About the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor
The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor (the Monitor) was formally established in 2017 as an independent statutory officer after the Royal Commission into Family Violence released its report in 2016. The role is responsible for monitoring and reviewing how the government and its agencies deliver the family violence reforms as outlined in its 10-year implementation plan Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change.
On 1 August 2019 former Victorian Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard PSM was appointed as the Monitor under section 7 of the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor Act 2016. Jan took up her role on 2 October 2019, replacing Tim Cartwright APM, the inaugural Monitor.
The Monitor’s 2021–2022 plan was developed through a process of consultation with government and sector stakeholders. Topics were selected that aligned areas of greatest interest and concern to sector stakeholders, with reform implementation activity outlined in the government’s second Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020–2023. In determining topics, the focus was on areas where an independent perspective could add the most value to the ongoing reform effort.
Topics selected for monitoring throughout 2021 and 2022 are:
- accurate identification of the predominant aggressor
- family violence reform governance
- early identification of family violence within universal services
- primary prevention system architecture
- Aboriginal-led primary prevention and early intervention (this report)
- crisis response to recovery model for victim survivors
- service response for perpetrators and people using violence within the family.
In undertaking our monitoring, the following cross-cutting themes are examined across all topics:
- children and young people
- Aboriginal self-determination
- priority communities such as LGBTIQ+, people with disabilities, rural and regional, criminalised women, older people and refugee and migrant communities
- data, evaluation, outcomes and research
- service integration.
Monitoring of the selected topics is based on information gathered through:
- consultations with government agency staff
- consultations with community organisations and victim survivor groups
- site visits to service delivery organisations (where possible within COVID-19 restrictions)
- attendance at key governance and working group meetings
- documentation from implementation agencies, including meeting papers and records of decisions by governance bodies
- submissions made to the Monitor in 2020 by individuals and organisations (many of these are available in full on the Monitor’s website).
Engaging victim survivors in our monitoring
We are also actively seeking to include user experience and the voices of victim survivors in our monitoring. The office is working with established groups including the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, Berry Street’s Y-Change lived experience consultants and the WEAVERs victim survivor group convened by the University of Melbourne.
The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor would like to thank the following stakeholders for their time in monitoring this topic:
- Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)
- Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service
- Dardi Munwurro
- Department of Education and Training
- Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (including Family Safety Victoria)
- Department of Justice and Community Safety
- Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Dhelk Dja Koori Caucus
- Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Corporation
- Inner Gippsland and Outer Gippsland Dhelk Dja Action Group representatives
- Koorie Youth Council
- Mallee Dhelk Dja Action Group
- Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place
- Oonah Health and Community Services
- Our Watch
- Respect Victoria
- Safe and Equal
- Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd
- Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc.
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
- Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council
- Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative
- Yoowinna Wurnalung Aboriginal Healing Service.
In addition to the many individuals and organisations who contributed to our monitoring, we would like to acknowledge the assistance of:
- Karen Milward, a Yorta Yorta consultant who we engaged to support our office in undertaking this topic
- an Aboriginal victim survivor who we engaged to ensure the victim survivor perspective was represented in our work
Karen’s and the victim survivor’s expertise and guidance were invaluable for our non-Aboriginal staff in properly hearing, understanding and reflecting the views of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and community members for this report.