Bettina Danganbarr

Anti-domestic violence campaigner

2018 NT Local Hero

An Aboriginal Community Police Officer in the East Arnhem community of Galiwin’ku, Bettina Danganbarr has offered her home as a safe haven to dozens of domestic violence victims. The Yolngu woman is admired throughout her community as a peacemaker. A tireless campaigner for the rights of women, particularly those experiencing family violence, Bettina has championed the establishment of the Galiwin’ku Women’s Space, a community-led response that addresses family violence in a culturally appropriate, Yolngu-led way. Prior to this, Bettina operated a makeshift women’s shelter in her own home, acting as a counsellor and mediator to families and couples while also caring for her three children and two foster children. Bettina’s expertise and knowledge working in two worlds – both the Yolgnu and Balanda, or non-Indigenous – means she can provide culturally-appropriate support and responses to conflict. She trains other police officers to understand Yolgnu culture. Her influence has prevented many crimes, and supported many Yolgnu people as they move forward with their lives.