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Family Violence and Sexual Assault Graduate Program

Information about the 2023 Family Violence and Sexual Assault Graduate Program for graduates

Welcome and overview

Welcome to the Program. You are joining up to 44 other graduates participating in the Program across Victoria this year.

The Program is a collaboration between the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing’s Centre for Workforce Excellence (CWE), the Learning and Development Facilitator, Family Violence Regional Integration Committees and employing agencies.

The Program will provide you with the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge, while also receiving additional training and development support.

The information below has been provided to support you over the course of the Program. You will also receive an email from CWE prior to your induction session providing you with key dates specific to you.

On this page:

  • How the Program works
  • Your role in the Program
  • Your learning and development journey
  • Key dates
  • Additional support and networking
  • Key contacts

How the Program works

The Program has four key components, detailed below:

  • State-wide learning opportunities – you will be invited to attend a range of state-wide learning and networking opportunities throughout the year, which are overseen primarily by CWE and the Learning and Development Facilitator. These focus on foundational skills will give you the opportunity to meet your fellow graduates from across the state.
  • Support from a Learning and Development Facilitator - throughout the year, you will be supported by a Learning and Development Facilitator who has been engaged by CWE.
  • Graduate funding allocation - your agency has been provided with a funding allocation to support your learning and development over the course of the Program. Your local area also receives funding to organise activities for you and other graduates in your local area.
  • Reduced workload - as part of the Program, you will have a reduced workload to ensure that you can participate in all Program activities. If you are in the specialist stream, this means you will have a reduced caseload. What a reduced caseload looks like might differ depending on what role you are in and what type of work you undertake, recognising that your workload may increase slowly over the year as your confidence and knowledge grow. A basic recommendation is that you will have around 75% of a normal caseload.

Your role in the Program

Your agency is responsible for the management of day-to-day aspects of the Program within their organisations. They are expected to provide you with guidance and support (including regular supervision) and support you in identifying learning and development opportunities that your funding allocation may be spent on throughout the year.

As a graduate, you are expected to:

  • participate and contribute to all Program activities, such as induction sessions, monthly communities of practice and expected state-wide learning and development opportunities
  • work proactively and collaboratively with your employing agency to determine what professional learning and development opportunities may be most beneficial for you over the course of the year
  • advise your employing agency in advance when you are undertaking Program activities so that your absence is known and able to be planned for
  • work with your employing agency around your reduced workload, including taking an active role in learning how to assess and manage this
  • contribute to the continuous improvement of the Program by completing a brief ‘graduate report’ at the end of the year and participating in evaluation activities.

At the end of your graduate year we want to hear about your experience and request that you complete the Graduate report.

The Graduate report provides a brief overview of your experience in the Program, such as the highlights, any challenges you experienced and suggestions for future Program improvements.

  • The Learning and Development Facilitator

    Throughout the year, you will be supported by the Learning and Development Facilitator. The Learning and Development Facilitator is Dr. Deborah Western, who will be a key contact for you throughout the Program. You can contact Deb anytime with questions or to seek advice around your learning and development.

    Learning and development approach

    The Program is intended to be flexible and determined by your local area and agency’s individual needs. The learning and development approach for the Program aims to provide you with opportunities at a state-wide level, local area level and within your agency.

    In determining learning and development opportunities for graduates, you and your supervisors can use the Graduate Planning Resource, which can be accessed here:

    The Learning and Development Facilitator will schedule a short ‘check-in’ with all supervisors and their graduate mid-way through the Program to ensure you are feeling supported with planning your graduate’s learning and development. They are also available to provide tailored learning and development advice for individual graduates at any time.

    The Learning and Development Facilitator is available to provide tailored learning and development advice for you at any time. They will also schedule a brief ‘check-in’ with you mid-way through the Program to ensure you are on track with your professional learning and development.

    These include:

    • tailored learning and development advice that can be used to support guiding use of the graduate funding allocation
    • a 1:1 progress check-in at the midway point of the Program for graduates and their supervisors
    • unlimited external supervision and/or debriefing for both graduates and their supervisors
    • access to a range of tailored resources, including tip sheets for supervisors.

