Protection & Prevention: Australia’s Inaugural Forced Marriage Conference


We are delighted to announce the following international speakers

Professor Aisha K. Gill, PhD, CBE

Professor of Criminology at University of Roehampton, UK

Professor Aisha K. Gill, PhD, CBE Professor of Criminology at University of Roehampton, UK. Aisha’s main areas of interest and research are health and criminal justice responses to violence against black, minority ethnic and refugee women in the UK/Europe, Iraqi Kurdistan and India. She has been involved in addressing the problem of violence against women and girls/ ‘honour’ crimes and forced marriage at the grassroots level for the past seventeen years.


Professor Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D. CBE (University of Essex), is Professor of Criminology at University of Roehampton. Her main areas of interest are health and criminal justice responses to violence against black, minority ethnic and refugee (BMER) women in the UK, Iraqi Kurdistan and India. Professor Gill is often in the news as a commentator on early/child/forced marriage, violence predicated on ‘honour’, and sexual violence in South Asian communities. She writes for mainstream popular as well as academic audiences. Her current research interests include domestic violence; rights, law and early/child/forced marriage/female genital mutilation; ‘honour’ killings and ‘honour’-based violence in the South Asian/Kurdish Diaspora and femicide in Iraqi Kurdistan and India; missing women; acid violence; child contact; trafficking; and sexual violence and exploitation. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. In March 2016 the first special issue on ‘Violence’ that she co-edited for Feminist Review was published by Palgrave Macmillan. In 2015 she was involved in a jointly funded commissioned research by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary [HMIC] documenting the experiences of victims/survivors of ‘honour’-based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation in collaboration with University of Bristol. In 2017 she was funded by Hertfordshire Police Crime Commissioner to conduct research on ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage and FGM.

Professor Gill has been involved in addressing the problem of violence against women (VAW) at the grassroots level for the past eighteen years. She is a board member of ‘End Violence Against Women’ Coalition (EVAW); invited adviser to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) strategic support group on investigations and complaints involving gendered forms of violence against women in the UK (including domestic violence); member of Liberty’s Project Advisory Group; member of Kurdish Women’s Rights Watch; Imkaan and Chair of Newham Asian Women’s Project (2004-2009). Gill has extensive experience of providing expert advice to the Government, Ministry of Justice, Scotland Yard/Metropolitan Police, Crown Prosecution Service, and the voluntary sector on legal policy issues related to so-called ‘honour’ killings and forced marriage. She has challenged politicians across Europe to be more inclusive of BMER women’s voices in policy-making on issues of gender-based violence and human rights. []



Dr Sundari Anitha

Reader at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln

Dr Sundari Anitha is a reader in criminology at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK. Her research interests lie in two areas: the problem of violence against women and girls in the United Kingdom and India; and in gender, race, and ethnicity in employment relations. She has published widely in both these areas. She has previously managed a Women’s Aid shelter and is a trustee of three charities: Asha Projects, a specialist shelter for South Asian women who have experienced domestic violence; Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit; and East Midlands Crimestoppers Trust.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE

Survivor of a Forced Marriage

Jasvinder Sanghera was born and brought up in Derby. A survivor of a forced marriage, she is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages.

She is a highly acclaimed international speaker and an expert advisor to the courts in matters of child, civil and criminal proceedings, is a chair of domestic homicide reviews and was instrumental in ensuring that all UK police forces are required to improve their understanding of honour based abuse and forced marriage by inspections conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.



Her memoir ‘Shame’ was a Times Top 10 Bestseller. Jasvinder is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain and Prime Minister David Cameron stated that her work ‘turned my head on the issue of forced marriage’. Her work is recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious Woman of the Year 2007. She was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby in 2008.

She was awarded The Pride of Britain Award in 2009 and was named Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year in 2010. In 2011 she was listed in the Guardian’s top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World and in 2012 received the Global Punjabi Award. She was awarded Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution for the victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse and in 2014 was awarded Legal Campaigner of the Year. Jasvinder is also listed as an entry in the 2016 edition of the book Who’s Who and in the same year received the International Woman Award for human rights from the Italian media

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About the conference

The conference seeks to engage and build bridges between various sectors in order to develop responses to forced marriage in Australia which are holistic and person centred.

Dates: 18 – 19 June 2018
Location: University of Technology, Haymarket, Sydney



The program has been designed for participants on the East Coast of Australia to be able to fly in on Monday morning the 18th and return home Tuesday evening the 19th. Registration will start from 9:30am on Monday with the program commencing at 10:30am. The day will conclude with refreshments and networking starting from 4:45pm. Our program will conclude at 4:30pm on Tuesday.

The aims of the conference are to:

a) Share experiences about the practice of, and responses to, forced marriages in Australia.

b) Identify emerging issues and trends.

c) Consider promising practices in Australia and internationally.

d) Promote dialogue about community awareness and engagement, prevention strategies and research


e) Encourage national and international forced marriage networks and connections.

Who should attend?

  1. The conference will bring together representatives from community organisations, government, academia and across Australia to share, learn and encourage one another and to facilitate networking of leadership in forced marriage prevention.
  2. Ahead of the conference, we will send participants information about the current Australian response to forced marriage in the hope that participants will be ready to discuss responses to forced marriage. We will also offer a pre-conference webinar.
  3. We hope to engage representatives/participants who:
    • have direct experience working with at risk clients or communities or are themselves a survivor of forced marriage
    • are legislators or policy makers developing strategic responses to forced marriage within their agency or organisation
    • are researchers or academics with expertise in this field, or
    • can implement their learnings and newly formed relationships from the conference in order to respond more effectively to forced marriage in their role and within their organisation.



Your registration includes

  • Participation in all sessions
  • Conference materials
  • Materials to help you prepare
  • Morning and afternoon tea and lunch on both days and refreshments at our late Monday afternoon event


What it doesn’t include

– Your flights, accommodation evening meal and local transport

  • Please be aware that often the best way to find the best prices for rooms is through online booking systems. Search for locations near Paddy’s Market, Haymarket, Sydney, NSW.
  • The venue is near a Sydney light rail service, travelling from the airport can be done by train to Central and then light rail to Paddy’s Market.


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