Karen Iles appointed as Our Watch Board Director

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Author: Our Watch media team
Posted: 16 Jun, 2023
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    Our Watch is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Board Director, Ms Karen Iles.

    Karen is a Dharug Aboriginal woman, a lawyer, consultant, board director and a victim-survivor who has advocated strongly about her experiences and the failures of the justice system in cases of sexual assault and violence against women.

    Karen is the Founder and Principal Solicitor of Violet Co Legal & Consulting, a woman-led, Indigenous-led, social enterprise. Violet Co’s purpose is to create radical solutions and just outcomes for women and First Nations people.

    In 2022 Karen was awarded the inaugural NSW Law Society Pro Bono Service Award (2022) in recognition of her outstanding service to the NSW Legal Profession and the community. Karen’s advocacy work was also recognised in the Australian Human Rights Commission 2022 Annual Oration delivered by Professor Larissa Behrendt.

    Karen holds several board roles with The National Justice Project, First Australians Capital and Deadly Hearts. She was appointed to the Australian Catholic Safeguarding panel in 2022 to review claims of sexual assault within the Catholic Church institutions, is a current appointee to the NSW Law Society Employment Law Committee and editor of the First Nations Law Bulletin for Lexis Nexis.

    Our Watch Chair, Ms Moo Baulch, said that Ms Iles long-term commitment to supporting both gender equality and First Nations women was commendable, and welcomed her to the Our Watch Board.

    “Karen’s extensive experience as a practicing lawyer, coupled with her ongoing commitment to creating change in the justice system, will bring valuable insights and a fresh perspective to the Our Watch board,” Ms Baulch said.

    “Karen is widely recognised as a committed champion and advocate for the systemic change required to prevent violence against women, and we are pleased to have her skills and expertise adding even more depth and knowledge to Our Watch’s work”.

    Ms Iles said she was delighted to be joining the Our Watch board.

    “The work that Our Watch does to prevent violence against women is critically important if we are to see real and meaningful change in the number of women who are victims of violence, harassment and discrimination,” Ms Iles said.

    “I see it as a privilege to be involved with an organisation like Our Watch that works to stop violence and discrimination before it starts, and I look forward to using my skills and experience to help Our Watch achieve its vision”.

    Ms Iles appointment comes after Ms Kerry Chikarovski steps down after more than eight years as an Our Watch Board Director.

    “Kerry has been an invaluable member of the board for the past eight years, and has demonstrated exceptional insight, wisdom and an unwavering passion for ending violence against women,” Ms Baulch said.

    “We thank Kerry sincerely for her significant contribution to both Our Watch’s work and the governance of the organisation’.

    Media contact

    Please contact media@ourwatch.org.au or call 0448 844 930.

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

    1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family, and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, chat online via www.1800RESPECT.org.au, or text 0458 737 732.

    To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit www.ourwatch.org.au/media-and-reporting

    Our Watch

    Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms, and structures that lead to violence against women and children.