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Our research

Violence against women and children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.


News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.



ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.



To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.

Dr Melanie Heenan


Melanie Heenan is an established leader with extensive experience in family violence and sexual assault research, policy, practice and system reform in Victoria, including leadership roles with the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

Melanie is deeply committed to and motivated by preventing all forms of family violence and sexual assault and ensuring that victim survivors, including children and young people, receive the services and support they need.

Melanie held the position of Executive Director of Victim Services, Support, and Reform in the Department of Justice and Community Safety from 2018 to 2023. In this role she oversaw the implementation of large-scale service operations and critical reforms aimed at enhancing system responses to victims of crime.

She also held responsibility for the design and establishment of a new administrative Financial Assistance Scheme designed to address the impact of crime on victims’ lives. The Scheme is due to commence in 2024.

In the past, Melanie served as the Executive Director of Court Network, a non for profit organisation dedicated to supporting people to navigate the court system. She has also played a lead role in pioneering primary prevention initiatives in collaboration with local councils, sporting clubs, workplaces, and schools to address the underlying causes of gender-based violence.

In 2006, Melanie served as the inaugural manager of the Respect and Responsibility program at the Australian Football League. In this national capacity she spearheaded the strategy to create safe, supportive, and inclusive environments for women and girls within the football industry.

Melanie was also an original member of the Prime Minister’s National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children that produced Time For Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children, 2009-2021.

find out more

Contact ANROWS

PO Box Q389, Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
Email: enquiries@anrows.org.au      

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