Our board | Full Stop Australia

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Our board are passionate and committed individuals from different cultural and professional backgrounds determined to put a full stop to sexual, domestic and family violence.

Our board

The board of Full Stop Australia seeks to build a collective sense of purpose and direction to enable our organisation to identify and meet its philosophy, goals and priorities.

In doing this the board draws on the diversity of the community it serves and seeks members who have the skills needed to provide effective governance.

Members of the current board are passionate and committed individuals from different cultural and professional backgrounds.

Chair: Vijaya Nagarajan

Vijaya Nagarajan has a law and economics background and works on gender equity and commercial regulation. She has consulted for government and multilateral organisations on these issues for over a decade and is skilled in linking policy and practice. She is currently consulting on how commercial laws (for example, financial regulation, superannuation legislation and consumer laws) cater to the needs of women. Her work has taken her across twelve countries seeing how women all over the world work things out.

Vijaya worked as an academic for over three decades which she valued, and felt nourished by. She continues her affiliation with Macquarie University as Emeritus Professor and her publications are in the areas of gender justice, climate action and commercial law. She has held several leadership roles both at the university and in non-government organisations.

Vijaya brings her knowledge of governance and passion for gender equity to this role with Full Stop Australia.

Board Member Vijaya Nagarajan photo

Treasurer: Georgie Smart

Georgie Smart is a financial, business and accounting professional who started out her career in the early childhood and community development sectors. Holding both a master’s in professional accounting and an MBA,

Georgie is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants and is currently running her own business that supports the finance and governance functions for various NFP services and small, community focused businesses.

Along with professional financial regulation, Georgie is passionate about demystifying money and uses her skills to educate and empower individuals and organisations about money and finance.

As a social justice advocate, she firmly believes that community-based enterprises with strong governance and strategy are essential in our society to support those who have somehow slipped through the cracks and need to again become part of the community embrace.

“With strong liaison between funding bodies and services providers, like Full Stop Australia, social advantage can become a strong base platform for many more people across many types of communities," she says.

Georgie Smart photo

Board member: Gail Meyer

Having a long history of working in the women’s health sector Gail can contribute to effective governance through expertise, qualifications in management, community management, Human Resource management and knowledge of the sector issues and challenges.

Gail has Board experience at Women’s Health NSW and also at a rural organisation. Gail works in a feminist philosophy within a trauma informed framework and ensures women have contact details for Full Stop Australia to allow access to trauma informed services 24/7.

This therefore addresses gaps in services in a rural setting including out of hours access. This support is an important aspect of the framework of Full Stop Australia as it progresses into the future and confirms the necessity for services to work together.

Board Member Gail Meyer photo

Board member: Nikita Knapp

Nikita Knapp is a Child Protection Case Worker in a Family Support Service. Nikita graduated from The University of Sydney in 2018 with a Bachelor of Social Work and Arts majoring in Gender Studies.

Nikita is passionate about working against gender inequalities and empowering women and children to re-establish safety and security after experiencing violence.

Board Member Nikita Knapp photo

Board member: Dr Meg Clement-Couzner

Meg Clement-Couzner (she/they) is a social policy expert in disability and gender-based violence.

Meg is Assistant Director with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, leading policy work on domestic, family and sexual violence, reproductive rights and LGBTIQ+ issues. She has served as a board member for the last two years.

Meg is a member of the LGBTIQA+ and disability communities. She previously worked at People With Disability Australia, focusing on violence against people with disability and the NDIS. She holds a PhD in gender studies and political economy.

Meg lives and works on Gadigal land. She is committed to the full inclusion of First Nations people, people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse and LGBTIQ+ people in our advocacy and services.

Board Member Meg Clement Couzner

Board member: Helen Bolton

As a feminist, Helen is passionate about addressing the causes of gender based violence, with a career that extends over 30 years in the area of addressing violence against women and children. Currently, Chief Executive Officer of The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre in Victoria, Helen has extensive leadership experience in the specialist family violence and sexual assault sectors. Helen has held executive positions in the not-for-profit sector and also senior positions within State Government incorporating family violence, service system reform, cross government initiatives and policy development.

