Over the past year, the issue of domestic violence in Australia has been thrust into the national spotlight.
And that is due to the tireless work of an incredible Australian, Rosie Batty.
It has been almost three years since Rosie’s son Luke was killed by his father.
It is a tragedy that would have broken many. But instead, Rosie has become an unwavering domestic violence crusader with one goal in mind: to prevent violence against women and their children.
As the 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie has travelled the country sharing her heartbreaking story and campaigning against domestic violence.
As Australian of the Year, Rosie has challenged Australia’s culture of gender-based violence and become a trusted voice for victims and survivors.
She has brought the issue out from behind closed doors so it now receives unprecedented media coverage.
This Australia Day, Rosie handed over her Australian of the Year title to former Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison AO.
In his acceptance speech, David Morrison called for continued action on domestic violence, gender equality, diversity and inclusion and pledged his commitment to Australia becoming a republic.
During his time as Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Morrison started a significant cultural shift. He made it clear to Australian Defence Force members that they could “get out” if they couldn’t accept women as equals, stating that “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.
If you haven’t already seen it, I strongly recommend you watch his powerful speech, which went viral.
David Morrison is an excellent choice for the 2016 Australian of the Year. In her final speech as Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty encouraged him to “be bold, be brave and go hard”. I know he will.