Oceania Regional Working Group

Hazel Hape

New Zealand, Oceania

Ms Hape holds a Diploma of Marine Sciences from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic 1993, Post Graduate
Diploma Maori and Pacific Development Waikato University 2008 and Graduate Diploma Bi-Cultural
Professional Supervision with Te Wananga o Aotearoa 2010. She has worked with children, young
people, women, men, families, whanau, hapu, iwi, indigenous peoples and migrants in the fields of
justice, welfare, education and health at grassroots and front line within non-government
organisation levels for 23 years as a youth worker, social worker and has spent the last 10 years
working as a Domestic Violence practitioner, campaigner and mobiliser for Maori womens voices and
agency and is committed to ending violence against women and girls in New Zealand. Ms Hape currently serves as a Collective member of Tauranga Women Refuge, Bay of Plenty and Te Whare Tiaki Wahine Refuge Charitable Trust Porirua, Board member of Night Shelter Bay of Plenty, Family Violence Clearing House Auckland advisory member and is currently completing a Master Health Sciences with AUT University Auckland

Tevita Seruilumi

Fiji, Oceania

Tevita has ten years’ experience working on women’s human rights with a focus on violence against women, with significant experience supporting the development and implementation of DV legislation across the Pacific region, including analysis of existing gaps and challenges to implementation. Tevita is a lawyer and has been involved in providing a range of technical support to governments and civil society on ending violence against women’s including work on policy and legislation. He has sound knowledge of and experience in implementing Pacific approaches on working with men to address gender inequality and violence against women with a strong emphasis on holding men and perpetrators accountable from a feminist analysis and women’s rights focus. His experience also includes implementing and supporting programs responding to VAW at both a regional and in country level.

Savina Nongebatu

Solomon Islands, Oceania

In 2003, an Australian Led Military and Police Mission came into the country. In 2003 I travelled overseas for the first time as a woman with disability. It was the first workshop where I learnt about disability rights. In 2004, I was elected into office of the Disabled People Organization (DPO) as its first female President. As it was the “rebuilding phase” after the conflict, the DPO began its long process of rebuilding its status as an advocacy organization. I was re-elected in 2008, the same year Disabled Peoples Association of Solomon Islands (DPASI) changed to People with Disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI). In 2009, I was elected as Pacific Disability Forum Co-chair, a post I held until 2012. Since 2011, I was employed as the Office Manager for PWDSI. In 2012, I was awarded the US Women of Courage Award for my advocacy work in the country. I sit on the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Program.

Margie Charlesworth

Australia, Oceania

After completing her Honours Degree in 2008, Margie Charlesworth has taken on working for herself as an independent educator on the subject of violence against women with disabilities. Margie has worked as a systemic advocate in the interests of women with disabilities since 2001 and is passionate about the many issues that women with disabilities face in relation to all forms of violence and sexual abuse and rape. Margie has been advocating with mainstream women services in the effort to have equal access to services and support for women with disabilities who are experiencing violence.
In 2012 Margie joined the Australian Women Against Violence Alliances (AWAVA) where in 2014 she was afforded the opportunity to participate in CSW59 in New York. It was during this time that she became interested in building her knowledge of the issue of violence at the International level. Margie strongly believes that there needs to be a strong and lasting binding agreement to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls around the world.

Caroline Herewini

New Zealand, Oceania

Caroline Herewini is the Kaiwhakahaere (Chief Executive) of Te Whare Tiaki Wahine Refuge based in Porirua, Wellington New Zealand. She is passionate about the Human Rights of ALL women, children, their families and whanau to lead violence free lives.
Based in Porirua City; Caroline has been the driving force behind the establishment and on-going operation of Te Whare Tiaki Wahine Refuge Charitable Trust. – An Indigenous (people of the land) service underpinned by “Te Tiriti o Waitangi” (The Treaty of Waitangi) and its Principles. A principle of obligation, roles and responsibilities in consideration to Protection, Participation and Partnership, to ALL women, children, families, visitors/guests in our land.
Caroline has spent the last 18 years working tirelessly on the ground for Women’s Refuge in New Zealand and has presented at National and International events including Mexico, Washington DC, Canada and Australia in regards to “Impacts of Domestic Violence and Indigenous Rituals of Engagement’. Caroline has attended Three Pacific Watch New Zealand delegations to the United Nations Convention Status of Women in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and remains committed to ending ALL forms of Violence Against Women and Children in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

