Rosie Batty - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Rosie Batty

Honorary Doctorate (May 2017)

Rosie Batty was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in May 2017 in recognition of her remarkable efforts to dramatically reduce the incidence of family violence, and her significant contribution to societal change.

Rosie Batty came to national prominence in the most tragic of circumstances. In 2014, Rosie’s 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father in a shocking public attack. In the days after Luke’s death, Rosie courageously shared her story of family violence, and stunned Australians with her grace and resilience during a time of profound personal grief.

Rosie almost immediately became the public face of a national campaign to end family violence. Determined to honour her son, she has advocated tirelessly for cultural change, and has campaigned for improved awareness, funding and services to support victims. She has firmly placed domestic and family violence on the national agenda, and has sparked debate and discussion on a previously closed topic. In particular, Rosie has highlighted the extent to which family violence is endemic in our communities, and affects people from all walks of life.

In 2014, Rosie was recognised with a Pride of Australia National Courage medal. In 2015, she was named Australian of the Year. During her 12-month tenure she attended around 250 conferences and addressed 70,000 people about the impacts of family violence. She is an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll for Women, and has served as an Ambassador for Our Watch, the Lort Smith Animal Shelter, and as a patron for Doncare Community Services. Rosie has been named as one of world’s top 50 leaders by Fortune Magazine, and as Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25 list’s most influential person. In 2016, Rosie was a key witness in Victoria’s world-first Royal Commission into Family Violence, which resulted in 227 recommendations and half a billion dollars in increased funding. She was also a founding member of the Council of Australian Governments’ advisory panel on reducing violence against women and their children, and is leading the Victorian Government’s Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council.

Alongside her relentless national campaigning, in 2015 Rosie established the Luke Batty Foundation. Through education, and advocacy, the Foundation aims to raise community awareness about family violence and effect attitudinal, cultural and systemic change. As the Foundation’s CEO, Rosie works to influence policy at state and national levels, with the goal of improving police responses, government engagement, and the delivery of support services. Rosie’s incredible strength and selfless work are an inspiration to countless victims of family violence. Her tireless efforts to increase the safety of women and children make Australia a better place.