New Family Violence Jobs Hub for a Growing Workforce

New Family Violence Jobs Hub for a Growing Workforce

Thursday, 28 May 2020

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The Victorian Government has launched a Jobs Hub for the family violence workforce, putting current and prospective employees in touch with family violence and primary prevention career opportunities and information.

The Hub includes a Family Violence Jobs Portal that can help you discover and apply for roles in specialist family violence response, primary prevention or men’s behaviour change services across Victoria.

Finding your calling 

From experienced family violence workers and social workers to educators, communicators and researchers – the family violence workforce needs people with a variety of skills and backgrounds to fill diverse roles.

Within the new Jobs Portal, you can set up a profile to help employers and recruiters find you, and filter advertised family violence jobs by search terms, location or industry.

If you’re a student, graduate or career-changer, the Jobs Hub can help you get a better sense what a family violence career looks like in Victoria and just how you may be able to contribute.

Government and not for profit employers can promote relevant roles via the portal for free. Within the portal they can also view, shortlist and download candidate’s applications.

Growing the workforce 

The launch of the Jobs Hub is part of a broader campaign to help grow Victoria’s family violence workforce through raising awareness and deepening your understanding of the many meaningful, challenging and rewarding ways you can support the sector.

“Victoria needs more social workers, researchers, educators, advocates and leaders working in family violence – this hub will help fill this demand,” said Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams.

“We know these people are out there – but we need to go to them. Many potential candidates don’t know there are jobs available in a range of areas and that they could be perfect for a family violence role.”

To check out the Job Hub, click here.

To read the Victorian Government’s full media release, click here.

Page last updated Thursday, May 28 2020


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Funding Boost for Legal Support Services

Funding Boost for Legal Support Services

Thursday, 14 May 2020

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The Victorian Government has announced a $17.5 million funding package for services delivering legal assistance to Victorians, including victim survivors of family violence, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding will flow immediately to Victoria Legal Aid and every Community Legal Centre and Aboriginal legal service across the state, increasing their combined power to provide more Victorians with legal advice, representation and support.

The announcement comes at a critical time, with services reporting a spike in family law and family-violence related cases since the onset of the pandemic.

“Right now, victims of family violence are isolated and at serious risk,” said The Federation of Community Legal Centres’ Director of Policy and Engagement, Shorna Moore.

“We know they need our help to obtain an intervention order and make safe arrangements for their children.”

In a similar vein, CEO of Victoria Legal Aid Louise Glanville said “we are very concerned that the isolating effect of COVID-19 on our community is increasing the risk of family violence.”

The “funding announcement means that, along with our legal sector partners, we can ensure the community continues to have access to legal information and advice about family violence. Having early access to appropriate legal assistance can help to mitigate the risk,” she added.

Many organisations – including Djirra, Victoria Legal Aid, Women’s Legal Service Victoria and other Community Legal Centres – are still providing legal services during the pandemic.

This includes duty lawyer services at Magistrates Courts across Victoria. Clients seeking an intervention order or safety notice can speak to a duty lawyer by contacting Legal Aid or a Community Legal Centre before or on their court date.

This will ensure that even if not attending court in person, they can still access legal information and advice before their case is heard.

Legal services are also being funded to upgrade their technology to continue delivering services via telephone, digitally and remotely.

The funding has been welcomed just weeks after the Family Courts announced they will triage and fast track all cases involving increased family violence risk.

Enjoyed this article? Head over to the DVRCV blog to read more about The Eastern Community Legal Centre’s innovative approach to delivering crucial services to survivors through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you are experiencing violence, require any support, or know someone who does, contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Safe Steps (1800 015 188). 

Page last updated Thursday, May 14 2020


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Redefining family violence legal practice

Redefining family violence legal practice

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The impact of the recent COVID-19 isolation restrictions on woman and children experiencing family violence has meant that organisations have had to look at and change their approach to delivering crucial services.

Fortunately, Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) has a proven track record of rethinking, redesigning and employing early intervention approaches to address family violence which has eased some of the current challenges in providing legal assistance remotely.

Marika Manioudakis from ECLC tells us how their innovative approach to legal service has provided leverage to help reach women during the recent pandemic.


