Professor Donna Cross

Children's advocate

2012 WA Australian of the Year

Every child’s right to have a safe and healthy education, free from harassment, has been strengthened through the hard work and dedication of Professor Donna Cross. Donna is the Foundation Professor of Child and Adolescent Health at the Child Health Promotion Research Centre. She is recognised internationally, having conducted research throughout the USA as well as Canada, Russia, Estonia, Japan and Israel, and with organisations including WHO, UNICEF and the American Health Foundation.  Since 1989 she has harnessed the results of her extensive school-based research to influence health promotion in schools. Her focus has been on changing the way Australian schools prevent and respond to aggression and the role of families in creating safer, more respectful communities. Over the years, Donna has tackled many issues affecting the wellbeing of children and young people. She has campaigned against drug use, cigarette smoking, bullying and child abuse and has worked to raise awareness of HIV and road safety.  With the increasing occurrence of cyber-bullying, Donna is at the forefront of measures to counter and reduce its insidious impact and the risk it presents to vulnerable children. She has won many awards for her research, leadership and advocacy, and is a tireless champion for positive, whole school approaches to children’s wellbeing.