Outgoing Australian of the Year Rosie Batty hopes successor will continue work

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Belinda Merhab

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Rosie Batty reflects

Rosie Batty reflects on the past 12 months and her achievements as Australian of the Year. Courtesy ABC News24.

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CANBERRA  - As she prepares to bow out as Australian of the Year, the woman credited with putting domestic violence on the national agenda hopes her successor will pick up where she left off.

Rosie Batty says Australia still struggles to call out domestic violence for what it is - men's violence against women.

"We're still trying to soften that by describing it as family violence or domestic violence."

Rosie Batty

Rosie Batty Photo: Andrew Meares

The domestic violence campaigner, whose son Luke was killed by his father in 2014, says the job has helped her through what would have been an otherwise painful year.

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In her valedictory speech in Canberra on Monday, she spoke of juggling grief and loss, and suppressing her sadness while trying to bring family violence out of the shadows and into broad daylight, as she promised upon accepting the role.

She's proud that blame is now being shifted from the victims of domestic violence to the perpetrators.

"Whilst family violence is still happening behind closed doors, the conversations aren't," Ms Batty said.

"We have a long journey ahead but the exciting thing is we have started and Luke has not died in vain."

Ms Batty says state and federal governments need to continue to address family violence as an absolute priority.

"Family terrorism poses more risk to local communities than the terrorism we fear from overseas."

Ms Batty believes former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick is the woman to keep the conversation going in 2016.

"She's already doing more than anyone in this space."

She also took a swipe at former Labor leader Mark Latham, who has accused her of demonising men.

Ms Batty says she'll continue working to keep the momentum going, through her advocacy work and the Luke Batty Foundation, set up to support victims of violence.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday announced the government would provide $500,000 over two years to support the work.

For now though, she'll be taking a break, trekking in India. Her advice to the winner: "Be bold, be brave. This is an amazing platform."

AAP