real life

How Rosie Batty changed Australia for women with the courage to tell one story.

Westpac
Thanks to our brand partner, Westpac

There is one single word that Rosie Batty identifies with the most. And it’s the one thing she says has kept her moving forward.

Australia’s most well known, and well loved, advocate for victims of family violence is one of 200 incredible women from across the world honoured in Westpac’s 200 women: The Listening Ground exhibition and podcast, which showcases the stories of 200 diverse, awe-inspiring women who will change the way you see the world from different parts of the globe.

And if there was one woman’s story that shook Australia into paying attention to the most urgent violence epidemic of the nation, it was Batty’s.

On February 12, 2014, Batty’s son Luke, just 11 years old, was murdered by his father while at cricket practice in Melbourne.

The very same day, Rosie Batty did something no-one expected her to do.

She told her story.

“On the day Luke died, I astounded many people by talking to the media,” Batty describes in Westpac’s 200 women: who will change the way you see the world book.

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Rosie with her son, Luke.

“I felt like there was nothing more that could hurt me. So, I stood up to handle things for myself… I said that family violence could happen to anyone, no matter how intelligent you are or what kind of house you live in.”

That day, on February 12, her words were clear and heartfelt, crystallising the experience of countless women across Australia, trapped inside the same pain.

"When you're involved with family violence, friends, family judge you, the woman. The decisions you should make, the decisions you don't make… You're the victim, but you become the person that people condemn,” she told media.

Since that day, Rosie has become one of Australia’s most respected voices on domestic violence, working tirelessly to ensure no other family or mother has to endure what she and Luke had been through.

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All because she had the courage to speak her story.

And that’s the word Batty says she identifies with the most. Courage.

rosie-batty

Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year.

“Often, we don’t recognise strengths within ourselves. It’s people who have articulated that to us, and we think, ok, I can see that. And courage is a word that comes up all of the time for me.

“But when I look back over my life I have needed courage to be that strength that takes me forward.

“And I am courageous. I have got courage. Because the opposite to that is to be fearful and the only way you can go through life to keep growing and to keep moving forward is to have courage.”

Rosie Batty is just one of 13 inspiring women you can hear tell their amazing stories in Episode 9 of the 200 Women: The Listening Ground by Westpac podcast, where each describes 'A Single Word' they feel most connected with.

In a commute-sized 10-minute episode, you hear the diverse stories of Susan Carland, writer, sociologist and academic who converted from Christianity to Islam at the age of 19, Collette Dinnigan, Australian-based fashion and interior designer and Sahm Venter, journalist and author who currently holds the role of senior researcher at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Thirteen women that will change the way you look at the world in just 10 minutes.

Like Batty's, the stories these extraordinary global icons tell behind their 'single word' reveal the power of women's stories. And what happens when the world listens.

Tune into all nine episodes of the inspiring 200 Women: The Listening Ground by Westpac here, featuring the voices of 200 remarkable women we can all look up to every day.

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