- Monday, 7 March 2022 at 6:48 am
Family Safety Victoria (FSV) is currently accepting expressions of interest for interested representatives to join the new Multicultural Working Group for family violence until 3.00pm 18 March 2022.
Women and children and other victim survivors from multicultural, faith and ethnic communities (multicultural communities) have unique experiences of family violence and experience particular barriers to seeking safety and justice. FSV recognises the need for multicultural communities to be better represented in Government forums guiding the family and sexual violence reforms and are therefore establishing the Multicultural Working Group.
The Multicultural Working Group will be a state-wide platform for cross-sector dialogue between community leaders, multicultural, ethno-specific, faith-based community organisations, family and sexual violence organisations, and the Victorian Government who support Victorian multicultural, faith-based and ethnic communities experiencing and using family violence.
We are looking for subject matter experts and key leaders from the multicultural and faith-based community, specialist family violence and sexual assault sector to be part of the new Working Group to advise the Victorian Government on family and sexual violence responses to Victoria’s multicultural communities. The Working Group will advise on best practice approaches, service gaps, systemic trends and challenges, and opportunities for improvement in the family violence system.
Working group members will be appointed for two years, unless they resign, or government removes their membership.
Members will be appointed by an expression of interest process, based on the following criteria:
- understanding of and a commitment to the vision of the Victorian family violence reforms
- representation of and experience in working with migrant, refugee and diaspora communities in Victoria
- understanding of the experience of family and sexual violence for migrant, refugee and diaspora communities, and their unique safety and support needs
- subject matter expertise and experience in family violence risk assessment and risk management
- proven track record of working collaboratively in the interests of system coordination and integration
Selection will include consideration of an individual or organisation’s connection to multicultural communities and ability to advocate on behalf those communities. Other factors that will be considered will include:
- broad representation of Victoria’s diverse multicultural, faith-based and ethnic communities and the ability to advocate on behalf of specific communities
- existing partnerships and collaborative arrangements to support clients at risk of family violence
- balance of metropolitan, regionally located and statewide services
Refer to the draft Terms of Reference below.
Expression of interest form
Please use this online form to lodge your expression of interest(opens in a new window) by 3.00pm 18 March 2022. Keep your answers brief and to the word count.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Draft Terms of Reference (to be agreed by the Working Group at the first meeting)
In March 2016, the Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV) made 227 recommendations to improve Victoria’s response to family violence. The Royal Commission, in particular, found that people from multicultural, faith and ethnic communities (multicultural communities) are disproportionately affected by family violence and face additional barriers to seeking safety and justice. In establishing Family Safety Victoria, the Victorian Government is committed to building an inclusive, safe, responsive, non-discriminatory system for aligned to the vision of Ending Family Violence; Victoria’s Plan for change and Everybody Matters Inclusion and Equity Statement.
In July 2020, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Multicultural Communities Family Violence Working Group (Group) was established and co-chaired by Family Safety Victoria and the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Membership of the Group included organisations that were funded under the Victorian Government’s Multicultural COVID-19 Family Violence Program, which was established to support multicultural women and families who were at increased risk of family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Group concluded in February 2022 and in it is anticipated that in April 2022, the Multicultural Working Group, established to continue the Victorian Government’s priorities to support multicultural communities experiencing and using family violence, will hold its first meeting.
The Multicultural Working Group (the Working Group) is a statewide platform for cross-sector dialogue between community leaders, multicultural, ethno-specific, faith-based community organisations (community organisations), specialist family and sexual violence organisations, and the Victorian Government.
The Working Group provides advice on improving family and sexual violence responses to Victoria’s multicultural communities, including supporting the implementation of the Working Together; Strengthening Partnerships for Family Violence Support with Multicultural Communities program (Working Together).
The Working Group will advise on best practice approaches, service gaps, systemic trends and challenges, and opportunities for improvement in the family violence system. The Working Group will report into and advise the Family Violence Reform Advisory Group and will be a permanent group within the broader family violence reform governance structure.
- The Working Together program commenced in January 2022 and builds on Victoria’s family violence reform efforts to date. Working Together focuses on strengthening partnerships across sectors and improving the family and sexual violence support provided to Victoria’s multicultural communities.
- The Family Violence Reform Advisory Group (FVRAG) provides advice to the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Family Safety Victoria and government departments to realise the vision of the Rolling Action Plan 2020-23 to Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change, Dhelk Dja: Safe our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families Agreement and Everybody Matters Inclusion and Equity Statement.
The objectives of the Working Group are to:
- Strengthen cross-sector partnerships, including exploring improved family violence system accessibility and inclusion for adults, children and young people experiencing and using family violence from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
- Better connect and collaborate with regional governance mechanisms, such as the Family Violence Regional Integration Committees, The Orange Door Networks and VMC Regional Action Committees.
- Share and discuss experiences of and identify opportunities for improved collaboration
- Elevate the work, contribution and value of multicultural, faith-based and ethno-specific community organisations, within the family violence service system.
- Identify systemic gaps and barriers to help seeking and support for multicultural communities in the family violence system.
- Identify and advise on opportunities to address gaps and barriers.
- Exchange information, insights, practice and advice.
- Support better understandings of the experiences of people from multicultural communities accessing the family violence service system.
- Seek feedback from and communicate findings and lessons learned with agencies outside of the working group as required.
Members of the Working Group will be engaged according to their roles and areas of expertise. The Working Group is not a decision-making body. Information provided by nominated representatives on the views or positions of their organisation will be understood as advice only.
Forward agenda 2022
A forward plan is developed by the secretariat to guide the effort of the Working Group over 2022. The Working Group will convene four times a year, and additional project-based workshops may be held on an as-needed basis.
