Roundtable develops family violence plan

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Mitchell Shire Council joined with community leaders, practitioners and community organisations to develop an action plan at a special Family Violence Roundtable in Beveridge on Wednesday.

Mitchell Shire Council led the roundtable with Goulburn Integrated Family Violence Services principal strategic adviser Alison Maclean.

An overview of Mitchell Shire’s family violence data and the services provided was presented before participants discussed in small groups how to collectively move forward.

Several practical actions and commitments were identified, and the roundtable will meet again in the coming months to agree on an action plan.

Ms Maclean said she was impressed by the diverse gathering.

“I was enormously impressed by Mitchell Shire’s ability to bring together such a diverse and interested group of people that work together to find better ways to address family violence,” she said.

“It’s very meaningful that council has been able to take away suggestions from the day and are going to put together a plan and come back to the group about how to work together going forward.

“It was one of the most positive sessions I’ve ever had, it feels like a really strong community conversation that’s very positive and will see some great outcomes.”

Mitchell Shire councillor Fiona Stevens talks to representatives from various community leaders, practitioners and community organisations at council’s Family Violence Roundtable. ​

The morning session saw former Lifeline chief executive Dawn O’Neil speak on the challenges the community faces before commending participants on their commitment to work together to solve complex social problems.

She spoke about taking a leap forward by sharing a common agenda, working towards ending family violence, establishing clear community-orientated goals, collaborating on like-minded campaigns and programs to end family violence, opening the communication channels with all stakeholders and establish a Family Violence Preventative network.

Organisations including FamilyCare, Victoria Police, Magistrates Court of Victoria, Women’s Health in the North, the Department of Health and Human Services, The Kilmore and District Hospital and Northern Health also attended the roundtable.

Mitchell Shire is ranked 11 out of 79 Victorian councils for police callouts for family violence incidents.

Late last year, council received a grant through the Free from Violence Local Government program to work alongside the Victorian Government’s Free From Violence strategy.

Council and community organisations host 16 Days of Activism events – which
encompasses White Ribbon Day and International Human Rights Day – to end gender-based violence, each year.

For support for sexual assault and/or domestic family violence, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Safe Steps are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anybody experiencing family violence on 1800 015 188