Who we are

Undercurrent is a non-profit organisation focused on building healthy relationships and challenging beliefs and actions that enable violence, with an emphasis on interpersonal and gendered violence.

Based in the western suburbs of Melbourne we are a diverse and experienced team who run engaging, discussion-based workshops with secondary schools, community groups, organisations, TAFE/VE, universities, and for the public.

We develop and deliver comprehensive programs that cover healthy relationships, family violence and sexual assault, gender and sexuality, support and accountability, and consent and communication. In all our programs we prioritise support for people who have experienced or are experiencing violence.

Our project is informed by transformative justice and intersectional feminism, and by an analysis of the particular ways violence occurs in LGBTIQ+ relationships. 

Some of us are also individually involved in projects that facilitate community-based responses to family and sexual violence, using transformative justice frameworks to create different pathways than those leading to the criminal, legal and prison systems.

Our team:

Alice McDonald

Alice McDonald is a non-binary person who has been volunteering with Undercurrent since 2016. Alice is the training co-ordinator and social media manager for Undercurrent. Outside of Undercurrent, Alice is an academic researcher who conducts research into non-binary and queer gender categories and the lived experiences of non-binary and queer people. Alice is passionate about community education and transformative justice, and they have a particular interest in educating young people around gender and sexuality.

Anne-lise Ah-fat

Anne-lise Ah-fat is a community organiser, mother of two, facilitator and educator who is passionate about transformative justice and empowering people to create change around sexual assault and abuse. She is a co-founder of Undercurrent Community Education Project and also co-directed its previous incarnation, A World Without Sexual Assault, from 2007. Anne-lise also works as a men's behaviour change practitioner, family violence consultant, counsellor, and trainer. Anne-lise is passionate about accountability, malleefowl and co-ordinates Incendium Radical Library. As an educator, Anne-lise works with persons of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and believes that social change can only occur collectively.

Matilda Stevens

Matilda has been with Undercurrent for over 2 years. She facilitates Undercurrent training for peer facilitators and is also the finance and administration co-ordinator. Matilda facilitates Undercurrent's young women's workshops in high schools, as well as the professional development workshops. When she is not busy with Undercurrent she is a trainer and phoneline support worker at the Women's Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE). She is passionate about creating spaces that support people who are living and live with the impacts of violence, as well as spaces that facilitate the challenging of violence-supporting attitudes and the development of alternative responses to people's use of violence.

Anita Thomasson

Anita has been a co-director of Undercurrent Community Education Project and its previous incarnation, A World Without Sexual Assault, since 2007. She worked and volunteered at McAuley Care Domestic Violence Crisis Accomodation and facilitated workshops with the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault’s ‘Respect, Protect, Connect’ program for 3 years from 2011-2013. She is a radio presenter with 3CR community radio focusing on women’s issues and volunteers as a migration agent with a family and refugee support agency. She is passionately committed to working towards an end to gendered violence, for Indigenous and refugee rights, and for the empowerment of women and young people to determine their own lives and work to change the world around them.

Vincent Silk

Vinnie has been facilitating workshops for young men with Undercurrent since 2015. He has also been part of the organising collective for Camp Out, a camp that provides social engagement, support, workshops and networking for LGBTIQA youth in NSW for the last 4 years. He has also worked in youth arts. He is passionate about community education and supporting young people particularly around sexuality and relationships education.

Joel Gross

Joel has been volunteering with Undercurrent since the start of 2016. Apart from facilitating workshops for young people, Joel co-ordinates the development of workshop content and prepares workshop materials. He has a background in community organising around environmental issues, public housing and refugee support and is passionate about seeking alternatives to the criminal justice system, prisons, borders and the state. 

Lauren Caulfield

In 2013 Lauren joined Undercurrent as an advocate and researcher. She has a background in crisis support and advocacy, and was previously the communications coordinator for the Womens Domestic Violence Crisis Service - coordinating a statewide media advocacy project with survivors of family violence and sexual assault. She has been a consultant on gender based violence with organisations such as Women's Health East and the AFL, worked as a trainer with the Domestic Violence Resource Centre and completed the 2014 Churchill Fellowship on community-based responses to intimate partner violence, accountability and transformative justice. She is passionate about intersectional feminism, anti oppression work, community organising and violence prevention. Lauren also works with Lawyers for Forests on the campaign to protect native forests, and is mother to a 5 year old daughter.