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Farewell and thank you to inaugural members of the Victim Survivors' Advisory Council

Thursday, 27 February 2020 at 4:08 am

The incredible work of the inaugural members of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council (VSAC) was celebrated and acknowledged as the members finished their three-year term on the council in December.

The inaugural members who came together to form the world-first council included the inaugural Chair of VSAC Rosie Batty, Deputy Chair Kristy McKellar, Liana Papoutsis, Nicole Lee, Natasha Anderson, Phil Cleary, Jeanette Lane and Layla Alwan.

At an event in December, the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams, reflected on the enormous amount of work VSAC’s inaugural members have achieved since 2016, when the council was first formed.

The Minister also acknowledged that through their courage to share their personal stories, VSAC members had made a difference and started to shift and challenge thinking about family violence and disrespectful behaviours towards women.

  • VSAC members have influenced the reforms in a number of significant ways, specifically in police training and the setting up of specialist family violence police units
  • creating the 'Voices of Hope' which was incorporated into the 10-Year Plan
  • the introduction of information sharing legislation
  • the establishment of The Orange Door
  • the design for the new specialist Family Violence courts, and
  • shaping the Everybody Matters Inclusion and Equity statement

VSAC was created to give people with lived experience of family violence a voice and to ensure they are consulted in the family violence reform program and was one of the first of its kind when it was set up.

Over three years, the inaugural members have developed or built on and strengthened their advocacy work in their own right, including raising awareness about the links between family violence and sexual assault, the experiences of people with disability, older people and people from culturally diverse backgrounds who experience family violence, the impact of family violence on children, and the need for an intersectional response.

Watch this video about the inaugural members.