NOW Australia has appointed journalist, commentator and consultant Kristine Ziwica as its inaugural Executive Director. It marks a “major milestone” in the organisation’s fight to end sexual harassment in the workplace according to Chair LJ Loch.
“We’ve achieved a lot very quickly in terms of setting up a not-for-profit organisation, however as volunteers we must also put in place the necessary infrastructure to make sure NOW Australia is the success we all need it to be,” Loch said. “Kristine brings immense experience from her work as a program and policy consultant. She has a deep understanding of the issues, common-sense approach, enthusiasm and a fierce determination to rid workplaces in Australia of sexual harassment and assault.”
Spearheaded by Tracey Spicer AM, NOW is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation for people across all industries who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or intimidated at work.
Ziwica, a regular Women’s Agenda columnist, most recently worked at Our Watch, Australia’s national foundation to prevent violence against women. Prior to that, she led communications and campaigns for the United Kingdom’s Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Loch says NOW’s successful crowdfunding campaign which launched in March 2018 has enabled the appointment.
“Since we launched NOW Australia three months ago, in addition to running the very successful crowdfunding campaign, there’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes (much of it led by NOW’s dedicated volunteer steering committee) consulting with counselling and support groups, lawyers and legal firms, government departments and regulatory authorities,” Loch said.
"The most common reasons for staying silent were; a fear of losing their job, and a fear that they would not be believed. This is one of the aims of the NOW campaign, to encourage people to speak up." NOW chair @ljLoch #thetimeisNOW #metoo #timesup https://t.co/vDxwFQ1tsg
— NOW Australia (@NOW_aust) May 1, 2018
In the coming year, NOW also expects to play an important role in informing the Australian Human Rights Commissions’ recently announced National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, helping to ensure its recommendations deliver substantive and lasting change. NOW has been advocating for the establishment of such an independent inquiry since its inception.
Ziwica says the opportunity to help transform Australian workplaces is compelling.
“The last nine months have seen millions of women emboldened to share their stories of harassment and assault via #MeToo. The retaining walls holding back women’s anger and protecting perpetrators have been well and truly pierced,” Ziwica said. “It is a privilege to help establish an organisation dedicated to honouring the brave women who’ve spoken out by seizing the momentum to create lasting change.”
Can we end sexual harassment, intimidation and abuse in our workplaces? The @NOW_aust campaign led by @TraceySpicer & team of ambassadors will certainly help. You can also help here: https://t.co/UT5OjghnGg
— Women's Agenda (@WomensAgenda) April 6, 2018
NOW Australia’s Board comprises a diverse group of women with extensive experience across research, education and advocacy. : LJ Loch, Avril Henry, Katherine Teh-White, Nareen Young, Milly Petriella, Tasneem Chopra, Katrina Graham, Erica Lovell, Sara Mansour
Its volunteer steering committee is comprised by Abby Alexander, Ana Tiwary, Dai Le, Deb Verhoeven, Diana Fisk, Isabella Manfredi, Jane Shakespeare-Finch, Dr. Louise Munro, Megan Riakos, Poppy Reid, Prue Gilbert, Rebecca Wilson, Sonia Casanova, Angel Dixon, Sophie Mathiesen, Susie Riddell, Genevieve Burnett, Cath Webber, Carly Findlay, Melissa Griffiths, Catherine Marriott, Barbara Ward, Sacha Horler and Kylie Walker.