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Resource an initiative to oversee activities for family violence prevention

Recommendation 188 - In Progress

The Victorian Government resource an initiative (either inside or outside government) to:

  • oversee prevention of family violence activities in Victoria
  • provide policy and technical advice to policy makers—including government—on primary prevention
  • provide to organisations technical advice and expertise on building primary prevention in their organisations and within communities
  • coordinate research that builds evidence around the primary prevention of all forms of family violence
  • ensure that accredited workforce development training in primary prevention is available through registered training organisations

This Victorian initiative should be undertaken in close collaboration with Our Watch, ANROWS (Australia’s National Organisation for Women’s Safety) and other relevant bodies.

What we are doing

Extensive consultation with the Ministerial Taskforce on Family Violence Prevention and other forms of Violence Against Women (the Prevention Taskforce) on the roles and functions of the Agency has been undertaken.

Work underway to develop the Industry Plan will consider accredited training for primary prevention workforce. The workforce census was conducted in April and May 2017, and data collected will inform the ongoing development of the 10-Year Industry Plan which is due for release in December 2017. We have committed to the funding of Our Watch and ANROWS. The Prevention Taskforce is being consulted about the Industry Plan development.

Where we are up to

On 29 March 2018, the second anniversary of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Victorian Government announced its intention to launch Respect Victoria as an independent statutory authority dedicated to preventing all forms of family violence.
Funding for the Prevention Agency’s establishment was provided in the 2017/18 State Budget. Additional funding for key agency functions including behavioural change activities and research was also provided in the 2018/19 State Budget. Budget acquittals are also under development to ensure transfer of budget and functions from the Department of Health and Human Services to Respect Victoria, and financial systems are being established.

To date the key activities underway include:

  • development of appropriate principles-based legislation for consideration by Parliament to enact Respect Victoria as a statutory authority and prescribe its roles and functions, to lead family violence prevention in Victoria
  • development of legal instruments to support the governance and strategic partnerships of Respect Victoria across government and in broad prevention work. This includes draft memorandums of understanding, constitutions, governance and legal documents
  • accommodation has been secured for Respect Victoria, and work is underway to establish the necessary administrative and organisational functions, including IT, communications and business operations
  • expressions of interest for executive leadership of Respect Victoria including Chair, Board and CEO nominations have been received, and assessments are underway
  • a communications strategy is under development and products are being developed to ensure that Respect Victoria has an online and presence once established, including website, and opportunities for public engagement on family violence prevention
  • the preparation of a dossier of information for the incoming CEO and Board, including draft strategic directions for the agency, and information about obligations under the Act, including reporting and acquitting on its functions, measuring trends in family violence prevention over time, and reporting to the Minister and Parliament.

These key activities are being supported by an interim operational establishment team within the Department of Health and Human Services. Work is underway to establish organisational and human resourcing structures, including positions for advertisement and recruitment for once Respect Victoria is established.

Timeframe

Forecast implementation date: 31 August 2018.

Who is leading the change

Department of Health and Human Services