Ben Bjarnesen is a passionate educator, campaigner and speaker who believes that all people no matter what their sexuality or gender identity is, deserve the right to live a life free from domestic, family and intimate partner violence and abuse (DV). Ben became a fierce advocate for improved services for LGBTQ victims and survivors of DV after discovering an incredible gap in services after himself experiencing abuse within a same-sex relationship.
Ben is a 2016 Churchill Fellow who travelled to the USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands where he explored best practice solutions for Police Departments to enhance the way in which they respond to domestic violence in LGBTQ communities, revealing the critical need to have LGBTQ inclusive and accessible support services. He has since been actively involved in advising government and non-government organisations around Australia on a range of initiatives designed to improve service delivery to LGBTQ communities.
Ben is an operational Police officer and volunteers as the Regional Coordinator of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Liaison Officer Program and has previously been named as one of the top 50 most influential and inspiring LGBTI Australians by Cosmopolitan Magazine for his work in this area.
He is on the Board of Directors for DVConnect Ltd and is involved with various other not-for-profit organisations. In 2020 he founded the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation which aims to help end domestic, family and intimate partner violence and abuse within LGBTQ communities, by increasing visibility through an annual awareness campaign.
Ben is an awarded educator and campaigner and in 2020 he had the honour of being inducted into the Queensland Government Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll. Most recently he was named in the Outstanding 50 LGBTI+ Leaders report by Deloitte and also as a Human Rights Hero by the Australian Human Rights Commission.