Meet Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly
This article features in the August 2018 edition of DVRCV Advocate.
“How do we contribute to the long-term movement for equality? What will we leave for those coming after us to continue this work and how can we influence community norms and practices and contribute to the development of policy to ensure permanent change in women’s rights?”
These are some of the big questions chief executive Patty Kinnersly has posed for herself and the Our Watch team since June, when she took on the top role at the national organisation dedicated to the prevention of violence against women and their children.
Ms Kinnersly brings extensive experience in women’s health, community services, education and governance to the role. She was well known and highly respected as Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Health Grampians and moved to the Our Watch chief executive role from being Director of Practice Leadership.
Within days of beginning as CEO, Ms Kinnersly addressed the Our Watch team about her long-term vision for the organisation. She said the public conversation around violence against women had shifted significantly since Our Watch was formed five years ago.
“Since its inception, Our Watch has achieved a huge amount and made a vital contribution to raising public awareness of both the extent of violence against women and children and the drivers of this unacceptable scourge. We are now at a moment in history where there is a tidal wave of justifiable anger around this issue and we will work to harness this energy to make positive change and take our contribution further.”
Ms Kinnersly said Our Watch was in a strong position to continue its leading role in bringing together and supporting the excellent work of many organisations around Australia and harnessing the public will to tackle this issue.
“Our commitment over the next few years is to ensure that we share our knowledge, tools and resources with people across the country who want to translate their desire for change into meaningful and evidence based action. It’s vital people have the tools to act”, she said.
Ms Kinnersly, who is based in country Victoria, said she was also passionate about making knowledge accessible to regional and remote communities. As well as her senior roles across the health sector, Ms Kinnersly has an impressive track record in sport, having played in VWFL for 14 years, playing in five premierships and representing Victoria on 10 occasions, twice as captain.
While her days on a muddy football oval may be behind her, the skills built up in sport, such as decisiveness, commitment, discipline and passion will undoubtedly serve her well in this latest career challenge.