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Social Policy Update
20 June 2018
Local Government News
Macedon Ranges Shire Council Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program was highly commended at the National Awards for Local Government. In partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo, the Macedon Ranges Shire Council program seeks to promote gender equality and inclusion in sporting clubs and CFA brigades. The awards is an annual celebration of Australian local government achievements and highlights innovative and resourceful solutions that councils have implemented to make a different within their communities. Congratulations to Macedon Ranges!

The City of Melton launched a strategy to prevent violence against women by promoting gender equity. The strategy, Equality and Respect 2030 was launched in May by Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Natalie Hutchins.
Sector News
The State Government introduced legislation on June to enshrine Respect Victoria, Victoria's first dedicated family violence prevention agency and the state's new statutory authority, in law. The agency will commence operations on 1 August. Respect Victoria fulfils Recommendation 188 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and will work to address gender inequality as a root cause of family violence, provide expert advice on best practice, and hold quality assurance and accreditation functions. View the Media Release here.
The summary of the findings of the Victorian Family Violence Index Project - Phase One has been released. The index is a statistical tool that brings together data from different areas to create a single measure designed to help see whether work is having a system-wide impact. It fulfils Recommendation 143 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and can be applied to populations that are not well captured in family violence data, such as people with disabilities, LGBTI people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The State Government has announced $585,000 to diversify the traditionally male-dominated construction industry. Funding will seek to increase the proportion of women in the construction industry, addressing themes such as the attraction and promotion of the industry for women, workplace culture and retention of women, structural barriers to participation for women, and potential solutions and initiatives to promote participation in the industry. It will also seek to address the low levels of female representation on boards in construction and building industries. View the media release here.

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation (DHHS) has shared an update on progress made since its CEO, Dr Bridie O'Donnell, was appointed in November 2017. At the beginning of this year, 8 regional Women in Sport forums were held to hear from stakeholders about the challenges they have around gender equality in sport and recreation. The first round of various Change Our Game funding initiatives have closed. There will be further rounds in the 2018/19 financial year. The Change Our Game website is in the final stages of development. Marketing and media guidelines are being developed in consultation with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and once complete will be a free document that sporting organisations can use to support sporting clubs. $15M of grants are available in the Female Friendly Facilities grants for local government (see information on these grants below).

Never Alone: the Luke Batty Foundation have closed their doors. After an independent sector-wide consultation with key experts across Australia and discussion with Rosie Batty, the nearly $900,000 that the Foundation had raised has been distributed to Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety and to OurWatch. For further information, click here.
Applications for the Community Safety Fund grants are now open! Projects must address a crime prevention issue within a local community, and Victorian councils and community groups are eligible to apply. Funding of up to $10,000 per project is available. Applications close at 4PM, Wednesday 27 June. For more information and to apply, click here.

The Public Safety Infrastructure Fund Grants, also known as council infrastructure grants, are now open. Grants of between $20,000 and $250,000 are available for the development of public safety and security infrastructure to improve community safety, security, and confidence in public places. Applications close 20 July. For further information and to apply, click here.

Applications for the 2018-19 Female Friendly Facilities Fund are now open! A Victorian Government funding program, the Female Friendly Facilities Fund assists local clubs and organisations to develop grounds, pavilions, courts, and lighting to enable more women and girls to participate in sport and active recreation. Grants of up to $500,000 are available and applications close 23 July. For further information and to apply, click here.

Applications are now open for Pick my Project, a Victorian first community grants initiative with $30M available to fund local projects. Projects can be between $20,000 and $200,000 and could include things like cultural events, community gardens, playground upgrades, skill share programs or public art. All Victorians aged 16 and over will have the chance to suggest project ideas, and to vote on which ones are funded. Applications must partner with an eligible organisation, such as councils or incorporated community groups. Applications close 24 June. For more information and to apply, click here.

The State Government has committed $21.8 million over 4 years to support and expand the neighbourhood house sector across Victoria and applications for new neighbourhood houses are now open. Applications close 31 July. For further information and to apply, click here.
Awards and Nominations
Nominations are open for the Australian Institute of Criminology's 2018 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards. The awards recognise and reward good practice in the prevention and reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia and are open to programs and projects of all sizes. Nominations close 29 June. For further information and to nominate, click here.

Nominations for the Australian Human Rights Commission 2018 Human Rights Awards are now open. The awards acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of Australians who advance human rights in the community, and this year a new award category has been introduced to recognise a local, state, territory or federal government that has contributed to the advancement and protection of human rights. For further information and to nominate, click here.
Events and Training
Women's Health Victoria are running a workshop, Gender Equity in Action, on 28 June. The activity-based workshop seeks to provide an introductory step-by-step guide to performing a gender analysis in practice. It is designed for professionals working in a range of areas including health promotion, social policy, community development, health and support services, women's health and local and State government who are committed to delivering gender equitable and gender sensitive programs and services. For further information and to register, click here.

The University of Melbourne is hosting the 2018 Lucy's Project Conference, titled Practical and Strategic Perspectives on Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse, on 22 and 23 September. The conference seeks to highlight practical responses, build referral pathways, promote collaboration within networks and develop a national strategy. To further information and to buy tickets, click here. The conference is seeking presentations from organisations or individuals who are working strategically in the animal abuse/family violence sector. Please get in touch with Anna Ludvik at by July 14 to submit an abstract. 
No to Violence are delivering Bystander Intervention Training which introduces the principles of bystander intervention, and what this looks like in practice. the 3 hour training covers being able to identify disrespectful behaviour and interrupt safely, how to have difficult conversations in a respectful way and identifying subtle behaviours that may lead to disrespectful messages, For more information or to enquire about this training, click here.
Our Watch have published a report, Primary prevention of family violence against people from LGBTI communities - An analysis of existing research. The report was commissioned by the Victorian Government and focuses specifically on the prevention of family violence against LGBTI people in response to needs identified by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and recognising the significant gaps in research and knowledge with respect to this issue.

Women's Health West , supported by the Preventing Violence Together Partnership, have launched a new resource to support communities in Melbourne's west to understand and take action to help prevent men's violence against women. Act to Prevent Men's Violence: a guide for community action was developed following consultation with the community and provides information around the key topics of VAW and 'actions you can take' to help deepen community understandings, or to link in with other groups or organisations taking action in this space. A useful gender equity poster can be found on page 8 of the resource.

The Victorian Women's Health Atlas has been updated. Developed by Women's Health Victoria in collaboration with other state-wide and regional women's health services and Family Planning Victoria, the Atlas is designed to be a tool to assist in the identification of gender impacts on key health areas and seeks to increase the availability of reliable data for evidence based decisions about service design, emerging priorities and program planning.

Under the leadership of the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health, a group of South Asian community volunteers  explored solutions to family domestic violence using community participatory theatre as an action research methodology. The performances were videotaped and can be viewed on YouTube.

The Australian Institute of Criminology have released a study, Targeting repeat domestic violence: Assessing short term risk of reoffending, that examined the prevalence and correlates of short-term reoffending. Results showed that a significant proportion of offenders reoffended in the weeks and months following a domestic violence incident. To access the study, click here.
h!WIRE e-bulletin #241
AVAWA Weekly Round Up 8 June
Family Violence Reform Newsletter Edition 14
Please contact us if you would like to showcase the work of your council, or if you have any other content you would like to share via this update.

Best wishes,
Kellie and Catherine 
Email us
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MAV Prevention of Violence Against Women and Promotion of Gender Eqaulity Items of Interest.

The MAV acknowledges the support of the State Government of Victoria. 

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