Empowering communities, preventing violence

About the MATE Program

MATE aims to raise awareness of the level of abusive behaviour in our culture as well as the subtler issues that support a harmful and abusive environment. We will challenge the root attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that normalise problematic behaviour and create a safe environment for people to share their opinions and experiences about these volatile issues. Participants are asked and supported to think critically and personally (empathise) about these issues while opening in a dialogue about the dynamics and the context of all forms of violence.

The Program gives us the knowledge we need to recognise an issue, empowers us to take responsibility, provide the tools we need to effectively interrupt the behaviour, and the confidence and capacity to do so.

Effective leadership

Imagine a world where everyone thought of themselves as a leader. Effective leadership is what stands between us and a peaceful, safe society. If every individual believed they were a leader, with the ability to affect positive change, we could dramatically revolutionise the landscape of our culture and improve society for all.

At MATE, we believe the challenge of change is a personal one. We must not wait for the systems created on our behalf to save us. We have an opportunity to do this important work in every aspect of our lives by raising the level of expectation for our peers. We can do this by using our influence to educate, encourage and challenge our mates to do better. It is the work we do at an individual level with our peers and with the people in our sphere of influence that will make the difference.

Our staff

Shaan Ross-Smith


Shaan is a committed advocate for positive change, driven by her vision of a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable world for future generations. As a psychologist, mediator, board director, Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner (NDIS), qualified facilitator, and strategic thinker, she brings a multifaceted approach to her work.

Kirsty Tschirpig


Kirsty is a dedicated mediator, human rights activist, and strategic leader, with a wealth of experience spanning over two decades in addressing violence within and beyond the prison system. As a Myers-Briggs certified practitioner and board director, she brings a deep understanding and commitment to her work in promoting peace and justice.




Jacqui is an exceptional operational leader, boasting an impressive career spanning the music industry, finance, various Boards, state government projects and superannuation. Her vast experience has equipped her with remarkable business acumen.

Amy cook

special projects and philanthrophy

Amy has over 12 years of experience in the domestic and family violence sector and holds a BA in Psychology and a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is known for her visionary approach and commitment to social justice, inspiring others to engage in social change. Amy co-produced the documentary “Why We Run,” which highlights the efforts of young Australians to combat domestic violence. She is passionate about ending inequality and promoting diverse definitions of success.



Dean is a criminologist focused on men’s behavior change programs and discussions about masculinity. He aims to drive prevention through conversations and is an engaging equality practitioner. With a background in the criminal justice system, Dean brings extensive experience to his work.