Tasmania's Jill Maxwell is among a former Australian of the Year, an award-winning journalist and author, and a former South Australian Premier selected on a new advisory council for White Ribbon Australia.
A former police officer, and the current chief executive of Sexual Assault Support Service, the North-West-born advocate has two decades of professional experience in dealing with victims of sexual abuse and family violence.
During her career with Tasmania Police, family violence laws were just starting to evolve, and she spent a lot of her time working as a constable in country regions - working closely with communities and developing a passion for supporting them.
"As a police officer in small country areas I was always passionate about people feeling safe, whether that be within four walls in their own home, or walking the street," she said.
"While policing practices are quite different now, that experience, in particular with family violence and the impact it had on particularly women, I think, is invaluable."
Although the concept of eliminating family violence is not new, Ms Maxwell said there needed to be a fresh approach on how to address the problem - and it shouldn't just involve women.
"At SASS we have always been passionate about eliminating sexual violence, and we can't do that with one gender alone, so we have been passionate about engaging with men," she said.
"We have male counsellors, male board members. I just think it's really important that we engage men in the conversation about violence, and that they are part of the change, and that is what White Ribbon is about."
That conversation also needed to go beyond physical violence, she said.
"People still don't associate rape and sexual assault within a home with family violence, they don't understand coercive control or that emotional and financial abuse is part of it," Ms Maxwell said.
"We really need to change people's attitudes."
Ms Maxwell joins the council alongside Rosie Batty AO, the 2015 Australian of the Year, who will take on the role of co-chair.
Ms Batty - whose 11-year-old son was murdered by his father in 2014 - said the forming of the advisory council was an important step for White Ribbon Australia.
"I look forward to working together with this inspiring, committed and experienced group of people and have confidence that our collective expertise will contribute in an effective and meaningful way to the critical work that White Ribbon Australia is tasked to do," Ms Batty said.
White Ribbon Australia Executive Director Brad Chilcott, who visited Launceston in March this year, said the council aimed to represent the diversity of communities across the country.
"With such diversity and depth of experience and expertise we know that the advice and support of these council members will strengthen our movement and enhance the work we're doing in communities, workplaces and society to eliminate men's violence against women," he said.
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