The Domestic Violence Action Centre Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring it lives up to its values and achieves its goals.
The Board comprises of members who share a diverse range of professional skills, are passionate advocates against domestic and family violence, and are invested in creating a safe and secure future for all Queenslanders. The Board’s members contribute their tim and expertise on a pro bono basis.
Nick Thompson holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Social Work from Southern Cross University. He’s currently employed as a Case Worker with Mercy Community Services in their Intensive Family Support Program at Ipswich and was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Family Legal Service Southern Queensland. He’s a White Ribbon Ambassador and previously worked in family violence prevention across Central Australia with Aboriginal families and communities.
Melanie O’Toole is a qualified exporting and trade professional with local and international marketing strategy, brand and trade development experience with leading public, commercial and educational organisations in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and PR China, where she worked extensively on the ground in these countries.
She currently assists national and international not-for-profit organisations and government departments focused on gender, workforce development, and entrepreneurship to reduce poverty and inequity experienced by women. Ms O’Toole brings with her a background in government liaison, major tender bidding and business development to her advocacy work.
Ms O’Toole is a columnist, consultant and accredited Board Director. She is currently the Secretary of the Australian National Women’s Alliance – Economic Security for Women Alliance. In that role she has been working with the finance and government sectors to introduce greater protections to combat financial abuse in the realms of domestic violence. She was a previous Board Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women; the International Women’ Federation of Commerce & Industry, and the Federal Government’s Women in Global Business Network.
She has been actively involved with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women’s Leaders Network, the United Nations Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the White Ribbon Say No to Violence Against Women campaign in Australia and New Zealand; APEC Entrepreneurship Development and APEC Small and Medium Enterprise groups and was Singapore-Australia Young Business Ambassador where she successfully secured recognition of Australian professional qualifications with the Singaporean Government.
Tertiary qualified with a Masters of International Business from the University of Melbourne, Australia amongst other business related degrees. She has language capabilities in Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese.
Laura Marschke is a Financial Adviser with Jade Financial Group and has worked in financial services for the last 14yrs in roles with both corporate and private practice.
In her role with Jade FG Laura commits time to pro-bono financial advice through the Cancer Council and is passionate about improving the financial literacy of her community. She enjoys running workshops for kids around budgeting and money in general and is also a regular contributor the Jade FG ‘Embrace’ workshops which is a series aimed at improving the financial wellbeing of women
Daphne Haneman has twelve years’ experience as a Brisbane-based journalist and social commentator, writing and blogging articles on the environment, terrorism and domestic violence and performing media and marketing roles. Daphne has a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education from the University of New South Wales, and a Diploma of Journalism. Daphne is a recent Queensland University postgraduate scholar in Peace and Conflict studies (2016) with a research focus in violence, violent masculinities, nonviolent protest, peace and mediation. Daphne has several years’ experience as a management trainer with productivity specialist Alexander Proudfoot, successfully supporting businesses to improve productivity. As a recovering victim of domestic abuse, Daphne retains a deep interest in practical training interventions for perpetrators of violence, in creating a violence prevention culture, and in restorative healing and recovery programs for those that have, or have had, violence in their lives. Daphne is keen to explore secular programs that reduce domestic violence and make perpetrators accountable without the need for force, coercion or guilt. Daphne serves on the Board of international refugee support organisation Yazda Australia.
Stephanie Francis Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Journalism. She is an Associate at law firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, and regional leader of the firm’s Ipswich office. She has experience in personal injuries litigation and advocating for the rights of injured people.
Susie currently works for Catholic Care Social Services based in Roma as a family advisor for the family dispute resolution team, however is regularly across Darling Downs communities and Toowoomba in her work. Susie has spent many years working with families who have experienced trauma and is a trained Counsellor, mediator and educator. She holds a Bachelor of Education Studies and Cert 4 in assessment and training.
Susie is a professional artist and has pioneered an art for relaxation therapeutic workshop that promotes healing through creative and expressive arts.
Susie is excited about DVAC’s expansion onto the Darling Downs and wants to assist with improving relationships across the region and promoting violence prevention.
Robyn Forward is a Social Worker, with 26 year’s experience with Qhealth West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Mental Health and Specialised Services. Robyn has a Bachelor of Social Work from Central Queensland University. Most recently Robyn and co-authors were successful in being published in Australian Social Work “Asking the Question: Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adults with Mental Illness. Robyn has a long history of working collaboratively with the DVAC team.