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.