Marking 5 years of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council – a statement

As we mark our 5-year anniversary, we reflect on how far VSAC has come since 2016.

Friday, 30 July 2021 at 12:34 am

Five years ago, the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council was established to put people with lived experience at the heart of Victoria’s family violence reform. 

As we mark our 5-year anniversary, we reflect on how far VSAC has come since 2016.  

We cannot mark this milestone without acknowledging the members of the inaugural council, who laid the foundations for where we are today. The first council members were pioneers – they lead the way in demonstrating the value of lived experience to our government, sector and professional partners. 

Five years on, we are seeing a growing recognition of the power of our voices, our experiences and our expertise. As we so often hear, when you invite VSAC into your work, it grounds the work in reality – and the pain – of people’s lives and their experiences. Our stories give context and meaning to the work. 

But VSAC is more than our individual stories of violence and abuse. Collectively, we are the story of family violence. It is the difference in our individual experiences that gives strength to our voice, deepens our expertise, and broadens thinking. 

As a group, we have worked hard to create a culture of safety, respect and inclusion, something we hope to see replicated for all victim survivors in all organisations. 

We want to thank former and current VSAC members, and the advocates, public servants and ministers who have helped us get to where we are today. 

The Royal Commission into Family Violence introduced the idea of embedding lived experience in the work to rebuild a broken family violence system. VSAC has taken that idea and given it life, and we look forward to working with the government, sector and community to implement the next phase of Victoria’s world-leading system-wide reform, and continuing to ensure that victim survivors are central to the solution. 

Chairperson, Victim Survivors' Advisory Council

Deputy Chairperson, Victim Survivors' Advisory Council