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.

Jana Stanfield

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 Ross-Smith commenced at Griffith University in late 2016 as the Director of the MATE program delivered through Griffith University’s Violence Research and Prevention Program. Shaan holds post graduate qualifications in Psychology and is also the Chair of the Board at DV Connect.

Anoushka Dowling

Assistant Director

Anoushka is a Bachelor of Behavioural Studies graduate, majoring in Psychology. She has previously worked in Human Resources for the Department of Education and Training with a focus on Employee Relations roles that enabled her to further understand and explore drivers of human behaviour.

Sasha Bell

Administration Assistant

Sasha is our superstar administration extraordinaire available Mondays – Wednesdays and ready to answer any of your questions.

Business Manager

Coming soon

Our Facilitators