Emerge appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Emerge is pleased to announce that community leader and human rights lawyer Claire Marshall has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Claire has a strong background working across government and in the not-for-profit sector and is an experienced strategist and an expert in the prevention of gendered violence.

Claire is joining Emerge after recently directing a major cultural review into the adult custodial system for Victoria’s Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Previously, she was Director, Merger Implementation and Strategy at Domestic Violence Victoria and Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria; Assistant Director, Redress, at the Department of Justice and Community Safety; was a Principal Advisor and a Senior Lawyer with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. She has also recently worked with Ambulance Victoria and in the private sector on organisational responses to gendered harm and restorative justice.

Emerge Chair Deb Goldfinch said: “We are delighted that someone of Claire’s calibre and experience is joining our organisation help women and children in urgent need of assistance.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Emerge Board member Jane Evans for stepping in as Acting Executive Officer for the last few months. We are extremely grateful for Jane’s passion for the organisation and her willingness to help. Jane will now return to her position on the Board.”

Claire said: “I have admired the work of Emerge for some time and am thrilled to have the privilege of leading the organisation into their next strategic phase. I am dedicated to elevating the work of this important organisation and supporting both best practice responses to victim survivors of family violence and increasing preventative practice in the community.”

My career has been focussed on improving outcomes for vulnerable people in our community and increasing access to justice through achieving substantive equality. I feel privileged to lead an organisation at the forefront of supporting women and children in times of urgent need.”

Claire will commence her new role on 2 November 2022.


Emerge Women & Children’s Support Network is an independent organisation delivering 24/7 housing and support services to women and children at a time of crisis; and provides vital outreach to women and children living in the community, often with perpetrators in their own home.

Founded over 40 years ago, Emerge is the leading family violence and housing service in southern metro Melbourne, supporting women and children from across Victoria.

We offer a safe place to live and support women while they navigate the myriad of services to start again.

As part of our refuge and outreach services, we offer tailored programs aimed at assisting women to rebuild their lives and learn new personal and professional skills as they begin their journey towards independence.

We support the mental wellbeing of children and infants through arts therapy, afterschool and therapeutic play programs.

We have DGR status and donations over $2 are fully tax-deductible.

Emerge is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission.

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Emerge works across the fields of family violence and homelessness by assisting women and children escape violence.

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