Rosie Batty to Lead Survivors Advisory Council
Thursday, 24th March 2016 at 10:01 am
The 2015 Australian of the Year and Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 winner, Rosie Batty will lead a new Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council in response to Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The establishment of the council comes as the Victorian Government also set up a Family Violence Steering Committee to help reform the current family violence system.
The Government said the committee would allow politicians to sit at the same table with experts and Not for Profit organisations that support survivors and help guide the reform of a system that had so far failed family violence victims.
The Government has also allocated an additional $10 million dollars in emergency funding to relieve the pressure on family violence services as part of its response to the work of the Royal Commission.
It said $6 million in immediate funding had been allocated to meet an expected rapid rise in calls for help after the Royal Commission’s report is released.
This includes crisis accommodation, counselling, women’s health, behaviour change programs, services working with Aboriginal victim survivors, and to support consultation with government.
Another $2 million over two years would go to support culturally diverse communities who are experiencing family violence, $1 million for the Victims Assistance Program, which supports victims of crime in their recovery, $129,000 to fund support for women to identify and seek help for financial abuse and $600,000 to help local councils develop programs to prevent family violence in their communities.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence is expected to deliver its report to the Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau AM, on 29 March.
“This immediate emergency funding will help support women and their children when they need it most – and we know the coming days will be difficult for many as the Royal Commission makes its recommendations,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“I’m very proud to have former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty lead the Victims Survivors’ Advisory Council. Her courage and leadership is an inspiration to all of us.’’
The Victorian Government has already said it will implement all of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.
The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare welcomed the government’s family violence announcement, but said there was a need for a coordinated approach to addressing the issues ahead of the release of the Royal Commission report next week.
“Every day Victoria’s family services, including Child FIRST and Integrated Family Services, come into contact with struggling families where violence is part of their daily existence,” CEO Deb Tsorbaris said.
“Currently, violence is an issue for around 50 per cent of families that these services work with.”
Tsorbaris said the centre would also welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Government’s Family Violence Steering Committee.