or history.
Rosie’s ability to articulate the train of events that had led to this tragedy has demonstrated the wider implications of her experience. She showed that the system isn’t working to ensure the safety of those who find themselves in these circumstances; that family violence can happen to anyone.
Rosie has given a voice to many thousands of victims of domestic violence who had previously remained unheard. Through her determination to bring the issue out of the shadows and into broad daylight, Rosie has become a champion for domestic violence victims, demanding systemic changes, political leadership and reforms to the courts system. She plans to use her Australian of the Year title to continue trying to change the culture around domestic violence.
The former Victorian Police Chief Commissioner, Ken Lay, praised Rosie as the most ‘remarkable victim’ he has ever met and commented that Rosie has put domestic violence on the national agenda. As a result of her efforts, the Commonwealth Government launched the Second Action Plan and has allocated more than $100 million over four years to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
Rosie Batty is a remarkable woman and her public speaking appearances are an equally remarkable story of resilience and courage. Her incredible strength and selfless efforts are an inspiration to all.
Arrangements were made through Celebrity Speakers..