Good morning everyone.
I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal people, and the traditional custodians of the lands from which you are all joining today.
I pay my respects to their elders – past, present and emerging.
I extend this respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today.
I would like to recognise some key members of The Salvation Army here today:
Colonel Winsome Merrett, Chief Secretary
Major Jenny Begent, Head of Social Mission
Major Paul Hateley, Head of Government Relations
Lorrinda Hamilton, General Manager, Family Violence.
I am so proud to be here today as Assistant Minister for Social Services and Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, at the launch of The Salvation Army Family Violence Model of Care.
This is particularly important as we come together to support the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
It is a time for people all around the world to unite to raise awareness of this important issue, and call for the prevention and elimination of gender-based violence.
We as a government we are working hard to do this, in partnership with organisations such as The Salvation Army, and communities around Australia.
Our recently released National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-23 provides the foundations for a whole-of-society approach to ending gender-based violence in one generation.
As a collaborative effort between the Commonwealth, and state and territory governments, the National Plan sets out a shared vision - placing the voices of victim-survivors at its centre.
It will support and guide our efforts over the next 10 years.
The National Plan underpins the work of Australia’s entire family, domestic and sexual violence sector.
The National Plan, like The Salvation Army’s new Model of Care, recognises that no two experiences of gender-based violence are the same.
It recognises that we must address other forms of discrimination that shape a person’s experience, in order to provide a person-centred and holistic response.
The Albanese Labor Government is very focussed on addressing these structural issues that contribute to violence against women and children, this includes:
- addressing the lack of affordable housing
- increasing women’s economic security, including by supporting gender equality through increased support for Paid Parental Leave
- improving access to childcare
- providing paid family and domestic violence leave, and
- supporting respectful relationships and consent education to be taught in schools.
We will continue to work closely with all states and territories, women’s safety experts, victim-survivors, and organisations, such as The Salvation Army, to make sure investment in women’s safety goes to where it is of greatest need.
I commend the whole Salvos team for the work you are doing to support victim-survivors, as well as your commitment to ending family violence.
This new Model of Care is testament to all your hard work, as you help drive consistent best practice responses to family violence, across your organisation.
This new model of care recognises the significant impacts of family violence across a broadened range of relationship contexts – including heterosexual relationships, LGBTQIA+ relationships, and various immediate family, extended family, kinship and carer relationships.
By embedding the key principles of this model into your responses, you are further driving a high quality of care for those who need it most.
I congratulate all of those involved in developing this new Model of Care, including those within The Salvation Army, as well as those you have collaborated with, including the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA); No to Violence; Safe and Equal; and, importantly, the victim-survivors – it is the victim-survivors who we really need to be listening to.
And I encourage everyone to grab a copy before they leave today.
Thank you for inviting me here to help launch your new Model of Care, and thank you for all the tireless work you all do to support those in need.
I look forward to seeing the new Model of Care in action, and the positive difference it will not only make to people’s lives, but the changes it will bring in the wider community.
In line with this year’s 16 Days of Activism theme, ‘UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls’, I implore you all to continue uniting and collaborating to make change.
I look forward to continuing our work together to help end violence, in all its forms.