News 2018-03-27T23:03:05+00:00

Violence and Incarceration – Factors for men, North Queensland.

After countless hours, Bronwyn Honorato – Research Worker at Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research last month submitted her PhD for review.  Bronwyn’s thesis, titled ‘Risk and Protective Factors for Violence Behaviour and Incarceration for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Men in North Queensland’ is a particularly poignant work.



Risk and Protective Factors for Violent Behaviour and Incarceration for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Men in North Queensland


This project explored risk and protective factors for violence and incarceration for men in North Queensland, including Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.


Interviews were conducted with 39 participants, including 19 prison inmates. Two thirds of the sample identified as Indigenous Australian. The most common risk factor themes mentioned included adverse family and childhood, mental health, personality, peer group/social influences and witnessing or a history of violence. The most common protective themes included positive childhood role models and mentors, personal attributes, and family and childhood experiences. Further, for inmates, a common trajectory from trauma to incarceration was identified. This included experiencing childhood or adolescent trauma, a lack of support or treatment, substance abuse to mask the pain, and a ‘brain snap’ leading to violent offending and incarceration.


A further 85 men including 36 prison inmates completed a survey. Of the 85 participants, 30 identified as Indigenous Australian. Frequent cannabis use was found to significantly increase the risk of perpetration of violence towards others, while a higher education level reduced the risk. When comparing cultural groups, significant associations were revealed for alcohol and cannabis use and violence for non-Indigenous, but not for Indigenous participants. Risk factors for incarceration included regular cannabis use and religious beliefs, while higher education levels, positive childhood events and being in a relationship were protective. Significant associations between religious beliefs and incarceration were found for Indigenous but not for non-Indigenous participants; while alcohol and cannabis use were significantly associated with incarceration for non-Indigenous, but not Indigenous participants.


This was one of the first explorative studies of this kind conducted in North Queensland with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, including prison inmates. Early intervention and treatment efforts focusing on young males, particularly users, or those at risk of using cannabis, may assist to reduce violence and incarceration rates for future generations in this region. The importance of social determinants, including childhood upbringing and experiences, and education to a tertiary or vocational level were highlighted in this study. The socioeconomic indicators of regional and remote communities, particularly Indigenous communities, are often far worse than urban populations, with little or no constructive economic activity, educational, or employment options available. Assisting men to gain meaningful employment, identifying needs, and developing individual strengths to reduce offending and incarceration may allow more men to become constructive, functioning contributors to society.

September 27th, 2018|

The Relationship between Gambling and Domestic Violence Against Women

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research is working in partnership with CQUniversity and the Australian Institute of Family Studies to conduct a national study examining the relationship between gambling and domestic violence (DV) against women.  This includes physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.


Time frame:                01/06/2018 – 30/06/2019


Funding:                      Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)


Research Team:          Professor Nerilee Hing (Chief Investigator), Professor Annabel Taylor, Dr Andrew Frost, Nancy Greer, Hannah Thorne


Contact:                      Nancy Greer or Hannah Thorne

September 27th, 2018|

The Role of Fatherhood Identity in Perpetrator Interventions

Dr Silke Meyer is a Senior Lecturer with the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.  Dr Meyer has recently undertaken research on men’s compliance with Domestic Violence Orders and the role of fatherhood identity in perpetrator interventions, drawing upon her background in criminology and social work.

Dr Meyer is passionate about victims’ and children’s wellbeing and advocacy for holistic responses to domestic and family violence.  Recently, she has been the chief investigator evaluating two Queensland-based programs that look closely at the behaviour of fathers who have exposed their children to domestic and family violence (DFV)


Caring Dads program evaluation

The Caring Dads program, developed in Canada, is being trialled in Queensland from 2017-2019. The evaluation is currently in the early stages of its second year and will be completed in late 2019.

The evaluation captures data from male program participants, (ex) partners, referral agencies and other community stakeholders involved in responding to fathers who have exposed their children to DFV.

“Collecting data from program participants and where possible (ex) partners across three trial rounds, we are starting to get some insights into what motivates fathers to attend the program, how fathers view the impact of their behaviour on women and children and where the program may be able to contribute to behaviour change.” Dr Meyer said.

Interviews conducted with a variety of community stakeholders and referral partners highlights the need for programs that address the intersection of fatherhood, DFV and child wellbeing while prioritising women and children’s safety along with perpetrator accountability.


Walking with Dads evaluation

Walking with Dads is a Child Safety approach towards DFV informed practice that holds perpetrators of DFV accountable in their role as fathers while supporting mothers and children towards short and long-term safety and wellbeing. Its trial sites include Caboolture, Caloundra, Gympie and Mt Isa.

The evaluation aims to identify the nature and extent of practice shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection and its impact on the safety and wellbeing of families affected.

Dr Meyer commented that “We are currently in the second and final year of data collection with mothers, fathers, Child Safety staff and community stakeholders.”

