The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor has concluded its work and the website has been transferred to the
Department of Premier and Cabinet.


Photo of Jan Shuard PSM, Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor

Jan Shuard PSM

Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor

This is the second of our topic-based reports and examines the newly established governance arrangements across the whole reform program and within government departments. The arrangements are still being refined in the context of recent machinery-of-government changes. With this embedding of new structures and the ongoing disruption of the pandemic, it is a credit to the leadership in government and the sector, and a demonstration of the ongoing commitment to the reforms, that these changes have progressed.

Strong governance is as critical now as it was in the beginning, building on the foundations that have shaped oversight and coordination. Our review found that the new cross-government arrangements are well structured and inclusive. As it is early days, there are improvements in reporting that would be helpful, and we make several suggestions in this report, some of which come from active participants in the oversight arrangements.

It is pleasing to hear of strong support among sector stakeholders for the new Family Violence Reform Advisory Group approach. It is a maturing relationship with government and a collaborative forum where members are genuinely heard and able to influence the agenda. The report also highlights good examples of collaborative governance and service design. This should be further developed to harness the expertise of those with lived experience and practice knowledge. These partnerships are especially needed for children and young people who are determined to be recognised as victim survivors in their own right and who have the expertise to shape the services they need.

Given we are at the halfway point of the reform program and beyond simply implementing recommendations, those tasked with governance arrangements need an understanding of the overall impacts of the reforms – in particular, the progress, barriers and risks to achieving the outcomes articulated in the Family Violence Reform Outcomes Framework and rolling action plans.

It is challenging work, but there remains a key gap in the reporting framework and therefore the ability for those charged with governance to monitor and report on progress. There is no clear relationship between the major investments and their intended or projected bearing on high-level outcomes. While activities have been grouped under what they are expected to contribute to, there has been no articulation of the connection between the inputs (delivery of initiatives), the outputs (provision of services) and the results or outcomes these are having. It is not possible to determine the extent to which outputs are contributing to outcomes. Without this logic, governance mechanisms are limited in their ability to measure, monitor and report on progress. Oversight bodies should now be pivoting their efforts towards measuring short and medium-term outcomes – what is working and what is not – to determine progress towards achieving the vision.

There are many positive features of the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum. These are best summarised in the words of stakeholders who described the forum as an excellent model of community-led governance that could be adopted in other areas to deliver improved outcomes for communities.

Lastly, I wish to thank all of those who contributed to this report. Without their assistance and collaboration, we could not do justice to this work. I particularly want to acknowledge the role of implementation agencies, the sector, the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council and specifically the young lived experience consultants from Berry Street’s Y-Change program, in providing valuable and constructive input and feedback.

Signature of Jan Shuard, Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor

Jan Shuard PSM
Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor