Each year, at our Annual WaveMaker Awards, we present our Lifetime Achievement Award to a woman who emulates all of the award categories. Her legacy inspires individuals and organizations to pave the way for future leaders. Get to know this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient below, and join us on October 12th at Metropolitan Ballroom & Club to celebrate our exceptional group of women at our 2023 WaveMaker Awards!
Anne Lukas Miller is a relentless advocate for children, listening to the silenced voices and narrating the untold stories. Her journey began in Child Protection, transitioning to a role at CornerHouse, a pioneering Children’s Advocacy Center in the US. Initially intended as a transitional position, Anne swiftly identified her life’s calling and passion in the realms of CornerHouse.
In 1993, she joined as an “Interview Specialist.” Over the years, she blossomed with the growth of the field of forensic interviewing. Titled “Forensic Interviewer & Trainer,” Anne’s responsibilities allowed her the honor of contributing substantially to research, literature, and the training of other professionals worldwide. Despite the challenges that the trauma-based, multi-disciplinary work presented, she found it exceptionally rewarding.
Despite her extensive work and the immense impact she’s made, Anne sidesteps personal acknowledgment, seeing it as a collective effort rather than her sole contribution. This humility speaks volumes of her character, her absolute commitment to the cause rather than personal gain.
Her work goes beyond conducting thousands of interviews and being a beacon of trust for countless individuals sharing their traumatic experiences. Anne’s commitment continues as she tirelessly works to improve system responses, offering unwavering support to her colleagues. She stands firm in courtrooms, enlightening juries, judges, attorneys, and the public about the intricate dynamics of violence, abuse, neglect, and maltreatment. Her informed voice breaks down misconceptions, defending the credibility of a child’s narrative about traumatic experiences.
Anne’s role during the pandemic was pivotal. Faced with unprecedented challenges, her leadership and sincere concern for children’s welfare ensured the continuity of CornerHouse’s vital services. Even during these testing times, Anne prioritized the health and welfare of children, families, team members, and her multi-disciplinary team partners, ensuring a safe environment for all. She led with honest compassion and unwavering empathy, navigating the organization through the times of civil unrest.
A staunch advocate for system equality and cultural awareness, Anne has inspired thousands globally to become “helpers,” empowering them to listen to the stories that often go unheard. With over 3,500 forensic interviews and over 400 training sessions under her belt, her work is monumental. Anne not only highlights the importance of not letting trauma overshadow humanity but also consistently reinforces the idea that a child’s disclosure process is a journey, not a destination.
She made a lasting mark in child protection with the development of the CornerHouse Forensic Interview Protocol in 1994. Her global contributions in training and protocol development have made the CornerHouse Forensic Interview Protocol one of the most prolific tools used internationally, helping countless professionals reach thousands of children ready to share their experiences.
Despite her retirement from CornerHouse at the end of 2021, Anne’s commitment remains unyielding. Even in semi-retirement, she continues to contribute, creating a comprehensive training manual for the next generation of professionals and occasionally returning to the forensic interviewing room. A natural mentor, her contributions, calmness, warmth, and humor provide a roadmap for new professionals navigating this necessary but challenging work.
In Anne, the world sees a lifetime advocate for children, a quiet guardian dedicated to amplifying the voices of the vulnerable and ensuring their stories echo in the corridors of change, justice, and healing.
The TeamWomen annual WaveMaker Awards celebrates and recognizes women nominated by their peers across five categories: Under 40 Phenom, Uncharted Territory, Community Impact, Outstanding Mentor, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Empower Rising Star. Learn more about this event and our 2023 honorees here.