Elena is a lawyer, speechwriter and former political staffer who has worked in legal and social policy for 25 years. Elena’s expertise includes therapeutic justice, women’s decarceration, equal opportunity and human rights, as well as the prevention and elimination of violence against women and children.
At the Centre for Innovative Justice, Elena oversees a program of research which predominantly focuses on family violence, as well as the way in which experiences of trauma can push women and children into contact with the criminal justice system. In this capacity, Elena has led projects for Government departments and courts to support the implementation of recommendations from Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Elena has been Chief Investigator in ANROWS funded projects focusing on interventions with adult perpetrators of family violence. Elena also leads a program of research focusing on young people’s use of violence at home, including the capacity of legal and service systems to respond to the complexity of need across families and communities. In this capacity Elena has been Principal Chief Investigator in a series of ANROWS funded projects, including the most recent WRAP Around Families Experiencing AVITH: Towards a Collaborative Service Response.
Previously Elena worked as a legal adviser and staffer in the Victorian Government for over a decade. Elena has also been employed as a consultant for a range of social policy and justice organisations, including the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Dr Silke Meyer is the Leneen Forde Chair in Child and Family Research and a Professor of Social Work at Griffith University. She is the former Deputy Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and continues to hold an adjunct appointment with the Centre. She is a criminologist and social worker by training, bringing practical and theoretical expertise to her research, teaching and writing. Her research centres on different aspects of domestic and family violence, including women and children’s safety, well-being and recovery, men’s accountability in their role as perpetrators and fathers, experiences specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the role of domestic and family violence-informed practice in child protection, policing and court proceedings.
Silke has delivered evaluations for a number of government and non-government organisations, including police, child protection, perpetrator intervention and victim support services. She is a Subject Matter Expert for the Raising Children Network and a former non-government member of the inaugural Qld Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board. Her research has been published and cited across disciplines and continues to inform policy and practice in areas of victim, perpetrator and family-related service delivery.