As the country's progress on extending domestic violence protections in the workplace has stalled, Ludo McFerran has mixed feelings about her recognition in this year's Australia Day Honours.
With a citation that reads "for significant service to women and children, and to social justice", the Murrah resident has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
"I would swap this recognition, which I'm very grateful for, but I would swap it in a flash if they'd introduce 10 days paid domestic violence leave into the Fair Work Act and provide national training standards on good domestic violence management," she said.
"Why do you need both? Because leave is one thing, but it has to be well managed.
"Implementation is something we're falling down on really badly."
The 67-year-old has worked in the field of domestic violence support and strategy for 40 years and has numerous achievements.
She ran the pilot Staying Home Leaving Violence program, which took place in the Bega Valley about 15 years ago, is the former chair of the Women's Services Network, the former national manager of the Safe at Home, Safe at Work Project, and in 2015 won the Australian Human Rights Commission's Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Award.
During the time of the Gillard Government Ms McFerran was instrumental in getting paid leave for domestic violence enshrined in collective bargaining, an improvement for workers she said was thanks to the unions.
"I'd still be talking about it if it wasn't for the trade unions," she said.
"It felt brilliant to be part of a collaboration that really made a difference to a lot of people."
Most women reporting domestic violence are in employment and the support of their employer is critical to getting through the crisis, she said.
She said now with collective bargaining people affected by domestic violence can be confident they will be supported at work.
They can access up to 10 days paid leave, although on average they only use two to three, for uses that include being able to attend court or lawyer appointments.
Currently federal legislation only allows for five days unpaid domestic violence leave each year and Ms McFerran said while millions of workers were covered by collective bargaining she wanted paid domestic violence leave to be added into the Fair Work Act as a right for all Australians.
"Those not covered are in smaller workplaces, on lower incomes and in more casual positions," she said.
"They are more vulnerable, more likely to be women, and more in need of protection.
"They have done this in New Zealand, why not here?
"For me this is unfinished business."
When Australian Community Media asked Ms McFerran what she was most proud of from her years of domestic violence activism, she said it was breaking through the inertia of thinking "well this system is good enough" and opening the conversation up to ask why women and children could not be supported to stay in their homes and why the workplace could not guarantee they would support affected workers.
"I think most Australians believe domestic violence is something that happens to people in lower socio-economic groups or certain cultural groups," she said.
"By making domestic violence an industrial issue I think more Australians understand that it's the person you're sitting next to at work.
"We can't reduce the rates of domestic violence because it's a symptom of a much bigger problem - a system that treats women and children unequally - but we can reduce the worst impacts for individuals and these include not losing her home and becoming homeless and not losing her job as a result of the violence.
"It's all about listening to the voices of women really and thinking 'that's not good enough, we can do better, we must do better'."