Major WA Government commitment to preventing violence against women and their children


New Our Watch Ambassador announced

The Western Australian Government has announced it will join Our Watch, the national organisation to prevent violence against women and their children.

Chair of Our Watch, Natasha Stott Despoja AM, said that the Government’s intention to become a member of Our Watch from July 1 signals a “solid commitment to tackling violence against women and children”.

“Violence against women and their children is a national emergency” she said.

“Preventing violence requires a nation-wide effort by the entire community, including governments, business, schools, workplaces and sporting organisations. It requires an understanding of evidence which shows violence against women is driven by gender inequality,” said Ms Stott Despoja.

“The Government has been quick off the mark to identify preventing violence against women and children as a priority. I look forward to working closely with all sides of the Parliament to fulfil our mandate”.

Western Australia’s Minister for Child Protection, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Simone McGurk said that “the McGowan Labor Government recognises that violence against women is a nationwide problem so prevention must be a nationwide effort.

“We are strongly committed to working with Our Watch to break the culture of violence in some Western Australian families and communities,” said Minister MrGurk.

“By joining the Commonwealth Government and other State and Territory members we are sending a clear message that domestic violence in our communities will not be tolerated.

“Last year, 19 people were killed in Western Australia as a result of domestic homicide.

“We will work with Our Watch to increase gender equality and promote respectful relationships in all aspects of everyday life, such as schools, workplaces and sporting organisations,” Minister McGurk said.

Today, Our Watch also announced that Western Australian local and 2015 Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitzke-Gray has joined the organisation as Ambassador.

“Drisana is passionate about, and dedicated to, advocating for the human rights of deaf people. She is an invaluable member of both the Western Australian community and the wider country. I have long admired Drisana and am excited she has joined the ranks of Our Watch,” said Ms Stott Despoja.

Drisana Levitzke-Gray said that she hopes “working with Our Watch will help the Australian community understand the unique complexities of violence against women with a disability and assist everyone in the community to have access to prevention messages”.

“Nearly 20% of women in Australia have a disability. In fact, people with a disability make up the largest minority group in this country.

“I am a deaf person; the fifth generation of my family to be born deaf. But I’m sure that it’s not just people with a disability who find these statistics both alarming and unacceptable,” said Ms Levitzke-Gray.

Media contact:

Hannah Grant, Media Manager, Our Watch: 0448 844 930 or

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play”

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit:

Our Watch leads Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children.

To do this, Our Watch works to increase gender equality and respect in all aspects of everyday life, such as through schools; workplaces; media; sporting organisations; social marketing, and developing and influencing public policy.

Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022.