Award-winning actress and activist Danielle Cormack has had an extensive career in film, theatre and television.
A champion for children’s rights, as well as being SHINE for Kids Ambassador, Danielle’s advocacy has taken her around the world with charity ChildFund including to Ukraine to help children escape the war.
She is also partner and mentor for HeartSpeak Worldwide an organisation that provides workshops and support for ex-incarcerated women and at-risk youth in New Zealand.
Among her long list of credits including Rake, The Secrets She Keeps and Underbelly, Danielle played iconic character Bea Smith in Australian TV drama series Wentworth which is set in a women’s prison.
It was while playing a mother in custody with a daughter on the outside in Wentworth that Danielle was made aware of the complex issue of parental incarceration and decided to become involved in advocating for, she says, “kids who are invisible victims of their circumstance”.
“That role alerted me to the children’s plight – that they need to have support, mentorship and people outside to be there for them when their parents or primary caregivers can’t be”.
While balancing a busy creative schedule, Danielle plays an active role in supporting SHINE for Kids advocacy and meets with families to discuss the many challenges they face when a loved one in incarcerated.
“As Ambassador, I invite people to engage, to become volunteers and mentors, to guide and support kids in need.
“You could be the person who positively impacts a child’s life and opens doors for them at an incredibly vulnerable time in their life.”
“When a family has been torn apart by parental incarceration, the ripple effect often results in the marginalising of those kids and could possibly perpetuate similar behaviours down the track.
“To be understanding of this and to know that we can make a difference by stepping up, removing judgement and reaching out at this juncture could be of paramount importance in that child’s life.
“The work that SHINE for Kids implements with the kids and the caregivers and parents is a giant step towards familiar healing and healthier futures, and I wholeheartedly support that.”