The Murdoch University community was saddened by the recent passing of alumnus Angela Hartwig (B Women’s Studies 2007).
Ms Hartwig was the chief executive of the Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services Western Australia for more than 25 years.
She began her vocation working in a women’s refuge when she was in her mid-twenties and had a long and distinguished career campaigning for social justice and addressing domestic and family violence.
Ms Hartwig's advocacy and academic work were instrumental in the development and implementation of the Safe at Home program. An initiative which helps women and children to safely stay in their own homes after separation from their abuser, while maintaining access to support networks, workplaces, and schools.
Fellow alumnus, the Hon Simone McGurk MLA (B Media Studies 2003) issued a media statement in which she expressed her admiration for Angela who gave a voice to the unheard and a refuge for the vulnerable. The Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; and Community Services outlined the impact and resonance of Angela’s commitment to a sense of fairness.
“Angela Hartwig has been an incredible advocate for the safety of women and children in Western Australia and beyond. She has worked tirelessly for decades to protect and support those experiencing family and domestic violence, and engaged at a grassroots level throughout her career to ensure her work was informed by the lived experience of survivors of domestic and family violence,” said Minister McGurk.
Academic success at Murdoch and other institutions was a springboard into her social justice work which took her way beyond Australian borders. Her influence extended into South Africa, East Timor, Canada, Britain, and Brazil.
She worked closely with the Government on key initiatives including systemic changes to the State’s Women’s Refuge Framework and ‘Path to safety’ – Western Australia’s strategy to reduce family and domestic violence 2020-2030.
Public honours included induction into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame, life membership of the WA branch of the Australian Services Union and an innovation award for the development of the Safe at Home program.
Murdoch University, Angela’s alma mater, was built in 1970s on the founding principles of opportunity, equity and social justice. The Foundation Professors would no doubt salute her legacy and be proud of both the lives she has touched and her significant contribution to human rights.