Day 1 – Monday 16 October 2023

Please note – the program may be subject to changes in timing and sessions.  The final program will be released closer to the event.

Opening Session

Opening Session  

Welcome | Julie Oberin AM, National Chairperson, WESNET

Welcome to Country | To be advised

Special Welcome | Ms Vicki Brady, CEO Telstra

Survivor Keynote | Ms Jacqui Barker

Conference Overview | Karen Bentley, CEO Wesnet

Plenary Sessions

Late Morning Session

What Does Tech Safety Mean? | Karen Bentley, CEO Wesnet

Technology Abuse 101 | Joanna Colautti, Wesnet Technology Safety Specialist

Location Tracking | Sarah Biordi, Wesnet Technology Safety Specialist

Breakout sessions

Afternoon Session

Addressing Tech-Facilitated Financial Abuse | Jasmine Opdam, Redfern Legal Centre

To Be Advised | another great session is being announced soon

Breakout sessions

Disrupting and Preventing Sexualised Deepfake Abuse: Findings from a Multi-Country Study | Asher Flynn, Monash University

TFA perpetration and potential opportunities and interventions to enhance accountability and prevent violence | Bridget Harris, Monash University

Plenary Session

Industry Keynote | Dayle Stevens OAM, Data and AI, Telstra

Closing Session Day 1 | Wesnet Team members


Close | End of Day 1

Day 2 – Tuesday 17 October 2023

Plenary Panel Session

Morning Sessions

Prioritising Safety and Privacy: A Panel Discussion with Representatives from Technology Companies | MC Karen Bentley, CEO Wesnet with special guests from Telstra, Uber and Commonwealth Bank

Breakout sessions

Can CCTV Provide Safety and Security for Victim-Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence? | Diarmaid Harkin & Mary Iliadis, Deakin University

Spyware + | Sarah Biordi, Wesnet Technology Safety Specialist

Breakout sessions

Online Dating Safety | Kirsty Dunn, Tinder Australia & Joanna Colautti, WESNET Technology Safety Specialist

Domestic and Family Violence and Borders: Beyond Technology Facilitated Harm | Marie Segrave, Monash University


Afternoon Sessions

Practical Technology Rotations | More info coming soon

Rotations include:

eSafety Reporting Channels | Carolyn Wilkes, eSafety

Plenary sessions

To Be Advised | exciting session to be announced soon

Closing Session | Amie Carrington, Deputy Chair WESNET

Session Descriptions

Day 1 – Monday, 16 October 2023

2C – Technology Abuse 101

Joanna Colautti (WESNET) 

Tech abuse is a form of abuse that involves the misuse of technology in order to hold power and control over someone. It is often used by perpetrators of domestic abuse as part of a larger pattern of coercive control.  For us to truly support and educate survivors, enhance our frontline services and hold perpetrators of tech abuse accountable we need to understand how technology can be misused and the potential strategies for strategic use in order to enhance safety. This session is an overview in the basics of technology safety. It is designed to help participants understand the ways in which the constantly evolving landscape of technology intersects with our work supporting survivors. The content of this presentation is designed to help participants feel better prepared to guide survivors as they work to increase their privacy and safety in the digital world.

2D – Location Tracking

Sarah Biordi (WESNET)

This 1 hour presentation covers the ways in how victim-survivors may be located, monitored, and surveilled through technology in the context of domestic and intimate partner violence. It explores the more commonly used tactics including tracking through purpose-built trackers, inbuilt applications (apps) like ‘Find My’, or through viewing account data, through to the more complex tactics such as accessing the backend of accounts and apps, extracting geolocation data, or using malware such as stalkerware or spyware. Attendees will learn how this type of abuse can occur, how to identify the technology being used, where to look for evidence, what to do about it, and how to protect against the likelihood of it occurring.

3A – Addressing tech-facilitated financial abuse

Jasmine Opdam (Redfern Legal Centre)

Technology-facilitated abuse and financial abuse are insidious forms of domestic abuse that often occur concurrently as part of a larger pattern of coercive control. As we increasingly rely on technology to access and manage our finances, we see this same technology being weaponised as a tool of financial abuse with serious detrimental impacts on victim survivors’ safety, financial security and wellbeing. This session will explore common scenarios and case studies at the intersection of tech abuse and financial abuse, legal remedies and responses, and practical tips for caseworkers to help victim-survivors improve their digital financial security.

3C – Disrupting and Preventing Sexualised Deepfake Abuse: Findings from a Multi-Country Study

Associate Professor Asher Flynn (Monash University) 

The science of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become integrated into every aspect of human life. Although the potential benefits of well-designed, appropriately deployed AI technologies are immense, it is increasingly clear such technologies are also used for abusive purposes. In 2019, an app was released allowing users to create convincing sexualised deepfakes of any female using any image of them including publicly available online images. This presentation reports on a cross-country study of deepfake abuse across the UK, NZ and Australia. It explores the pervasiveness and harms of deepfake abuse and whether legal responses are keeping pace.