    These can be accessed by emailing the Learning and Development Facilitator at

  • CWE and the Learning and Development Facilitator provide several state-wide learning opportunities for graduates and employing agencies over the course of the Program. These sessions will provide you with opportunities to attend certain activities as a cohort and is in addition to the learning and development support identified for you by your agency.

    Participation in the state-wide learning and development activities are expected, noting that they are intended to be supplementary to the approach you are taking in your local area and within your agency.

    These activities include:

    • an induction session for graduates, which provides them with an overview of the Program and how to make the best use of their year
    • monthly communities of practice, which provide an opportunity to connect with other graduates at a similar stage of their careers and critically reflect on their practice
    • 4 tailored workshops for graduates, which provide an opportunity to learn about key parts of the family violence, sexual assault and primary prevention service systems from current practitioners and act as a ‘springboard’ to accessing further training and resources
    • 4 ‘practitioner panels’ for graduates to learn about the various roles and practice focus from practitioners currently in the family violence, sexual assault and primary prevention sectors
    • a graduation session for graduates at the end of the year to celebrate their achievements and support them in their transition out of the Program
    • 2 employing agency sessions delivered in collaboration with CWE, which provide important updates on the Program’s progress and an opportunity to share learnings state-wide
    • 3 workshops for graduate supervisors to connect with one another and share ideas about graduate supervision.

    These sessions are detailed below, noting that you may be invited to further optional activities throughout the year:

    Graduate induction session (expected attendance)

    Wed 22 Feb, 10am - 12pm

    This session will introduce you to the Program and how it works. This will be an opportunity for you to meet each other and to start to reflect on the roles in which you have been employed and areas of training that may assist you in your roles.

    Communities of Practice (expected attendance)

    Monthly; dates provided to you via email

    You will be allocated into a monthly community of practice specific to their stream that is facilitated by the Learning and Development Facilitator. Communities of practice groups may include graduates from different organisations and regions, providing you with an opportunity to meet others participating in the Program. The community of practice sessions will provide you with a space to reflect on your transition and development from student to worker and dedicated time to think about, and reflect on, your practice from many different perspectives.

    Critical reflection in family violence, sexual assault and prevention practice (expected attendance)

    Wed 22 OR Thurs 23 March, 10am - 12pm

    This workshop explores the concepts of critical reflection and reflective practice and how they can be applied in practice. How does critical reflection strengthen practice and contribute to strong working relationships with clients and other professionals? This workshop covers foundational material for new graduates.

    Practitioner Panel 1: Family Violence Response (expected attendance)

    Wed 29 March 2023, 10am – 11am

    Explores and discusses the different practitioner roles in the field of family violence, including case management, assessment and intake, men’s roles.

    Vicarious resilience, health and wellbeing (expected attendance)

    Part 1: Tues 18 OR Wed 19 April, 10am - 12pm

    Part 2: Thurs 10 OR Tues 15 August, 10am - 12pm

    This workshop will be held in two parts. The first part will introduce graduates to the notion of trauma and how they might be impacted by trauma in the work they are doing. Vicarious resilience and resistance in the workplace will also be considered. The second part, later in the year, will revisit some of the content around trauma and vicarious resilience and resistance, and encourage graduates to reflect on what they have learned since the first workshop.

    Practitioner Panel 2: Sexual Assault (expected attendance)

    Thurs 17 May, 10am - 11am

    Explores and discusses the different practitioner roles in the field of sexual assault and explores the similarities and differences between practice in sexual assault and in family violence.

    Applying theory to practice and developing practice wisdom (expected attendance)

    Thurs 20 OR 21 June, 10am - 12pm

    This workshop will look at the drivers and the reinforcing factors of violence against women, explore what forms prevention work can take, and the places/spaces in which prevention activities can occur.

    Practitioner Panel 3: Prevention (expected attendance)

    Thurs 20 July 2023, 10am – 11am

    Explores and discusses the different practitioner roles and activities in the field of primary prevention and explores the connections with sexual assault and family violence work.

