Simone Watson – Director of NorMAC
Simone is the current Director for NorMAC and is a survivor of prostitution.
Simone entered prostitution in a legal brothel in Melbourne in her 20’s, she found the world of legalised prostitution to be anything but ‘safe’ and left after a year in the industry when she received a threat against her life.
Simone struggled with addictions to benzodiazepines and alcohol and became involved in a violent 18 month relationship and suffered Stockholm syndrome. With the help of her Mother, Simone escaped this relationship and began rebuilding her life.
Simone has been dealing with trauma and battling addiction ever since due to post traumatic stress disorder. Simone attributes her personal readings of feminism as something that gave her strength during prostitution and in escaping her abusive relationship. In the intervening years Simone read about the Nordic Model and has become an advocate for its implementation. Simone’s fight for the abolition of prostitution is something that has given her the strength to stop using alcohol and drugs.
Simone is the proud grand-daughter of a Latje Latje woman and has roots in northwest Victoria but lives in Western Australia. Simone believes prostitution is not inevitable and to do so is to side with the perpetrators of violence in a major breach of human rights.
Isla MacGregor – Communications
Isla is a social justice advocate in Tasmania and has been the Spokesperson for Whistleblowers Tasmania since 1996. Isla does research into numerous social justice issues that involve corruption, reform of the justice system, and effective whistleblower protection laws that will cover people in the private and public sectors. Isla worked with the Tasmanian Coalition for Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in 2003.
Isla considers that the links between international organised crime groups, sex trafficking, the legalised sex industry and the violence to women inherent in prostitution can only be adequately responded to with the introduction of Nordic model laws across Australia. It is her view that the lack of effective whistleblower protection laws for private sector employees further prevents those harmed in prostitution from speaking out.”
Joanna Pinkiewicz – Researcher
Joanna Pinkiewicz is an independent organiser and researcher in the area of Women’s Rights and environmental issues. She gained experience in community organising and direct action while working on protecting natural habitats of old growth forests and river systems.
She contributed to actions against destruction of old growth forests in Tasmania and construction of Gunns Pulp Mill in the Tamar Valley. In her research she found links between exploitation of natural resources and sexual exploitation of women. The two seemingly separate issues have common socio-economic links and she believes both require cultural and legislative changes.
Matthew Holloway – National Secretary
Matthew is a founding member of NorMAC and functioned as the organisations director between 2012 till 2015, Matt’s background includes working in social services as well as counselling with prostituted people in Victoria. Matthew is also an award winning writer and social commenter and regularly contributes articles around the issues of prostitution, pornography as well as government transparency and accountability. Matthew is a well known advocate in his home state of Tasmania where he was a founding member of Tasmanians for Transparency.
“My work with people involved in the sex industry showed me the failures of the legalised system. Victoria has proven that legalisation not only legitimises those seeking to exploit vulnerable individuals, it has also shown that the underground sex industry has expanded exponentially with pimps determined to operate outside the legal framework. The failure of sex industry legalisation in Australia has proven to me, the urgent need to implement legislation based on the Nordic model.”