Laura Vidal

Laura is a Social Worker and policy advocate with over ten years experience supporting and advocating for those impacted by human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices; specialising in forced marriage. With a background in case management, project coordination and policy advocacy, Laura has led and delivered services to asylum seekers and refugees, women experiencing homelessness and individuals impacted by human trafficking and slavery both domestically and abroad. Laura’s policy advocacy has shaped government and civil society responses to these issues.

As one of Australia’s leading experts in understanding and responding to forced Marriage, in 2016 Laura received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which took her on a study-tour of six countries to develop innovative and best practice solutions to early and forced marriage.

Laura is currently undertaking a PhD in the School of Criminology at Monash University as a Francine V McNiff Scholar—focusing on Australia’s response to forced marriage, particularly the implications of its legislative positioning. Laura also works with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand leading policy advocacy on a range of issues impacting women’s safety.

Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights Law and Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Social Work.