24/7 family violence
response phone line
1800 015 188


safe steps Family Violence Response Centre CEO, Annette Gillespie, has worked in the family violence sector, both designing and leading family violence response models, for over 20 years. With a background as a specialist family violence clinician and child trauma counsellor, Annette has many years’ experience working in, and leading, crisis intervention teams, with a particular commitment to improving system responses to children. She has directly helped thousands of women and children who have experienced abuse.

Annette is a passionate advocate for social change and is known for her role in leading sector reform to provide a more immediate response and achieve better outcomes for women and children experiencing any form of violence. In July 2015, Annette gave evidence as an expert witness at the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, and was subsequently invited to join several of the post-Commission taskforces. In November 2015, Annette was invited to address a special sitting of the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Assembly to talk about gender inequality and the epidemic of family violence. It was one of the first times a lay person has addressed the Victorian Parliament.

Annette has postgraduate degrees in education, management and counselling, and tertiary degrees in sociology and feminist studies. She has held many Board directorships and significant posts on advisory committees.

Annette was admitted as a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in August 2015.

Click here to read the CEO’s Statement.

Click here to view the safe steps Family Violence Response Centre constitution.

Board of Directors

safe steps Family Violence Response Centre is an Incorporated Association governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for ensuring strategic direction, implementation of governance policies, adherence to regulatory obligations and oversight of performance and management activities undertaken by the CEO.

The Board of Directors bring extensive experience and diverse skills to support the CEO including specialisations in finance, marketing, communications, legal, government and community services, HR and IT.

Candy Broad (Chair: June 2016-present)
Gayle King (Treasurer)
Jen Allen








Wendy Steendam
Cora Clough
Pam Newton







Gayathri Paramasivam
Joan Richardson
Christine Gibbs