Review of deaths from domestic and family violence

The Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board is responsible for the systemic review of domestic and family violence deaths in Queensland.

The establishment of the board was a key recommendation from the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence Final Report, Not Now, Not Ever: Ending domestic and family violence in Queensland (Queensland Government).

Board role and functions

Under the Coroners Act 2003, the board can:

  • analyse data and apply research to identify patterns, trends and risk factors relating to domestic and family violence deaths in Queensland
  • conduct research to prevent these types of deaths
  • write reports to identify key lessons and elements of good practice in preventing domestic and family violence deaths in Queensland
  • make recommendations to the minister about improving legislation, policies, practices, services, training, resources and communication to prevent or reduce the likelihood of domestic and family violence deaths in Queensland.

In reviewing deaths, the board’s primary function is to identify issues with service systems, not investigate the circumstances of individual deaths.

The board can gather further information if necessary, and review open coronial matters and cases where criminal proceedings are ongoing.

View the procedural guidelines for the board (PDF, 990KB).

Board membership

The Board comprises 12 government and non-government representatives, and is chaired by the state coroner.

Terry Ryan, State Coroner of Queensland—He is responsible for overseeing and managing the state’s coronial system. Having a background in both social work and law, he has worked in private practice as well as a range of government positions over the last 30 years. Prior to his current role he supported the administration of justice and the courts as Deputy Director General, Department of Justice and Attorney General.

Dr Kathleen Baird, Deputy Chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board—She is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Griffith University and the Director of Midwifery and Nursing Education at Gold Coast University Hospital. During her academic career she has focused on women’s experiences of domestic violence during pregnancy. Kathleen has recently been appointed to the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, established to monitor the implementation of the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever report.

Dr Silke Meyer, Lecturer in Postgraduate Programs (Certificate and Diploma in Domestic and Family Violence Practice) in the Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research at Central Queensland University—Her research focuses on domestic and family violence, specifically women and children’s safety and wellbeing, perpetrator accountability and culturally and regionally specific experiences. Silke has led evaluations for the Queensland Police Service, Department of Communities and the Department of Social Services.

Ms Betty Taylor, Director of the Betty Taylor Training and Consultancy—She has over 25 years’ experience in the violence against women sector, including as founding Director of the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre. She chaired the Queensland Domestic Violence Council for two terms, has been awarded a Centenary Medal for violence prevention work and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to further study Collaborative Responses to Domestic Violence.

Mr Mark Walters,Manager of DV Connect Mensline—He is trained as a psychologist, and works as a counsellor, public speaker and educator. He has worked in the domestic and family violence sector for over ten years and has held other positions in correctional centres, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres, street outreach and youth services.

Ms Angela Lynch, Acting Coordinator at the Women’s Legal Service Queensland—She is a lawyer and has had a long history with the Service including applying her practical knowledge of the legal issues confronting women who have experienced domestic and family violence into broader systemic change.

Ms Barbara Shaw, Executive Director of the Office for Women and Domestic Violence Reform, Department of Communities Child Safety and Disability Services in Queensland—A trained social worker, her first job was in a domestic violence crisis service. Barbara has since worked in policy, program and service delivery roles in a range of human services agencies in Tasmania and Queensland.

Dr Jeannette YoungPSM, Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General of the Prevention Division in Queensland Health—She is an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology and at Griffith University, and a Fellow of the College of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.

Assistant Commissioner Maurice Carless, State Crime Command, Queensland Police Service—This command oversees the Homicide Group, the Drug and Serious Crime Group, the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group, the Child and Sexual Crimes Group and Task Force Maxima. Maurice is a Churchill Fellow and has a graduate certificate in applied management, a graduate diploma in executive leadership, a masters degree in public sector management and a doctorate in police leadership. Maurice has worked in the fields of child protection, Indigenous policing and major and organised crime for over 30 years and in 2016 Maurice was awarded the Australian Police Medal.

Dr Mark Rallings,Commissioner of Queensland Corrective Services—He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and member of the Australian Psychological Society. He has a particular interest in interventions for perpetrators of violence, and has worked in this area in the United Kingdom and Queensland.

Ms Tammy Williams, Commissioner for the Queensland Family and Child Commission—She has a background in law and has been a member of the National Human Rights Consultative Committee and the National Indigenous Council. Tammy has a long history of developing capacity-building strategies for Aboriginal people and communities, and in recognition of her achievements was awarded the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Human Rights (Youth Category) award.

Ms Natalie Parker, Director of Domestic and Family Violence Court Reform in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG)—She began her career as a rape crisis counsellor and domestic violence worker, and more recently was appointed as a member of the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee and as the ex-officio representative of DJAG on the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council.

Accessing research and data

Agencies with relevant policy responsibilities can request access to the research and data held by the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Unit, which supports the board:

Case Review Meeting Communiques

Meeting 1: Perpetrator suicides and homicide suicides (PDF, 372.0 KB)

Meeting 2: Intimate partner homicides (PDF, 430.1 KB)

Systemic reports

Intimate partner homicide of 'Kelly' (PDF, 797.6 KB)