Amanda Lee Ross

Amanda Lee-Ross is the CEO of the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service in Far North Queensland.

The Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service (CRDVS) began its life back in 1987 when it grew from a local grass roots group called the Domestic Violence Action Group. In 1992 we became one of the first four Regional Domestic Violence Services to receive funding from the Queensland Government. We use our specialist knowledge and skills to empower and assist those affected by domestic and family violence by providing counselling, crisis support, advocacy and court support and work to prevent domestic and family violence in the community by awareness raising events, community education, professional training and the coordination of sector responses to domestic and family violence.

The organisation’s vision is ‘Making a difference – bringing domestic and family violence to an end’ and its values are Access and Equity; Respect; Integrity and Learning.

Amanda says on average 45 per cent of Queensland’s homicides between 2006 and 2013 were the result of domestic and family violence, and women are nearly four times more likely to be murdered by their partner than men. “I believe that this is simply unacceptable and I am committed to working to ensure that these preventable deaths are stopped.”

If there was one thing Amanda could change to improve the lives of her clients, she says “I would like our organisation to be in a position where we could increase the financial resources of our clients to better meet their safety needs and assist them to build a new life. So many victims of domestic violence experience economic abuse in one shape or another. This often means that their capacity to build a new, safer life is seriously constrained and this has an impact on their belief in themselves that they can achieve a safer and happier life for them and their children. For some this might mean paying for safety upgrades so they can stay in their homes safely; for others, who perhaps can’t access or who might prefer not access shelter, or have relatives willing and able to take them in, it can simply mean the cost of petrol money so they can drive to that place of safety.”

Amanda says her vision for the future “lies squarely with that of my organisation’s and that is to make a difference to people’s lives by ending domestic and family violence. I want Queensland, and the whole world for that matter, to be a place where violence against women and the attitudes that support it, no longer exist.”

She says the best part of her job is two-fold, “first is that I get to spend time, every day, engaging with passionate, empowering, intelligent, funny, skilled and highly committed staff” and secondly “that I get to read client feedback and share that with the staff. The simplest of statements, ‘thanks so very much, I’m very glad you are here’ speaks volumes.”