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Our Watch appoints new CEO

November 23 2015 By Hannah Grant, media relations officer, Our Watch

Our Watch has appointed Mary Barry as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Photo of Mary Barry. Image

Ms Barry joins Our Watch from the National Heart Foundation of Australia, where she has been CEO since 2014.

Ms Barry also brings prior executive experience as the CEO of the Victorian State Emergency Services for 8 years and as CEO of the Victorian Association of Health and Extended Care for 6 years. She was originally qualified with a Hospital and Health Social Gerontology Certificate and holds subsequent Post Graduate Diplomas in Health Sciences and Public Policy and Management. 

Natasha Stott Despoja AM, Chair of Our Watch, welcomed Ms Barry’s appointment on behalf of the Our Watch board and said the appointment heralds an exciting new phase for the organisation.

“Our founding CEO, Paul Linossier, helped us establish a dynamic, national organisation to prevent violence against women and their children,” Ms Stott Despoja said.

“We now embark on our next stage of development which includes growing and diversifying our funding base, securing the long term sustainability of the organisation, increasing recognition of our brand and establishing our business model.

“I welcome Mary Barry to the organisation. She joins a team that includes some of Australia’s leading researchers and practitioners in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children.

“Mary’s extensive experience as a CEO of government and non-government organisations, combined with her passion for prevention and her qualifications in health, make her an exceptional appointment.”

Ms Barry said she looks forward to working closely with the highly skilled staff at Our Watch and with the violence against women sector and other stakeholders to end the scourge that is violence against women and their children.

“As we have seen with other major social changes, ending violence against women will require action at all levels, individual, organisational, systems and societal, and I am looking forward to bringing people together to deliver on Our Watch’s vision of an Australia where women and their children live free from all forms of violence.”

Ms Barry will commence her role from 1 February 2016. 

Media contact

For enquiries or further information: Hannah Grant, Our Watch, mobile 0448 844 930, email Hannah.Grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”

About Our Watch 

Our Watch’s (previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) purpose is to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.
Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory, South Australian, Tasmanian governments have also since become members of the organisation.
Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.