About Lisa McAdams
In 2015 Lisa founded Safe Space Workplace, a successful company that teaches workplaces how to support staff and customers impacted by Domestic Family Violence and Workplace Employee Abuse
Lisa McAdams is Australia’s pre-eminent Domestic and Family Violence trainer and she’s on a mission to build a trauma informed society where we support, empower and help those impacted to rebuild their lives.
Lisa’s passion is to teach businesses to support their staff and customers who are impacted by Domestic Family Violence so they can avoid the hell that is poverty. She says,
‘We have built awareness, now we must shift as a community to recovery and empowerment and given the scale of this challenge the solution involves us all. Workplace responses are critical.’
Lisa has worked with many ASX500 companies and Government departments and industry bodies including: The Diversity Council of Australia, Male Champion of Change, 1800 RESPECT and was on the selection panel for the advocacy group, ‘Voices of Change’ sharing her media and advocacy experience.
Lisa has been the adviser and Ambassador for ‘Two Good Co’ since 2016 and is a Board Member and Treasurer for ’Hope and Heal’ Charity who operate a trauma recovery retreat program and founded NSW International Day of Elimination Against Women Vigil.
Lisa knows her subject matter. Intimately. She has survived a life of abuse that most of us cannot imagine. From a childhood of extreme abuse where her Dad abused her in the most inappropriate way to her mother’s cruelty and her brother’s violence each day was a challenge in mental fortitude and endurance.
At fifteen a man and friend of her brothers got her drunk and had sex with her culminating in her becoming pregnant. Her family, friends and the town cast her as the town slut who ruined a boy’s life. It took the #MeToo movement for her to see this as rape because being underage and drunk it was not possible for her to consent even if she wanted too.
Lisa uses this traumatic experience to help audiences challenge their own biases. For example, the eradication of victim blaming language is something in 2020 we can all take responsibility for at work, at home and at play.
Even with this tough start to life Lisa managed to climb the corporate ladder and became a finance manager for the world’s largest Medical Marketing Company.
But her life of neglect and abuse led her to a marriage which was dangerous: physically, mentally and emotionally. Moving from England to Australia Lisa was alone, beaten and abused and even held hostage for hours at knifepoint.
Lisa finally escaped a life-time of abuse and went to a Domestic Violence Shelter with her two small children. Left in poverty to rebuild her life, raise her children and break the cycle of violence alone. She had to dig deep and found the strength and resilience of a warrior woman.
Lisa’s story is about empowerment. It is possible to rebuild lives after Child Abuse and Domestic Family Violence, but we have to take it out of the corner of shame and cloak it in a new framework: compassion, support and financial safety.
Lisa became a marathon runner as part of her healing in a time she now affectionately calls her ‘Forrest Gump era’ and went on to run the New York City Marathon.
In 2015 she founded Safe Space Workplace, a successful company that teaches workplaces how to support staff and customers impacted by Domestic Family Violence and Workplace Employee Abuse, gaining EY as her first client in the first months of starting her business.
She is a renowned speaker, giving her first professional Keynote at Parliament House in Canberra.
Lisa’s first book Domestic Violence, Changing Culture, Saving Lives was launched in 2018 by the NSW Government at Parliament House and sponsored by EY and is now used as the ‘workplace training manual’ on Domestic and Family Violence. An updated edition will be released in 2020.
Lisa lectures widely throughout Australia and Internationally on Domestic and Family Violence Recovery and Safety. She is proud of her achievements but most of all she is proud of her children and the young adults they themselves are becoming away from trauma and harm and surrounded by love and support. Safety is everything.