Almost three-quarters of our work directly involves family violence, so it’s critical for us to respond sooner and integrate services to reach women before crisis point. A key question for us is always:

“how do we respond more safely to the legal needs of women at an earlier stage, when those initial warning signs of family violence begin to show.”

For example, we know that high risk periods for experiencing family violence are during pregnancy and the time after a woman gives birth. With almost 99% of women visiting their local Maternal and Child Health (MCH) centres during those first months, these services provided an obvious starting place for us to design programs to reach and engage mothers.

To develop the program required a high level of trust and support from other organisations who had relationships with women at that critical time. So our Mabels program was developed as a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) between:

  • MCH services
  • local councils
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

These partnerships are unique. They provide an opportunity for legal services to work directly within healthcare settings. For us, that means our lawyers get out of their offices and into the community.

“It helps break down the silos that have made responding and preventing family violence so difficult.”

Mabels’ early intervention approach involves having both a family violence lawyer and family violence advocate attend clinic appointments at an MCH site. This sounds simple, but a lot of work is needed to build trust and develop solid relationships.

“For early intervention and integrated practice to succeed on the ground, all parties need to see value in the work; need to support each other; and need to feel ownership in the process and outcomes.”

Having that level of trust and coordinated approach has produced some fantastic results. Between 2015 and 2018, we helped 357 women and 480 children.

Given the success of Mabels, we decided to apply the same practice principles to support women during the antenatal phase, another a high-risk period for women. We developed the Women Engaging in Living Safely (WELS) program. This program focuses on women accessing maternity services prior to giving birth. One day a week, the WELS lawyer is based at the hospital’s antenatal services making it possible for them to be more responsive to women needing legal advice for family violence or any other legal problem.

We have also directed our response to the more complex legal and support needs of women. Our SAGE (Support. Advice. Guidance. Empowerment) program was developed for women who would not ordinarily engage with the legal system. We coordinate a specialist community lawyer with an advocate to collaborate on intensive legal and family violence support; and link women into wraparound support services as well as co-case management.

“By bringing the lawyer, the advocate and the woman together into the appointment, she doesn’t have to repeat her story and risk being re-traumatised.”

That’s the kind of integrated approach we’re committed to establishing and embedding into everyday practice.

The interactions of clients through these programs, and the relationships with and expertise of the practitioners have taught us a lot about how to prepare and implement policies that mitigate the risk to women accessing our service. More recently, due to COVID-19 we have needed to adapt these policies for our broader service, including our intake and legal teams. Having relationships like Health Justice Partnerships in place has meant we’ve been able to respond to some of the challenges of providing family violence legal assistance remotely. For example, this has made developing risk assessment tools and ways to mitigate risk for our clients much easier. We now have a series of resources that other legal services can use when delivering family violence work remotely.

An earlier version of this article featured in the December 2019 edition of the Advocate.


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Merger announcement

Merger announcement

Friday 27th March 2020

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Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) will merge in 2020-21 to become a new entity.

This will bring the peak body for the specialist family violence sector together with Victoria’s only specialist family violence Registered Training Organisation, combining our strength, energy and resources for greater impact.

A vote by Members of Domestic Violence Victoria was declared in favour of the merger on 26 March, marking the final approval required following earlier decisions by the Boards of both organisations to proceed with a merger. The vast majority of Members represented at the meeting voted in support of the merger.

The prospect of merging has been discussed a number of times in the past decade and DVRCV and DV Vic already work in close partnership. Our respective roles in the Victorian family violence system are highly complementary; our functions are informed by each other’s skills and expertise, and we frequently take shared positions in advocacy and campaigning.

Both organisations enter this merger with the bigger picture in clear sight: Driving the social and cultural change required to end all forms of family violence and violence against women demands new ways of working and joined-up resourcing.

Under a new name and united purpose we will extend our reach and engagement with members and stakeholders alike, and will build the capability of current and emerging workforces to prevent and respond to family violence. Our specialist expertise in family violence and violence against women remains critical to the effective delivery of the Royal Commission’s reforms and we will be positioned to lead and create the transformative change required.

The decision to merge follows 12 months of consultation and due diligence. There is a plan for a staged transition in 2020-21, including development of a new organisational name and brand. We will continue using our existing organisation names until the merger is formalised.

For updates on the merger, sign up for our enewsletter.


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