The Walking with Dads evaluation has been an action research journey to ensure that organisational and community input along with individual participants continue to shape both research design and implementation.

This evaluation has been an exciting opportunity to observe emerging practice and language shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection. Data collection with parents is ongoing, with follow up interviews and surveys to be completed at the end of 2018.


For more information about these evaluation projects, please contact Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research on 07 4940 3320 or

September 27th, 2018|

International sexual assault and domestic violence expert visits CQUniversity [free presentation]

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence invites you to join us for a free presentation by Fulbright Specialist, Mark Wynn.

Experienced SWAT Team Lieutenant [Domestic Violence Division], Mark Wynn will visit CQUniversity Brisbane Campus in October.  CQUniversity’s Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (QCDFVR) is bringing Mark to Australia through a partnership with Queensland University of Technology’s School of Law.

The partnership will see Mark undertake a number of presentations and training opportunities for those with an interest in the prevention of violence against women, including police, domestic and family violence workers, sexual assault workers, academics and researchers.

Mark will do a free presentation titled ‘Sexual Assault – Myths and Misconceptions’ at CQUniversity’s Brisbane Campus on Wednesday 3rd October.  The presentation will also be lived streamed so that those outside of Brisbane can still access and benefit from Mark’s expertise.  QCDFVR Director, Dr Heather Lovatt, says

“Gendered Violence is a significant public health problem and it is impacting Queenslanders at an alarming rate.  Having Mark Wynn visit us in Australia is such a brilliant opportunity to extend our knowledge about effective responses to and support for victims of sexual violence”.

The presentation will explore:

  • The myths and misconceptions about sexual assault, including “victim blaming” and false reporting
  • How myths and misconceptions impact our beliefs, respond, investigations, pursuit of justice
  • How to overcome these barriers
  • Men’s role in prevention
  • Encouraging reporting of these crimes to helps support victims and ensure justice

Mark has lectured at universities and police academies throughout the world.  He draws upon his extensive experience in law enforcement and his knowledge of family violence; stalking; domestic violence and sexual violence.   He has also worked a consultant and an advisor to government departments, providing strategies to prevent domestic violence and support in the development of policy and training curriculum for law enforcement.

Register now to attend the presentation [in Brisbane or via live stream]

September 24th, 2018|

Our very own Women’s Activist, Terese Kingston

2018 Emma Miller Award recipient - Terese Kingston

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research Officer, Terese Kingston, has been named the Services Union recipient of the Emma Miller Award for 2018, at a ceremony in Brisbane last Friday.

The Awards, coordinated by the Queensland Council of Unions, are named after pioneering Trade Union Organiser and Suffragist, Emma Miller.  They recognise the outstanding contributions made by women activists to their union each year.

Described as “a real change maker”, Terese is active in a variety of roles within the Mackay community.  Terese volunteers her time in union activities, committees and as an advocate for women in all that she does.  She particularly is passionate about ending domestic and family violence in the community.

Terese was honoured to receive the award, ““Emma Miller is an inspiring figure in both our union and women’s movement history, and I feel incredibly humbled by the company I find myself in with current and past awardees. No one gets an award like this on their own so I really want to thank all the strong feminist women who have supported, mentored and inspired me over the years”

Terese travelled to Brisbane to attend the Award Ceremony and was presented with the Award by Senator Claire Moore.

Congratulations to Terese and to all of the Awardees for their tireless advocacy of women –

Siva Lemisagele – National Union of Workers

Vanessa Mensah – Independent Education Unions Qld & NT Branch

Marnie Scobie – Electrical Trades Union

Margi Malezer – Queensland Teachers’ Union

Leanne Gorman – Rail, Tram and Bus Union

Tracey Bell – United Voice

Jacque Barnes – Community and Public Sector Union

Janice Wegner – National Tertiary Education Union

Gaye Kazakoff-Corr – Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union

Rachel Barley – Together

Sarah Brunton – Electrical Trades Union

Terese Kingston – The Services Union

September 17th, 2018|

Gender Equity: Professional Development for Catholic Education staff

Teachers play a central role in the early stages of all of our lives.  Importantly, they are well-positioned to shape positive gender-related attitudes and behaviours.  More than 180 staff from Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton [DoR] participated in professional development with Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence [QCDFVR] this month.  QCDFVR staff discussed contemporary challenges and provided strategies to empower school staff to create cultures that promote gender equity.

“Schools are ‘mini communities’ where respect and equality can be modelled, to help shape positive attitudes and behaviours at an early stage of life. They play a central role in teaching young people what violence against women looks like and how it can be prevented.” – Our Watch

Schools are not only places of learning and social interaction for students; they are also workplaces.  With this in mind, Catholic Education – DoR invited QCDFVR to present to our student protection leadership staff from across our diocese about domestic and family violence earlier this month.