Helen gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse and is a board member of Domestic Violence Victoria and Domestic Violence Resource Centre. Previously on the Board of the Victoria Police Family Violence Academy and the National Association of Sexual Assault Services Australia.

Helen is an active member of the LGBTIQ community and passionate about gender quality, primary prevention of violence against women and children, human rights and social justice.

Her career has resulted in significant organisational transformation and growth, a focus on client outcomes and operating in multidisciplinary and co-located models of collaboration for enhanced responses and better service system coordination.

Helen Bolton

Board member: Dr Ellie Freedman

Dr Ellie Freedman is the medical director of Northern Sydney Sexual Assault Service (NSSAS) and the medical forensic staff specialist at the NSW Education Centre against Violence (ECAV). She has a clinical background working in women’s health and sexual health services for over 20 years.

Ellie has extensive clinical experience in the VAN (violence abuse and neglect) sector in NSW, working with adult and adolescent survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She works in a state-wide role providing training, workforce and clinical advice to VAN clinical services, and has published several peer reviewed articles on primary care management of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Ellie’s work in the VAN sector focusses on bringing the patient voice to health systems and services. She is currently engaged in the development of a new NSW Health domestic and family violence crisis response service model, which aims to provide integrated counselling, medical and forensic crisis services accessible to victim-survivors of domestic and family violence wherever they access the NSW Health system. The project is focused on partnering with victim-survivors and ensuring a holistic approach to meeting health, safety and justice needs, and will include updated counselling, medical and forensic clinical guidance for NSW Health staff.

Board Member Ellie Freedman

Board member: Dr Neeraja Sanmuhanathan

Dr Neeraja Sanmuhanathan is a Senior Sexual Assault Counsellor at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital providing trauma and violence informed counselling support to those impacted by sexual violence. In this role, she also provides specialist support to University of Sydney students as part of the Safer Communities project in partnership with NSW Health. Neeraja completed her PhD thesis at the University of Sydney exploring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and intergenerational trauma. She is also a sessional lecturer within the Master of Counselling program at the University of Notre Dame.

Neeraja is passionate about human rights including the right to live free from violence. Neeraja has advocated for better understanding of the complexities surrounding sexual assault disclosures including authoring an article on The Conversation which was republished on ABC (https://theconversation.com/im-a-sexual-assault-counsellor-heres-why-its-so-hard-for-survivors-to-come-forward-and-what-happens-when-they-do-156038). She is currently collaborating on a research project between Sydney Local Health District and UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion exploring barriers to disclosures.

In her previous role, Neeraja worked at STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors) providing psychological support to asylum seekers. This role allowed her to better understand the intersection of gender inequality, structural inequality, and migration in women’s experiences of violence. Identifying as an Australian Tamil, Neeraja believes there is a need to create culturally safe and community centred projects to address gender based violence in our communities.

Board Member Neeraja Sanmuhanathan

Board member: Charity Danquah

Charity Danquah is senior project officer at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. Charity has worked in diverse roles providing advisory, training and policy analysis in the areas of domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct. Charity has worked in caseworker roles supporting immigrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence.

Charity also has extensive experience within the trade union movement organising and advocating on behalf of a variety of workers in the private and public sectors.

Charity has an Arts/Science degree from UNSW.

Charity Danquah headshot

Board member: Natasha de Silva

Natasha de Silva has an international and national profile as a human rights and gender equality expert, working with governments and organisations in the region to build knowledge and technical capacity. Currently the Principal of Intersection, a consultancy specialising in the rights of women at work, Natasha brings to this a holistic and intersectional understanding of disability rights, age discrimination and racial equality.

Natasha has 20 years of experience as a senior leader in the government sector and prior to establishing Intersection, led significant national policy reforms, such as Respect@Work, as Senior Executive at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Natasha is a Justice of the Peace in NSW and has degrees in Arts and Commerce in International Development and Economics and a Master of Global Law from the University of Sydney.

Natasha de Silva