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We are a small team of doers and thinkers, working part-time but always passionate about the issue of social violence. We are a young team and young people are at the centre of our work.

We are energetic, self-motivated and collaborative, committed to working together to achieve our vision of ending social violence.


If you are interested in joining the team as a staff member or volunteer, visit our news section to view any current opportunities.

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Anna O’Halloran – Chief Executive Officer

Anna has a strong passion for public health and social justice, stemming from her work with Women’s Health Victoria, The University of Melbourne and Strive Student Health Initiative. Anna also served on the Future Health Leaders Council, which represents students and early-career professionals across multiple health disciplines.

Anna graduated as Valedictorian of the Master of Public Health degree at the University of Melbourne in 2013. Her studies focused on public health leadership, gender and health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In a research capacity Anna has collaboratively published several papers on HIV prevention, cancer epidemiology and women’s health.

Social violence matters because … a society free from social violence is a society full of possibility. It is the possibility of lives saved, of pain avoided, of anguish and regret and sadness that is never felt, of young people contributing to their community and the economy, of apprenticeships and university courses finished instead of abandoned, of love experienced instead of being cut short.

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Ben O’Toole – Education Officer

In 2007, Ben was a victim of a one-punch assault. He suffered a severe brain haemorrhage as a result of his head hitting the concrete. He was lucky enough to not only recover, but also retain all physical and cognitive abilities. In his role as Education Officer, Ben shares his story and educates young people on the dangers of social violence. Ben also holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science degree from the Australian Catholic University.

Social violence matters because…it doesn’t just impact the victim or the perpetrator. It impacts friends, families, co-workers, strangers, emergency workers, team mates, clubs, communities; it impacts everyone.

 

 

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Hamish Stein – Corporate Partnerships Intern

After graduating from a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne in 2013, Hamish moved to London where he gained experience in both finance and primary energy industries. Having returned to the University of Melbourne in 2016 to study a Masters of Geology, Hamish joins the Step Back Think team in a voluntary capacity and will be focusing on developing corporate partnerships.

He was motivated to join Step Back Think after experiencing the loss of a close friend to an act of senseless violence, and by the desire to prevent similar events occurring in the future.

Social violence matters because … a single preventable act can irreversibly change so many lives.

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Rosie Francis  – Research Intern

Rosie is a law student at the University of Melbourne and is currently in her second year of the Juris Doctor. In addition to the intellectual stimulation that law provides, Rosie’s studies have opened her eyes to the diverse range of social and legal issues that are prevalent in today’s society. Her exposure to the law and interaction with a cohort of passionate peers has sparked an interest in social justice and advocacy; this encouraged Rosie to get involved with Step Back Think . As a volunteer research intern Rosie is hoping to marry her legal background with her interest in social violence prevention, and in doing so encourage discourse in the community of this preventable issue.

Social violence matters because…a momentary lapse in judgement can take away someone’s world and destroy your own. Let’s take a step back – think about the consequences of a mindless action and make the choice to save the victim, the community and the legal system from unnecessary heartache. 

 

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Virginia Krantz – Communications Coordinator

Virginia has recently completed a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing at RMIT. She has experience across social media marketing, communications and advertising. As Communications Coordinator, Virginia hopes to use her communications and marketing experience to increase awareness and understanding of social violence.

Social violence matters because…the impacts are devastating, wide-reaching and preventable.

 

Geoff Smith – Education, Research & Policy Manager

Geoff brings great experience of social and behavioural research across a variety of sectors – including food relief, blood donation, education, and public health. Geoff is committed to translatable research for organisations that improve lives using evidence based change and advocacy to do good in the community.

As a psychologist Geoff is interested in understanding why people behave in positive and negative manners and how people can come together to achieve beneficial behaviour change. Geoff’s passion is the use of innovative methods and human centred thinking to solve problems, build capacity of people and organisations and to drive academic agendas.

Social violence matters because…one act of violence or the threat of violence impacts more people than just the victim and the perpetrator. The outcomes reach far into the community – families, friends, work colleagues, bystanders are all impacted. Long term results include physical harm, mental and emotional problems and a financial burden on those involved and the broader community. In other words social violence can harm us all – it wrecks lives.

 

Step Back Think Board

John O'Donoghue

John O’Donoghue, Chairperson

John has been a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 11 years. He is an assurance partner on listed and large multinational companies, including companies in the Mining and Energy industries.John brings financial reporting, risk management and corporate governance skills to the Board. He is passionate about the Step Back Think mission, both as a father of teenage children and as someone whose own life has been changed by social violence impacting on close friends.

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Scott Holmes, Secretary

Scott has had an extensive and diverse career focussed on gender equity and the prevention of violence against women. Scott started his early-career as a librarian, is a trained Anglican Minister, worked as a Project Officer with the Darebin City Council, Healthy Workplaces Senior Advisor with the YMCA Victoria, presented to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Family – and has recently joined Our Watch, a national prevention organisation established to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children.  Scott brings an incredible passion to the Step Back Think Board and crucial insight into the deeply embedded cultural practices of gender inequality and sexism that drive the rates of violence against women.

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Dr Jennifer Pilgrim 

Dr Jennifer Pilgrim is a Research Fellow and Head of the Drug Harm Prevention Unit at Monash University’s Department of Forensic Medicine. She is a Forensic Toxicologist and Public Health researcher with over ten years experience investigating the role of alcohol and other drugs in causing injury and death. She has published extensively in the medical literature and has presented her findings throughout the world. Jennifer’s research has stimulated public debate, engaged media and been directly responsible for changes in Australian policy and practice. Her research on alcohol-fuelled one-punch assaults was pivotal in the recent legislative changes introduced to tackle social violence in Australia and we are incredibly grateful for her contribution.

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Jilly Charlwood

Jilly Charlwood is a marketing and communications professional with more than 10 years’ experience in producing social marketing and communications campaigns that engage communities and drive measurable behaviour change.

She is currently Director of Media and Communications at Our Watch, where she is responsible for leading large-scale social marketing campaigns to prevent violence against women and their children. Jilly’s previous roles have included leadership positions at WorkSafe Victoria, the Victoria State Emergency Service and the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Jilly is a passionate advocate for the role of social marketing in changing the attitudes, norms and behaviours that drive violence.