The plans are anchored to the Everybody Matters Inclusion and Equity Statement and considers other priorities to other key reforms, such as the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework, the 10-Year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response (Industry Plan) and Strengthening the Foundations: First Rolling Action Plan 2019-2022. FSV leads in preparing, managing and coordinating across government to implement the plan.
The Working Group will meet every three months or more often as agreed by the membership. Meetings will run between 1.5-2 hours and will be held online (unless advised otherwise).
In addition to regular meetings, members may be asked to participate in specific workshops and/or targeted consultations. Members may also be asked to nominate additional representatives of their organisation to participate in these workshops. The membership of workshops and consultations will vary depending on project deliverables and the expertise required.
Members of the Working Group may also be contacted out of session to provide expert advice on matters as required.
CEO, Family Safety Victoria, and Chairperson, Victorian Multicultural Commission
The Inclusion and Equity team (Service Design, Policy and Engagement branch) at Family Safety Victoria will provide secretariat support for the Working Group. The secretariat is responsible for the preparation and provision of all meeting notices, agendas and papers, and recording and coordinating agreed actions. The Secretariat is the point of contact for the Working Group and can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The agenda and any papers will be circulated at least one week prior to each meeting.
When advice on larger documents is sought from the Working Group, these documents will be provided to the Working Group in advance of the relevant meeting as negotiated with the group, or out of session.
Minutes will reflect action outcomes and will be sent shortly after each meeting. The Secretariat will maintain an action register for any outstanding items, and members will be provided with a progress update against these actions at each meeting.
Membership of the Working Group is intended to include subject matter experts and key leaders from the multicultural and faith-based community, specialist family violence and sexual assault sector and government agencies. Members have been nominated given their roles as leading experts, strategic and innovative thinkers, and key influencers in the community and/or family violence sector, and will include representatives from:
- Multicultural, ethno-specific and faith-based community organisations, including regional/rural, metropolitan and state-wide representation
- Peak bodies from family violence, sexual assault and multicultural sectors
- Women’s health services who work with migrant and refugee communities including from regional/rural, metro and state-wide areas
- Specialist family violence and sexual assault services, including from regional, metro and state-wide areas
- Community leaders with relevant influence within multicultural and faith communities.
The Working Group Co-Chairs may adjust membership as required to ensure appropriate representation.
Process for membership
Members will be selected based on expertise and the priorities of the Victorian Government and the Working Group’s agenda. In establishing the membership, factors that will be considered include:
- Broad representation of Victoria’s diverse multicultural, faith-based and ethnic communities (multicultural communities) and the ability to advocate on behalf of specific communities
- Existing partnerships and collaborative arrangements to support clients at risk of family violence
- Balance of metropolitan, regionally located and statewide services
To supplement the advice of members, other experts will be approached to contribute subject matter expertise advice on intersecting systems, products or implementation activities as required.
Working group members appointed by position will continue in their appointment for the term of appointment, unless they resign. When a working group member appointed by position resigns, the person who replaces them in their position will be identified through a further expression of interest process before taking on Working Group membership.
Members will be asked to provide a formal delegate list (with a maximum of two delegates per organisation) if they are unable to attend every meeting. To ensure consistency of representation, it is strongly recommended that a regular delegate is nominated in the original member’s absence. Notification of delegation should be provided in writing to the secretariat prior to the meeting. It will be the responsibility of the delegate to communicate relevant feedback to the appointed committee member.
Period of appointment
Members will be appointed for two years. A review of membership will be made at the end of the appointed period.
Representatives from government departments will attend meetings to provide departmental updates on family violence reforms and activities, to seek advice from stakeholders and to provide feedback on work items. Representatives will include:
- Service Design, Policy and Engagement Unit, Policy and Design Branch, Family Safety Victoria
- Program and Service Development Branch, including The Orange Door operations, Family Safety Victoria
- Multicultural Affairs, DFFH
- Office for Prevention of Family Violence and Coordination, DFFH
The Victorian Multicultural Commission has standing membership and co-chairs the Working Group.
Lived experience representation
In line with the strategic intent to embed lived experience across the family violence reforms, the Working Group includes one or two representatives who have been appointed for their lived experience expertise as a victim-survivor of family violence.
The secretariat and FSV engagement team will ensure that lived experience representatives are supported to participate on the Working Group and that engagement is trauma-informed, strengths-based, transparent, accountable and inclusive.
Working Group members will acknowledge, listen to and respect the perspectives of lived experience representatives on the group.
Self-determination, intersectionality and lived experience
In providing advice on family violence reform initiatives, all participants are expected to promote Aboriginal self-determination, and embed cultural safety, provide advice from an intersectional lens, and focus on the needs and experience of victim-survivors and people who use services.
Confidentiality and conflict of interest
Members of the Working Group will be required to disclose any conflict of interest to the Working Group.
Given its relationship with government decision-making, including Cabinet decision-making, the proceedings and records of the Working Group will be confidential, unless otherwise indicated by the Chair or the Secretariat.
Members who are not Victorian Public Service employees will be asked to sign a confidentiality acknowledgement form when they are invited to participate in the Working Group.
Victorian Public Service employees will be required as a condition of their employment to maintain the confidentiality of information obtained during their participation.
The records of the Working Group and other documents provided to, or prepared by or for the purposes of, the Working Group (for example correspondence to and from members in relation to the work of the Working Group) will be maintained by the Secretariat and subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).
The Chair and Secretariat will handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).
Amendment, modification or variation
The terms of reference will be endorsed at the second meeting and may be amended, varied or modified in writing after consultation with an agreement by the Working Group members.
The Department can revoke any member’s membership of the Working Group.
Representation and media enquiries
Members should refer all media enquiries and public speaking requests regarding the Working Group to the Secretariat in the first instance.
Comments to the media and speaking engagements should only be made (in an official capacity) after approval by the department.