The Go Goldfields Family Violence Action Group – Service Development Working Group conducted a forum at the MDHS Wellness Centre in 2017 for members to better understand each other’s work and the relationships between our work. Further forums have occurred through Rotary and the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre that have also contributed to building knowledge and understanding for service providers and the community.
The initial forum in 2017 was for members of the group, to build the collective knowledge and better understand how we might work together to improve the service responses. The forum included a session on dispelling myths about drivers of family violence and growing awareness of the impact on individuals and families of family violence. The forum was developed by the members of the group and presentations came from some of those members, including the Police, ChildFIRST (Anglicare), Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre and the Centre for Non-Violence.
In 2018 100 employers, community members and service providers attended the Maryborough Family Violence Forum to learn more about the complexities of family violence in rural and regional Victoria. This event aimed to increase awareness of the gender-driver of family violence. It was a collaborative initiative between Maryborough Rotary and Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre, with funding support from Go Goldfields and the Centre for Non-Violence.
The keynote speaker was Mary Barry, the former chief executive officer of Our Watch, a national violence prevention organisation. Barry addressed the drivers of family violence and sited that the core of the issue is gender inequality. This strong collaboration between community and services will continue to lead the Family Violence action plan in 2019.
“Collaboration is the way all of us can understand and address family violence, but the core is for women to be treated equally and respectfully and that their expertise is valued and sought.” – Garry Higgins OAM, Maryborough Rotary
The next forum will discuss the intersection of Family Violence, Family Law, and Child Protection legal issues and how our partner agencies might support community members through these difficult issues. More community engagement strategies and forums are planned within the next stage of the plan.
Further information from the forums:
Video of Keynote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g30oFreH4-U&feature=youtu.be
Panel Discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6KgsRY0Gfk&feature=youtu.be