Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Leading academic to chair new research centre on prevention of violence against women

Leading expert in women’s social policy, Professor Anne Edwards, will chair a new National Centre of Excellence established to help reduce domestic, family and sexual violence.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, announced the appointment of the Emeritus Professor and former Vice-Chancellor at Flinders University, after a meeting in Canberra today.

“Professor Edwards is an expert in gender and sexual studies who will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the new Centre,” Ms Collins said.

“Professor Edwards’ contribution to the study of violence against women has earned her great respect – in particular, her research on sexual assault cases in the criminal justice system.

“Professor Edwards’ experience will be invaluable as she leads the Centre in developing a national research agenda to help guide future investment, policy and services in the prevention of violence against women across Australia.

“At our meeting, I was able to again express my thanks for accepting the role and bringing her knowledge and skills to such an important project.”

Professor Edwards’ other senior positions have included Deputy Chair of the Australian Research Council and Chair of the Research Committee at the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia.

She is a fellow at the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

“I’m delighted to accept this role and look forward to shaping research into violence against women and their children,” Professor Edwards said.

“Only by understanding the extent of the problem and by drawing together national and international research, can we hope to address this issue that affects far too many in our community.”

Ms Collins said the Centre will provide a central point for researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the fields of domestic, family and sexual violence to link up and provide evidence-based responses to reduce domestic, family and sexual violence.

“Taking a national approach to tackling violence against women and children is the only way to truly make a difference,” Ms Collins said.

“The Centre will be a critical part of our efforts and is a key component of the Australian Government’s $86 million National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.”

The Centre will receive $1.5 million over the next three years from the Australian Government, with the states and territories providing matching funding and resources.

Based in Sydney, the Centre is the result of extensive consultations with the sector and begins operations this year.