3D – TFA perpetration and potential opportunities and interventions to enhance accountability and prevent violence

Associate Professor Bridget Harris (Monash University)

Insights into perpetration of technology-facilitated family violence (or digital coercive control) and opportunities to prevent and disrupt perpetration are urgently needed. Drawing on research and practice work with people who identify as perpetrating violence, I consider behaviours and tactics deployed, emotions, motivations and narratives used to excuse, justify, minimise and deny harm. I also draw on the perceptions, experiences and insights of facilitators of Men’s Behaviour Change Programs to consider opportunities to address digital harms, and challenge norms and drivers associated with the weaponising of technology. Emphasis is on policy and practice implications and strategies for sector workers.

4A – Industry Keynote

Dayle Stevens OAM (Executive, Data & AI at Telstra)

Description to come

Day 2 – Tuesday 17 October 2023

5B – Prioritising Safety and Privacy: A Panel Discussion with Representatives from Technology Companies. 

Facilitator Karen Bentley (WESNET) with guests from Telstra, Uber and CommBank

For this year’s tech panel, we’re focusing on the decisions to prioritise privacy and safety in the design and implementation of technology. We’ll hear from representatives from leading technology companies and corporations about efforts and challenges to prevent and address abuse, increase privacy and focus on overall well-being. 

6A – Can CCTV provide safety and security for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence? A report on findings of original research.

Dr Diarmaid Harkin & Dr Mary Iliadis (Deakin University)

This presentation reports on the findings of an Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) funded project into the use of CCTV by victim-survivors of domestic and family violence.

This study delivers original and vital knowledge on how often CCTV is being used by DFV organisations across Australia and documents the range of positive and negative impacts it is having on victim-survivors. We will report on the findings of our national survey and original interviews with victim-survivors, support workers and private security companies. The presentation will reflect upon a possible national roadmap to promote the successful use of CCTV for victim-survivors of DFV.

6B – Spyware+

Sarah Biordi (WESNET)

This Spyware+ session will provide an insight into various covert monitoring and surveillance tactics of mobile devices in the context of DV, including via the deployment of stalkerware/spyware, rootkit malware, and the tactics of phone linking of Android phones and Wi-Fi syncing of iPhones. Participants will learn about the different types of attack, how they are deployed and how to potentially distinguish whether stalkerware/spyware or other forms of technology are being used. Additionally, some practical steps and advice in relation to assisting victim-survivors with risk and safety planning around these invasive forms of tech abuse will be offered.

6C – Online Dating Safety

Kirsty Dunn (Tinder Australia) & Joanna Colautti (WESNET)

This presentation details what technology-facilitated abuse can look like within the context of dating apps. The presentation will explain what dating apps are and how they work with a discussion of the popularity of their use globally and in Australia. The presentation explores some of the more common abuse scenarios that occur within the online dating context including but not limited to online harassment and misogyny, stalking, romance scams and image-based abuse. The session will cover some safety tips for staying safe both online and offline. We will also touch on some options that are available to people who have experienced online abuse related to the use of dating apps. This presentation will be co-presented with Tinder Australia who will talk about their new Dating Safety Guide developed in collaboration with WESNET. Tinder will go through the platform’s existing and new safety and security features.

6D – Domestic and Family violence and borders: beyond technology facilitated harm

Professor Marie Segrave (Monash University)

There is significant interest in the role of technology as an efficiency tool in border administrative functions, from entry to surveillance, and a similar interest in the promise of technologies that can intervene to protect victims and assist police in the context of domestic and family violence. When this form of violence intersects with borders, as it does for temporary migrants, there are critical questions to be posed regarding the role of technology in ensuring invisibility of abuse and of perpetrator.  This presentation will draw on critical issues being asked about the future of technology in controlling borders and its potential consequences for non-citizens experiencing domestic and family violence.

7A – eSafety Reporting Channels: a workshop for the Sexual Assault and Domestic and Family Violence Sector

Carolyn Wilkes, Office of eSafety Commissioner

This workshop will offer insights into the four reporting channels at eSafety. Participants will be offered practical advice about what can be reported to eSafety and the thresholds required, and how to make, or support someone else to make a report to eSafety.

eSafety helps Australians prevent and deal with harm caused by serious online abuse or illegal and restricted online content. eSafety assists the person targeted by working with online service providers to have content removed from a variety of online platforms, including social media services, email services, chat apps, interactive online games, forums, and websites.