The group heard from experienced lecturers and teachers in a series of presentations.  Experienced Domestic and Family Violence Educator, Judy Pidcock explored features of a whole-of-school approach to preventing and responding to domestic and family violence, citing the need for both cultural and procedural change.

Judy challenged staff to model respectful relationships and gender equality practices across the entire school community.

Gleeson C., Kearney S., Leung L. & Brislane J., 2015, Respectful Relationships Education in Schools, Our Watch Evidence Paper, p 20.

Research Professor in Gendered Violence, Annabel Taylor, discussed the impact of exposure to domestic and family violence on children.  In particular, Professor Taylor identified contemporary response interventions as well as the implications for school communities.  Dr Andrew Frost spoke about the relationship of coercion and control in domestic and family violence within the context of school environments.

Attendees at the conference appreciated the diverse presentations from the QCDFVR team which addressed the issue of domestic and family violence through the lens of contemporary evidence.

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence offers both accredited and non-accredited Professional Development opportunities for employers and workers.  Please contact the Centre on 07 4940 3320 or for more information, or visit our website


August 31st, 2018|

Welcome Dr Cheyne

We warmly welcome Dr Nicola Cheyne to the new role of Lecturer – Domestic and Family Violence Practice.  Having joined the Centre in 2016, Nicola moves across from our research team bringing a wealth of experience in both research and lecturing.

Nicola has worked extensively on projects in the gendered and sexual violence fields and completed her PhD on stalking victimisation.  Since joining the Centre, Nicola has worked on a number of research projects including an evaluation of police training on domestic violence and integrated responses to sexual violence.

We are also thrilled that for the first time, domestic and family violence units will be available for term 3 study.  These postgraduate units will be taught by Nicola and are available for study by distance, for students living right across Australia.  They include:

Nicola is excited about the new challenges she faces in her new lecturing position and is looking forward to connecting with students through her teaching.

August 28th, 2018|

Violence Against Women in the 21st Century – Dr Marika Guggisberg

Congratulations to QCDFVR Lecturer Dr Marika Guggisberg on the recent publication of her book Violence Against Women in the 21st Century.  Violence against women (VAW) is an ongoing phenomenon that continues to confront and impact on individuals, sub-populations and whole societies.

In the field of VAW scholarship, Dr Guggisberg’s publication is a timely one, examining issues in relation to contemporary experiences, theories and interventions.  The primary emphasis of this book is the re-situating of major VAW issues in the context of contemporary challenges and current research.

Not only does this publication raises awareness of different forms of violence, including emerging types such as image-based abuse, sextortion and online stalking, but it provides insight from research and reflects the expertise of international scholars.  The role played by cultural expectations and media representations is explored and reasons for ongoing and new digital technology facilitated abuse are discussed.

Violence Against Women in the 21st Century is aimed at scholars, students, practitioners, policy makers and interested community members. It highlights major misconceptions in the context of family and intimate relationships along with the potentially prejudicial attitudes of those who may be responding to the violence which occurs in such relationships. The reader is invited to critically reflect on the complex nature of, and responses to, women’s experiences of interpersonal violence, inequality and racism.

The author recognises that progress has been made in recent years and decades, but contemporary concerns need to be identified, challenges need to be considered to press forward, and tolerance of VAW needs to be reduced and ultimately prevented altogether.

“The revelations of courageous women who have come forward to share their stories will I hope lead to important and long overdue changes in the culture of organisations and workplace behaviours and indeed the everyday transactions of life.” 

In short, this book makes it abundantly clear that there is still a need to raise awareness about VAW, and commit to efforts to establish effective intervention and prevention approaches.

August 23rd, 2018|

The Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council visits QCDFVR

Today we welcomed The Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council members to the QCDFVR Mackay office.

We were thrilled to engage in rich discussion about the work being done to eliminate Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland.

We look forward to continuing to work in support of and in partnership with the Council, maintaining strong advocacy for action.

August 14th, 2018|

Gambling and Domestic Violence study seeking participants

The relationship between gambling and domestic violence against women

CQUniversity, its Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (QCDFVR), and the Australian Institute of Family studies are conducting a study into the relationship between gambling and domestic violence (DV) against women – including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. It aims to improve DV support and gambling help services for women.

CQU is inviting people with any of the experiences below to participate in confidential interviews between July-Dec 2018:

  • Women affected by DV linked to their own or a male partner’s gambling, or who use gambling venues as a “safe space” to escape from DV.
  • Women affected by financial abuse linked to a male partner’s gambling.
  • Men who have engaged in a behaviour change program for controlling or violent behaviours towards a female partner, and where gambling was an issue for either of them.

To find out more and register your participation please contact CQUniversity via:

The study is funded by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

Ethics approval numbers: CQUniversity (0000020852) and Relationships Australia NSW (111217_4).


August 8th, 2018|