National Collective of Independent Womens Refuges – New Zealand

Womens Refuge New Zealand is a women’s organisation established in the 1980s to support women
and their children affected by Domestic Violence (physical, psychological, emotional and financial)
and is committed to ending violence against women and children. We are an independent, bicultural community organisation and have support services designed especially for children, young people, Maori women, Pacific women and migrant and refugee women. We also support lesbian women, older women and women with disabilities.
As New Zealand’s most significant domestic violence organisation, Women’s Refuge takes a strong advocacy role by working to positively change policy and attitudes about domestic violence. We do this by lobbying the government and running public campaigns – all to help keep women and children safe.

National Collective of Independent Womens Refuges – New Zealand is in favor of a global binding norm on VAW and supports this work.

Petra Butler

New Zealand, Oceania

Petra Butler is an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and Co-Director of the Centre for Small States, Queen Mary College University of London. Her research focuses on (domestic and international) human rights and international commercial law with a particular emphasis on international commercial contracts. She has published extensively in both her research interests and regularly advises public and private clients in both areas. Recently she has started to find more and more synergies between her two research areas and has developed an expertise in business and human rights. Petra regularly holds visiting positions abroad and has taught, inter alia, at Northwestern Law School, Chicago, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, University of Melbourne, and the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Beijing.

Anne Cossins

Australia, Oceania

Annie Cossins is a Professor of Law & Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales and is the Co-convenor of the Gendered Violence Research Network. She is the pre-eminent Australian expert on legal reform in the area of sexual assault, having been involved in several law reform initiatives with government bodies over the past decade, including as a consultant with the Australian Law Reform Commission and a member of several high-level government bodies, such as the NSW Criminal Justice and Sexual Offences Taskforce. She was the only academic member of the Advisory Committee of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration on the first Australian benchbook for judges on children’s evidence (Guide to Children Giving Evidence). At present, she is involved with a research project for the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Foundation on Justice for Child Witnesses. She has several external grants in relation to jury studies and the sentencing of Indigenous offenders for sexual assault offences. Her latest book is entitled, Female Criminality: Infanticide, Moral Panics and the Female Body (Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 2015).

Ruby Awa

Fiji, Oceania

Ruby Awa is a survivor of domestic violence and this is a factor which drives her work in advocating for legislative and policy reform to address gender based violence in the Pacific. Ruby contributes to efforts to ensure access to justice for women and girls who are victims of violence in the home. She is a founding member of the Women’s Rights Action Movement (WRAM), an NGO in Solomon Islands that advocates for gender equality at the policy level. Ruby graduated with a law degree and is currently undertaking a Masters in Law with her thesis focusing on domestic violence legislation in the Pacific, looking at factors influencing the substance of the laws and implementation experiences and challenges.

Dorinda Cox

Australia, Oceania

Dorinda Cox is an Aboriginal (Noongar) woman from WA, with expertise in developing and delivering Aboriginal specific family violence and sexual assault programs and initiatives. Dorinda has over 20 years experience working in government and the non-government sectors, including: National Program Manager of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance; Member of the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children from 2008 to 2009 (that produced the Time for Action report and the National Plan Implementation Panel); Chairperson and associate member for Indigenous issues of the National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence (NASASV). Dorinda has authored several papers and articles in collaboration with others including; Working with Indigenous Sexual assault victims (2008), No justice without healing, with Mandy Young and Alison Bairnsfather-Scott (2009), Closing the gap on Family Violence; Driving Prevention and Intervention though health policy, with Victoria Hovane (2011). In March 2013, Dorinda represented the NGO sector of Australia along with other delegates from the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance at the Commission on Status of Women – Session 57 in New York, USA. Dorinda is the Director of Inspire Change Consulting Group.

