Our Board

The Domestic Violence Action Centre Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring it lives up to its values and achieves its goals.

The Board is comprised of members who share a diverse range of professional skills, are passionate advocates against domestic and family violence, and are invested in creating a safe and secure future for all Queenslanders. The Board’s members contribute their time and expertise on a pro bono basis.

Laura with long dark red hair, blue eyes, in front of a dark purple backdrop


Laura Marschke

Laura has been on the Board of DVAC since 2017 as Treasurer and Chairperson. Laura works as a Senior Financial Adviser and has over 20 years of experience working in the financial services industry in both corporate and private practice.

Currently working in Financial Advice for Guardian Investments. Laura is passionate about supporting the local community to improve financial literacy with a focus on raising awareness of financial abuse. Laura holds a Masters of Financial Planning, Self-Managed Super Fund and Aged Care Specialist Certification and has also completed the FASEA Financial Adviser exam.


Deb with blonde hair in a short neat bob, blue eyes, standing outdoors

Vice Chairperson

Debbie Render

Debbie joined the board of DVAC in 2019. Her professional background is in the veterinary industry where she has held a variety of roles over the past 30 years. In her capacity as Practice Manager of a group of clinics, she was responsible for human resources, formulating and implementing policies and procedures, and staff training.

Debbie currently works in a training capacity for a national organisation and thrives on helping others to achieve their potential. She also has a developing interest in the links between violence perpetrated on animals and domestic and family violence.


Mainaaz with long dark hair, a warm smile, standing outdoors


Mainaaz Oakley

Mainaaz is a strategic leader with experience advising on public policy, programs and project delivery. She has extensive experience working across governments, both at the state and federal level, providing advice to senior leadership on government priorities and initiatives.

Mainaaz has worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to a former Queensland Treasurer where she provided advice on the financial and service delivery performance of government departments and agencies.

Before her current role as a consulting manager, Mainaaz worked in the transport sector leading the tactical development and delivery of business growth opportunities in Australia and the Middle East.

Mainaaz is admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland. Her legal background, combined with her experience in government advisory and private bid support, provides her with the analytical ability to develop and implement unique business solutions. She is highly skilled at facilitating internal and external stakeholder communication to achieve tangible outcomes.


Natarsha with long blond hair standing outdoors smiling


Natarsha Blackburn

Natarsha is an award winning performance coach who is passionate about ending gender based violence and being a part of the strategic vision for DVAC.

She has worked in management, leadership development and HR roles for over 25 years across the banking (private) sector, not-for-profit and the public sector.

Natarsha has a long history of supporting community services, and for many years has volunteered at several not for profit organisations. Natarsha has seen firsthand the great work that DVAC provides to the community, as she was previously employed with the organisation and loves the opportunity to volunteer on the board.


Nick with dark brown hair, blue eyes and clear rimmed glasses.

Committee Member

Nick Thompson

Nick has been on the Board of DVAC since September 2016, was elected Chairperson at the 2017 AGM and Treasurer in 2022. Since starting his career in Alice Springs, working for the Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit in 2007, Nick has worked in a variety of frontline and management roles supporting families and children experiencing adversity and violence. This has included working as CEO of the Aboriginal Family Legal Service Southern Queensland and as a caseworker with the Ipswich Intensive Family Support Service and as the Program Manager – Domestic and Family Violence with Relationships Australia, Queensland.

Nick is currently employed as the Chief Executive Officer with Mates in Construction Qld-NT working with the construction industry to improve mental health and well-being and reduce rates of suicide in the building construction industry. Nick holds a Bachelor of Social Science, a Graduate Certificate in Facilitating Men’s Behaviour Change, a Master of Social Work, and a Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate from Harvard.

Nick is passionate about making sure that communities across Ipswich and the Darling Downs Regions have accessible and effective family violence prevention and support services. He is determined that confronting and challenging the cause and effect of gendered violence in the community is a continued strategic priority of the DVAC Board.


