Empowering communities, preventing violence

What MATE is all about

Every single one of us plays a role in violence prevention—whether it’s something we’re exposed to directly or not. We want you to have the ability to recognise when a problematic situation is taking place and feel empowered to effectively interrupt the behaviour, providing it is safe for you to do so.

It is our aim to raise awareness around the ways in which abusive behaviour is embedded in our culture as well as the subtler issues that support a potentially harmful environment. Our programs challenge the root attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that normalise violence against women, inequality, racism, discrimination and bullying within our society. We recognise that in order to facilitate change, we need to open a dialogue about the dynamics and context of all forms of violence.

You may recognise that violence and discrimination don’t align with your values, but how often do you take a deep dive on the topic in an interactive environment? In our violence prevention programs, we create a safe space for people to share their opinions as well as any experiences they may have had with problematic behaviour to bring light to issues that are often left undiscussed.

Jana Stanfield

Fostering effective leadership

Imagine a world where everyone thought of themselves as a leader. Where problematic behaviour wasn’t ignored because people felt too unsure about how to handle it. Effective leadership is what stands between us and a peaceful, safe society.

At MATE, we believe that change starts with the individual. Our violence prevention training is based on the idea that not only do we have an opportunity to do the important work around raising the bar on acceptable behaviour, we have a responsibility. It is the work we do at an individual level with our peers that has a ripple effect on the people within our sphere of influence and ultimately makes the difference. This is the philosophy that underpins our approach to violence and discrimination prevention. We help to develop effective leaders who have the tools to action change within our greater community.


Shaan Ross-Smith


Shaan Ross-Smith has a long history of working with both victims and perpetrators of violence. Shaan holds post graduate qualifications in Psychology and is also the Chair of the Board at DV Connect – Queensland’s largest hotline for people seeking refuge from domestic violence.

Patrick O'Leary


Professor O’Leary is the Co-Chief Editor of International Social Work (SAGE) , Professor of Social Work and International Lead – School of Human Services and Social Work and also oversees the MATE program as the Director of the Violence Research Prevention Program.



Anoushka is a Bachelor of Behavioural Studies graduate, majoring in Psychology. She is passionate about exploring the drivers of human behaviour. Anoushka also works with convicted domestic violence perpetrators on an intervention program.



With qualifications in justice studies, youth work, aboriginal and intercultural studies, and public sector management, Kirsty brings a unique skillset to the MATE team. Kirsty has a passion for positive social change and a thirst to end inequality in all its forms.

Our Facilitators

Our facilitators are educated, passionate, knowledgeable and focused on social justice to make a positive difference in the world. They come with years of experience working in the domestic and family violence sector, both with victims and perpetrators. They share their stories from these experiences and facilitate an active discussion on the best ways to approach similar situations that participants may face. Visual examples and clips from popular culture are employed to highlight how pervasive gender inequality, discrimination and racism are and help to explain these issues as they stand today.

The Visionaries