Truffy Maginnis

Australia, Oceania

Truffy Maginnis is an Irish woman, from the North of the country, who has lived in South Australia for the last 36 years. She is a sister to 3 brothers, two of whom are Deaf and one had profound disabilities from a traumatic birth injury. Her awakening to feminist thinking in the 1970s has informed, educated, challenged and inspired her to work towards a safer world for all women and girls. Truffy has worked in the areas of Family Violence, LGBTIQ Rights, with community Elders and people with disability – this work most recently as the Less Silence More Safety project worker in the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner’s Office in South Australia. Her family experience, and the years of working in community alongside people whose lived experiences result in marginalisation, has filled her heart with joy and a restlessness for a world where daily violence and humiliations are eliminated, in particular the disproportionate abuse of women and girls.

Ruth Howlett

New Zealand, Oceania

Ruth has an extensive background in Project Management and Quality and Compliance Auditing.  Ruth has qualification in Health and Safety and Incident investigation and Lead Auditor certification, and has previous experience working for The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges New Zealand. A survivor of domestic violence herself she is passionate about the welfare of women everywhere and actively supports initiatives driving social change both in her across New Zealand and internationally. Ruth is invested in supporting perpetrators of violence to create sustainable change in themselves she believes prevention is the best protection, and is also focused on holistic and inclusive community solutions.

Heidi Guldbaek

New Zealand, Oceania

Heidi Guldbaek currently works at the intersection of technology and violence against women, as a Technology Safety Specialist for WESNET, the peak body for women’s family and domestic violence services in Australia. Her work includes training domestic violence professionals, curriculum development and policy/law reform advocacy. Heidi has worked in the violence prevention sector as an educator, advocate and activist since 2007. She has previously been the National Law Reform Coordinator for Women’s Legal Services Australia and is passionate about working collaboratively with victims and victim advocates to ensure that the voices of women escaping violence are heard in policy, program and legislation development to overcome structural oppression and injustice. Originally hailing from the backwoods of Northern British Columbia (Canada), she has spent the last 13 years in sunny Perth (Australia). Heidi is an unwavering optimist and intense social justice nerd with a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and a Master of Human Rights.

Vandhna Narayan


Vandhna Narayan has over 20 years legal experience, and has been associated with the (FWCC) Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre since 1993 as a volunteer and member of the FWCC collective. She was previously employed by the FWCC in 2012 – 2015, as the Deputy Coordinator/Manager Legal & Research. Vandhna is admitted to practice law in Fiji, New Zealand (as a Barrister and Solicitor) and New South Wales, Australia (as a Solicitor). She has also previously worked in commercial litigation, corporate law and judicial administration. Vandhna has a Bachelors in Law from the Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) (1993) and a Masters in Human Rights Law and Policy from the University of New South Wales (Australia) (2013). Vandhna is a member of the Grounding the Global Organizing Committee of Asia Pacific Women Law and Development (APWLD), and a CSO representative on the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Working Group on the Establishment of a Regional Human Rights Mechanism.

Jackie Blue

New Zealand, Oceania – ADVISORY MEMBER

Dr Blue holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland and gained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Auckland Medical School in 1983. She came to prominence in the medical sector as a pioneering breast physician and, in 1992, was a founding member of the St Marks Women’s Health Centre. Dr Blue entered the New Zealand Parliament as a list MP in 2005 and has since held a number of roles including membership of the Health Committee (2005 to 2008). She was the Chair of three cross-party groups in Parliament: New Zealand Parliamentarian’s Group on Population and Development; Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians; and Parliamentarians for Global Action. Dr Blue was also a member of the Justice and Electoral Committee and Deputy Chairperson of the Health Committee. Now as Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Blue continues her career as champion of equality and women’s rights – always wanting to make a difference.

Natalie Wade

Australia, Oceania – ADVISORY MEMBER

Natalie Wade is a lawyer in Adelaide, South Australia. Natalie has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor Commerce from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Laws (Legal Practice) from the Australian National University. As the Chairperson of Australian Lawyer’s for Human Rights’ Disability Rights Subcommittee, Natalie has comprehensive experience in examining and addressing human rights violations of all persons, including women and girls and particularly persons with disabilities. In that role, Natalie has worked specifically on projects in areas of Aboriginal justice, refugees with disabilities and the preservation of basic human rights such as education, housing and access to justice. Natalie has published academic work in the Alternative Law Journal and Precedent on the rights of witnesses with communication disabilities to access justice in South Australian and Commonwealth courts. In addition to her professional experience, Natalie has a physical disability which brings a personal understanding to the human rights issues central to the Everywoman, Everywhere campaign.