Danielle smiling, with short dark hair, wearing glasses and a red top

Committee Member

Danielle Cohen

Danielle Cohen is a strategic engagement and public policy professional with extensive experience as a trusted advisor to senior levels of government. Currently the General Manager of Communications, Engagement and Transition at government-owned energy company Stanwell, Danielle looks after a broad portfolio including stakeholder relationships, government and shareholder relationships, community engagement, marketing and brand management, communications and media management.

Prior to joining Stanwell, Danielle served as a ministerial Chief of Staff in the Queensland Government across a range of portfolios including environment, health, State development, local government and planning. She began her career as an advocate for public sector workers with the union Together and remains passionate about ensuring proper recognition and respect for the vital contribution that public and community sector workers make in our society.

Danielle holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law.


Vanessa smiling, leaning against a tree

Committee Member

Vanessa Fowler OAM

Vanessa Fowler has personal experience of the devastating consequences of family and domestic violence. Her sister, Allison Baden-Clay, was murdered by husband Gerard Baden-Clay in 2012.

Turning her grief into a force for good, Vanessa established the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation in 2014 to share Allison’s story and educate people about family and domestic violence. The Foundation also began Strive to Be Kind Day, held each July to foster positive behaviour.

She also founded Allison’s Gift, a national training workshop program created to educate the community to recognise the signs of family and domestic violence and gives people the skills to assist friends or loved ones in abusive relationships.

Vanessa inspires others through her resilience, determination and compassion ensuring that other families do not experience the same heartache and challenges that her family have endured over the last ten years.

Vanessa was appointed co-chair of the Queensland Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Protection Council in 2021 and has been recognised with numerous awards, including an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2021.


Maria with long black hair black top and a friendly smile standing in front of indigenous artwork

Board Cultural Advisor

Maria Davidson

Maria Davidson is a Yuggera woman with connections to Wulli Wulli and Kullili country. She is currently a volunteer in the community with a strong background in community engagement roles local and national.

Maria has also been involved in many Aboriginal organisations in support roles, assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families as well as the wider community including African Nation women. She believes respectful community engagement delivers better outcomes, and has always been focussed on delivering programs for women to better equip community to recognise and respond to domestic and family violence. Maria knows the importance of educating all on Yuggera country to be safe by being better informed.

Maria has previously assisted RAAF Amberley with cultural capacity and capability building. Maria is also co-author of Storying Social Movement/s edited by Prof Louise Gwenneth Phillips and Prof Tracey Bunda.


Susie with short dark brown hair, dark rimmed glasses, leaning over an indigenous artwork

Board Cultural Advisor

Susan Klein

Susie Klein is a Jaularoi woman and is passionate about agencies offering culturally appropriate family violence services to First Nations families and communities.

Susie currently works for The Brisbane Broncos based in the Roma State College Senior Campus as a Student Support Officer for the Beyond the Broncos Girls Academy.

Susie has spent many years working with families who have experienced trauma with her own company ‘Aim High Counselling Pty Ltd’ as well as a small business ‘Susie Klein Creative and Self Expressive Art’ specialising in counselling, skills training, education, and mediation.

Susie is a professional artist and has pioneered an Art for Relaxation therapeutic workshop that promotes healing through creative and self-expressive arts.

Susie is regularly across Darling Downs communities and Toowoomba in her work and is excited about the work of DVAC in our communities. A member of our Reconciliation Action Plan Working Party, she is passionate about how we continue our reconciliation journey, build relationships across the region, and promote violence prevention.

Susie holds a Bachelor of Educational Studies and Cert IV in Assessment and Training.


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Are you worried someone will find out you visited this website?

Our website has a quick exit button near the bottom right-hand corner of the page. This button will close the DVAC website and open ABC News and the Google homepage. The button may be helpful if you are worried that you are being monitored and you are concerned that someone is about to see you looking at the DVAC site.

You may also want to delete your browser history. This means that the history of the websites you have visited will not be able to be seen. For information on deleting your internet history click here.

If someone is monitoring your online activity using spyware or monitoring devices, they may still be able to see that you have visited this website.

To discuss your online safety, speak with your DVAC support worker or call DVConnect 1800 811 811 (24-hour telephone advice line) or 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) (24-hour telephone counselling line).

For more information on your digital safety see:

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