Heather Nancarrow has held many state and national leadership roles in regard to policy on the prevention of violence against women. Currently, Heather is co-Deputy Chair of the COAG Advisory Panel on violence against women with Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty. In 2008-2009, Heather was Deputy Chair of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, which produced Time for Action, the blue-print for the Council of Australian Governments’ National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Heather was the foundation Director of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research, a position she held from 2003 until her move to ANROWS. During the 1980s Heather worked in various roles in women’s shelters and then as Co-ordinator of Community Education at the Queensland-wide Domestic Violence Resource Centre, During this time she was a member of a group of activists that successfully lobbied for the establishment of Chisholm Women’s Shelter (1984), the Migrant Women’s Emergency Support Service (1986), the Domestic Violence Resource Centre (1987) and the establishment of the Queensland Domestic Violence Taskforce (1987).
After 10 years of community work, Heather moved to the Women’s Policy Unit, Office of Cabinet where she worked on the development and implementation of the Queensland Government Policy: Stop Violence against Women, launched in August 1992. Heather’s 11 years of work in the Queensland Government included management of the Domestic Violence Policy Unit, with responsibility for policy, administration of the state’s domestic violence legislation, community education, programme development and grants administration.
Her work has been recognised with several awards including the “Queenslander of the Year Community Spirit Award” in 2009; “Honours in recognition of outstanding leadership of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children and advancing strategic implementation of the National Plan” awarded by Victim Support Australia in 2012, and in 2010 she was named a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.
Heather has a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice with First Class Honours. Her primary research interests are justice responses to violence against women, particularly as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.