Laura Vidal

Social Worker and 2016 Churchill Fellow

UAS Survey Leader for
​Forced Marriage and Gender Inequality Questions

Laura is a passionate advocate for women and girls, having spent over ten years supporting and advocating for those impacted by human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices; specializing in forced marriage.

With a background in case management, project coordination and policy advocacy, Laura has led and delivered services to asylum seekers and refugees, women experiencing homelessness and individuals impacted by human trafficking and slavery both domestically and abroad. Laura’s policy advocacy has shaped government and civil society responses to these issues.

Laura has held various board positions including with the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals Association and the Fair-Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.

As one of Australia’s leading experts in understanding and responding to forced Marriage, in 2016 Laura received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which took her on a study-tour of six countries to develop innovative and best practice solutions to early and forced marriage.

Laura brings her experiences of service delivery to her policy and advocacy work with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand where she currently holds the position of Policy and Research Specialist. As a Francine V. McNiff Scholar, Laura’s PhD research commencing in the School of Criminology at Monash University in March 2019, will document and draw on the lived experience of survivors of forced marriage to inform Australia’s legislative and non-legislative response to the issue.

Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights Law and Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Social Work. She is an accredited member of the Australian Association of Social Work.

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If you suspect signs of human trafficking, contact your local law enforcement and 
contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-3888. You can also text BeFree (233733).

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