    Graduation session (expected attendance)

    Tues 28 Nov, 10am - 11.30am

    Graduates will have the opportunity to come together to reflect on their participation in the Program and note their achievements over the last 12 months.

  • Supports offered by the Learning and Development Facilitator

    The Program’s Learning and Development Facilitator provides a range of supports for graduates,

    • external supervision and/or debriefing
    • tailored learning and development advice for graduates.

    There may be some circumstances where you may wish to negotiate with your agency to receive external supervision from the Learning and Development Facilitator include if your supervisor is on leave, if there is a particularly demanding/complex period of work occurring, or if additional support is needed.

    In-agency supports

    You will receive supervision from your employing agency supervisor on a regular basis. The AASW supervision standards outline those new graduates with two years or less experience, should receive supervision fortnightly. In addition to providing you with access to training and professional development, you can use your funding allocation to support your health, safety and wellbeing needs. You may discuss the options for accessing these supports with your employing agency.

    Contribution towards relocation costs

    CWE provides a contribution towards relocation costs of $1,500 (excluding GST) for eligible graduates. This funding can be used to contribute towards your relocation costs, such as (but not limited to) travel expenses, removal and storage of personal and household goods and related insurance.

    The payment is made to your agency and must be passed on in full to you. You are not required to collect or show receipts for reimbursement for this payment.

    To be eligible for this contribution, you must either be:

    relocating more than 100km from your current place of residence to a role based in a rural or regional area

    relocating from interstate (outside Victoria) or internationally to a metro-based role.

    To apply, you will need to complete the new graduate details form which CWE has sent in your welcome email. CWE will advise you by email if your claim has been successful and when the funding has been processed to your agency.


    You will be provided with a range of opportunities to connect with other participating graduates throughout the year.

Key Contacts

In directing any questions you may have, please refer to the table below

For questions about: Please contact:
State-wide learning and networking opportunities, monthly communities of practice and any issues/concerns

Dr Deborah Western, Learning and Development Facilitator


Your role and access to learning and development Your key contact and/or supervisor at your employing agency
Funding allocation, relocation funding and questions around the Program more broadly

Graduate Program team


Peak Body sites

There are 3 main peak bodies that you will come across. These are:

Safe and Equal for specialist family violence services that provide support to victim survivors in Victoria. Safe and Equal provide specialist expertise across primary prevention, early intervention, response and recovery approaches and the inter-connections between them. Work is focused on developing and advancing specialist practice for responding to victim survivors, building the capability of specialist family violence services and allied workforces, organisations and sectors that come into contact with victim-survivors; building the capabilities of workforces focused on primary prevention; and leading and contributing to the translation of evidence and research, practice expertise, and lived experience into safe and effective policy, system design and law reform.

Find out more about Safe and EqualExternal Link .

No to Violence (NTV) has worked directly with men who use family violence for 25 years. NTV is the largest peak body in Australia for organisations and individuals who work with men to end family violence. NTV works across the family violence sector and governments to develop and advocate for best practice policy in stopping men’s use of family violence. NTV provides a range of training and professional development to a variety of audiences, from practitioners of differing experience levels to corporate leadership and human resources. NTV works closely with member organisations and across the national sector to establish best practice for everyone who works with men who use violence. The Men’s Referral Service (MRS) men’s family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service operates around the country and is the central point of contact for men taking responsibility for their violent behaviour. MRS services include the Brief Intervention Service (BIS) which is a flexible, multi-session service focusing on providing short term multi-sessional telephone support for men who use family violence, men who are on a waiting list for family violence support and the Men’s Accommodation and Counselling Service (MACS) which provides crisis accommodation for men who have been excluded from the home and are interested in counselling support to address their behaviour.

Find out more about NTVExternal Link .

Sexual Assault Services Victoria (SASVic) is the peak body for specialist sexual assault and harmful sexual behaviour (SA & HSB) services in Victoria.

SASVic works to promote rights, recovery and respect for victim survivors and other people impacted by sexual violence and harm. It seeks to achieve this by working collectively to change the attitudes, systems and structures that enable sexual violence to occur.

Find out more about SASVicExternal Link .

Reviewed 06 March 2023

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