Holiday Closure

Project Respect will be closed for business from 5pm, Friday the 24th of December 2021 and return at 9am on Tuesday the 4th of January 2022.

For emergency support, please contact:
  • Lifeline - Anonymous 24 hour crisis support: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue - Mental health and wellbeing support: 1300 22 4636
  • 1800Respect - Sexual assault, domestic or family violence support: 1800 737 732
  • Emergency Services: 000
Happy Holidays

Welcome Project Respect's Chair: Julia Cookson


Julia was elected by the Project Respect membership at our AGM on Thursday, 25 November. 

Thank you for electing me as your Chair. I am humbled and honoured to be following in Amy Poynton’s footsteps and I am looking forward to supporting each outstanding, dedicated woman working in Project Respect. 

My deepest wish is for a world where all women are free from gendered exploitation, violence, harm, and trafficking. As a mother of a daughter, an Aunt to my niece, a sister to my SisStar and an executive woman, I am passionate about advancing the feminist agenda so our voices are elevated in places where decisions are made that impact our lives. 

From my lived experience of sexual and family violence, I know first-hand how hard it is to free yourself and your children, then to thrive. That’s why I believe we need to be advance the vision of Project Respect, of a world where women are free from trafficking, sexual exploitation, violence and harm and to support the choices women make for themselves and for their families. They are incredibly strong. 

Project Respect is the support and the voice for women whose needs are not covered by the other women’s agencies. 

I bring over 25 years of senior leadership, strategic development, and executive experience, including working as a qualified Director (AICD) on Health Services Boards. 

My passion for health, aged care and community support services began when I worked as an Executive in a national genomics facility when technology started reshaping medical discovery. 

Since then, I have held Executive roles in large aged and disability care NFPs, national mental health and Family Violence providers. 

Now I work with Boards and Executive leadership teams through various stages in the business growth cycle, from scaling up to ensuring sustainability and a pathway to recovery where funding is reduced. 

My strength is knowing how to engage people, which comes from my Psychology Degree, deep human resources and change experience combined with my Master of Commerce, governance, strategy, finance and risk expertise. 

I live by the philosophy of being client-focused and empowering people, which is why I am committed to working with purpose-driven organisations. 

I am passionate about creating and maintaining a collaborative culture that is shaped around customer experience, business improvement and controlled growth. 

When I’m asked what drives me, it’s the satisfaction of creating a positive outcome for organisations by ensuring people are empowered and have a voice. 

Farewell and thank you to Amy Poynton, former Chair 

Farewell and thank you for all your hard work, dedication, visionary and courageous leadership as a member and Chair of Project Respect over the last four years. 

You are a remarkably warm, compassionate and wise mentor to many of us. An inspiration in how to lead with kindness and integrity. 

You should be proud that you have created a long-lasting legacy for the organisation, especially in bringing the WAG, committee and PR team together to live our vision of a world free from sexual exploitation and violence towards women. 

Under your watch, we have navigated the greatest global adversity of our history (we refer, of course, to the Big C) whilst maintaining financial stability and robust governance. With you as Chair, we have celebrated our 20-year milestone anniversary, developed a future-facing fee for service model and attracted many new supporters. 

You have worked tirelessly to create a stable and cooperative base for the organisation. Your level of care and empathy for others is outstanding as you continue to magnanimously support and coach others - to manage their responsibilities and challenges with the grace and fair-mindedness you yourself possess. 

Thank you from us all. It is because of your guidance that we are a collaborative, achieving and courageous organisation. We are ready to take Project Respect into its next phase of growth. 

We wish you all the best, in your new endeavours and to those fortunate enough to work with you in the future. Thank you for your passion, your dedication, your vision and your honesty. Thank you for everything! 

See the full Media Release here.


COVID-19 Update

Project Respect's support is still available throughout all stages of lockdown and COVID-19 safe settings and all of Project Respect's services adhere to the Victorian Government's COVID-19 safe settings.

COVID-19 Lockdown Support