In January this year Rosie Batty was named the 2015 Australian of the Year.
It was a watershed moment. A historic turning point. It marked the beginning of a national conversation about domestic violence that had previously eluded us.
It brought family violence out of the shadows. It cemented DV as a topic that politicians, the media and ordinary Australians could no longer easily ignore.
Through the most tragic of circumstances Rosie Batty was propelled into the public consciousness in February of 2014. Her only son Luke was killed at the hands of his father while his mother waited by the cricket nets just metres away.
In the face of this unimaginable horror stood a woman of unimaginable resilience. Rosie Batty etched her way into the hearts and minds of Australians, not simply for enduring the trauma she did, but for becoming a courageous and unwavering anti-family violence advocate in spite of it.
No time to read? Listen to Georgie, Monique Bowley and Jamila Rizvi discuss the year on Mamamia OutLoud:
She was articulate, educated and determined: her beloved son Luke’s death was not to be in vain. Domestic violence was not to be ignored.
In the aftermath of the grief that befell her she was resolute; about speaking out about domestic violence, about demanding systemic changes, about seeking reforms to the courts system and about asking for leadership, compassion and understanding from all Australians about this complex and insidious scourge.
Rosie Batty was not the first Australian woman to lose a loved one at the hands of domestic violence nor was she the last. But she was the first Australian woman who managed to put domestic violence firmly on the national agenda because of it.