Former Senator and leader of the Australian Democrats, Natasha Stott Despoja AO, recently joined guests at a Coleman Greig Women in Business event on Friday, 16 August 2019 to share her career highlights with guests, including the work she has undertaken to help prevent violence against women.
As Australia’s former Ambassador for Women and Girls and 2018 top 100 Global Influencers on Gender policy, Natasha’s concerns are backed by statistics. In Australia; every two minutes, police are called to a family violence matter and every week, a woman is killed by a current or former partner.
Passionate about raising awareness, Natasha has penned her first book “On Violence” which focusses on the important role of primary prevention; and her role as founding Chair of Our Watch, an organisation established to drive nationwide change in the structures, norms and practices that lead to violence against women and their children.
Guests also heard from another woman who is equally committed to preventing violence against women. Western Sydney resident, Lauren Huxley was only 18 years old when she was attacked by an intruder inside her Northmead home in 2005.
She was found unconscious, lying on the garage floor bound and gagged with horrific head injuries and covered in petrol while fire ravaged the house. On arrival at Westmead Hospital she was given only a five per cent chance of survival.
Lauren underwent extensive surgery and rehabilitation for the injuries she sustained that day and is now determined to live the ‘normal’ life she was told she would never have.
Caroline Hutchinson, Principal Director, Coleman Greig, said that as the first Australian law firm to gain White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation, Coleman Greig was pleased that the event could raise awareness of such an important issue affecting women.
“As a business, we’re really committed to continuing to take steps to prevent violence against women and hopefully this event has inspired other Western Sydney businesses to advocate and be a positive force for change.”
Women in Business guests contributed more than $6,000 to support Our Watch to connect businesses to the right information, expertise, tools and resources to help make a difference in workplaces where women should feel safe, equal and valued.