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 .
The Board comprises representatives of government and non-government organisations, and is chaired by the State Coroner.
State Coroner Terry Ryan, State Coroner of Queensland and Chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board — State Coroner Ryan is responsible for overseeing and managing the state’s coronial system. Having a background in both social work and law, he worked in private practice and a range of government positions from 1984 to 2013. Before his appointment as State Coroner in 2013, he supported the administration of justice and the courts as Deputy Director-General, Justice Services in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
Associate Professor Kathleen Baird, Deputy Chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board — Kathleen is a midwife and Associate Professor in Midwifery at Griffith University and the Director of Midwifery and Nursing Education at Gold Coast University Hospital. In her academic career, which stretches over two continents, Kathleen's research has had a strong focus on maternity care, and the health response to domestic and family violence and women’s health. Kathleen was a member of the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, which was established to monitor the successful implementation of all the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever report.
Dr Molly Dragiewicz, Associate Professor in the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Griffith University — Molly is an internationally award-winning criminologist whose research focuses on violence and gender. Her current research is focused on domestic violence and technology and post-separation abuse. Molly won the 2019 Saltzman Award for Contributions to Practice from the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime; the 2018 Domestic Violence Prevention Leadership Award from the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast; and the 2017 Robert Jerin Book of the Year Award for Abusive endings: Separation and divorce violence against women from the American Society of Criminology Division on Victimology.
Ms Betty Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at the Red Rose Foundation — Betty is the CEO and founder of the Red Rose Foundation. She has worked across the domestic violence sector for the past 31 years. She was the founding Manager of the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre and oversaw the development of the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Integrated Response. She chaired the Queensland Domestic Violence Council for 2 terms. Betty has written several training manuals including course material of the accredited Course in Responding to Domestic & Family Violence and Dying To Be Heard, a discussion paper looking at domestic violence death reviews. Betty was awarded a Churchill Fellowship and Centenary Medal in recognition of her work in domestic violence intervention and prevention. Betty is a current board member of the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence.
Ms Rosemary O’Malley, CEO of the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre (DVPC) — Rosemary commenced working for DVPC in 2009 and was the Manager of the Men’s Domestic Violence Education and Intervention Program (MDVEIP) for seven years. Previously she worked for many years at Queensland Corrective Services (QCS), where she commenced facilitating the MDVEIP in 2005. Her academic background is in criminology, and she has contributed articles to journal articles, and contributed a chapter to the book, Domestic Violence, Working With Men: Research, Practice Experiences, and Integrated Responses. In 2011 she travelled to the United States to investigate good practice regarding men’s programs, fathering programs, and integrated responses, and she delivers workshops and speaks at conferences throughout Australia on collaborative practice to improve the safety and well-being of those experiencing or escaping domestic violence. Rosemary is also the Convenor of the Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network.
Ms Angela Lynch, Chief Executive Officer at the Women’s Legal Service Queensland — Angela 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.
Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General of the Prevention Division in Queensland Health — Jeannette is an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University and University of Queensland and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.
Deputy Commissioner Paul Stewart APM, Deputy Commissioner, Community Corrections and Specialist Operations at Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) — Paul is leading the implementation of the recommendations of the Queensland Parole System Review (the Sofronoff Review), with a strong focus on addressing domestic and family violence within the correctional environment. Prior to joining QCS, Paul spent 35 years at the Queensland Police Service, holding a range of senior positions and working on many major criminal investigations. Paul had a major role in the implementation of the Not Now, Not Ever recommendations such as the establishment of the Domestic and Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academic in Quantico, Virginia.
Ms Angela Moy, Senior Director, Courts Innovation Program, Magistrates Court Services Queensland — Angela is responsible for the effective operation of court programs across the State, including Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Courts, the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court and Murri Court. She is responsible for developing strategies and driving reforms that reflect a therapeutic jurisprudence approach, address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system, and improve the justice system response to DFV. Angela has a broad range of experience across policy, program and service delivery in justice agencies in Queensland.
Ms Keryn Ruska is an Aboriginal woman from the Noonuccal people of North Stradbroke Island — Keryn has extensive experience in the fields of family law, domestic violence, elder abuse and child protection, and currently works as a solicitor in the Human Rights and Civil Law Team at Caxton Legal Centre. Keryn’s previous roles include as a solicitor and coordinator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal and Advocacy Service, a solicitor in the Family and Elder Law Team at Caxton Legal Centre and at the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor in the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, as well as 10 years as an academic at Griffith University. Keryn was previously a member of the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.
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:
- View the Research and Data Sharing Protocol .
- View a statistical overview of Queensland domestic and family homicide data .
Queensland Government response
Other relevant research
Sharman, L. S., Douglas, H., & Fitzgerald, R. 2021. Review of domestic violence deaths involving fatal or non-fatal strangulation in Queensland. (The University of Melbourne/The University of Queensland).
Under the Coroners Act 2003, the State Coroner may allow researchers access to coronial information for the purpose of conducting genuine research. In 2020, the State Coroner approved Dr Leah Sharman, Dr Heather Douglas and Dr Leah Fitzgerald to access to data on coronial investigations into domestic and family violence related homicides that have occurred in Queensland. Accordingly, this research has not been endorsed or approved by the Board, and therefore the content and findings do not represent the views of the Board or individual members.