Family violence happens to everybody, no matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are. It happens to anyone and everyone.”
These were the words from Rosie Batty as she faced a media scrum 24 hours after the worst day of her life – when her ex-partner Greg Anderson stabbed her 11-year‑old son Luke to death at cricket practice before he was shot by police.
It was a story that shocked the nation, a tragedy that added personal focus to what has become a national discussion on domestic violence. Rosie’s strength in the face of this devastating event and commitment to raising awareness of the consequences of family violence has won praise over the country, resulting in her becoming Australian of the Year in 2015.
Victoria Police’s then Chief Commissioner, Ken Lay, praised Rosie as the most “remarkable victim” he ever met, saying that she put domestic violence on the national agenda.
The Nice House screens on the crime + investigation channel on White Ribbon Day, 25 November, and tells Rosie’s story, investigating the circumstances behind Luke and Greg’s deaths. Interviews with Luke’s cricket coach, Cameron Colin, and Rosie’s close friend, Mariette Mullavey, help to offer insights into the events that led up to this devastating incident and its aftermath.
The CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, has become a friend of Rosie’s since that day and has nothing but praise for her fight for a change in the approach to addressing domestic and family violence.
In her role as Australian of the Year, Rosie has made hundreds of media and public speaking appearances to shine a spotlight on the issue and call for systemic changes.
“Rosie is very articulate,” Libby says. “She’s absolutely been able to nail what needs to change and uses her personal narrative, her story, to drive a commitment to that change.”
The personal focus that Rosie’s story has brought to the issue of family and domestic violence has been vital, says Libby.
“Having Rosie as a wonderful advocate in this space has done a lot to bring the minds of the community more effectively into this campaign, which works alongside what White Ribbon has been doing for 12 years,” she adds.
“The White Ribbon campaign is about men speaking to men about the behaviours and attitudes of some men that results in this horrific scourge in the community.
“That is critical to any of this social change movement, because it is the stories of people and the voices of the community that harnesses the attention of the decision makers to do something.
“You can have all the scientific evidence in the world; you can have all the systemic review documentation that we’ve had, but it is the story of a particular individual that resonates with the human condition that I think is really what makes a change.”
THE NICE HOUSE premieres Wednesday 25 November at 8.30pm AEDT on crime + investigation only on Foxtel.
Written by Lynne Testoni. This story first appeared in the November issue of Foxtel magazine. To subscribe, click here: https://www.foxtel.com.au/got/whats-on/foxtel-insider/magazine/november.html