The AWAVA crew have had a busy couple of weeks!  The Advisory Group met last week in Melbourne to work on strategic planning and the future direction for the Alliance.  It was very productive with excellent engagement from members across a number of sectors.  JERA International provided Advisory Group members with in-depth, informative training on the operations of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), with a bonus guest presentation by YWCA National on advocacy during CSW56.  AWAVA are preparing for active engagement next year for CSW57’s  theme: Eliminating and preventing all forms of violence against women and girls.

AWAVA was disappointed that the budget announcements last week did not include any new commitments to addressing violence against women and that the recommendations highlighted in AWAVA’s Pre Budget Submissions were not picked up. The Equality Rights Alliance had this response to the budget announcements, highlighting: “”Protecting the Budget surplus will cost Australia financially and socially, as we deal with the fallout of homelessness, poverty, and violence.””

AWAVA’s Chair, Julie Oberin, attended the Intimate Partner Violence and Homicide Conference during the first week of May, and tweeted about her learnings and experience.  If you’re not already following us on twitter, sign up now to AWAVA_Women – we would love your support!

And finally, before we get onto the VAW news, many of you will remember that AWAVA, in partnership with WLSA, and AWAVA Friends & Supporters, campaigned last year for significant changes to the Family Law Act to better protect women and their children. Women’s Legal Services Victoria have produced a quick reference guide on the changes that resulted, so make sure you scroll down to “”New Resource”” to check out what the changes mean.

Now, to the news:

  • Australia has been appointed to the UN Women Executive Board, which the Foriegn minister says will further strengthen Australia’s committment to end violence against women – read the media release here
  • $3.7 million funding to projects promoting respectful relationships were announced to support the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, read the press release here
  • On 3 May, AWAVA Advisory Group Member, Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA), organised a rally with over 100 attendees and over 2,600 petitions against ˜unlawful assault causing death™ applying in cases where a history of physical violence and abuse can be established
  • In Queensland, one of AWAVA’s long-time Friends & Supporters, Sisters Inside , have had all funding cut, despite the excellent work they have been doing with women in prisons, AWAVA has signed a petition in support, you can sign too here

And Internationally


New Resource!!

Women’s Legal Services Victoria have put together a Guide to Family Law Act – to access it, click here

Can you help?

The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse invites front-line workers responding to clients affected by domestic violence, during and after a disaster, from 2002 onwards including natural disasters (e.g. floods or bushfire), technological/human-made disasters (e.g. mining accidents), mass violence (e.g. massacres), civil conflict (e.g. riots) and terrorism (e.g. bomb explosions),  to participate in a study.  You can fill in the survey online at or contact the Clearinghouse at [email protected] or 02 9385 2990 to request a hard copy by post or fax.  The survey closes on Friday 8 June 2012.


Upcoming Events

Still time to register

  • Australia’s CEO Challenge and Minter Ellison are offering Specialist Training by Stephen Page on Family Law changes and their potential impacts on 14 and 15 May, in Brisbane
  • The Domestic Violence Resource Centre will hold a forum on their latest discussion paper “”Just Say Goodbye””: parents who kill their children in the context of separation on 31 May, in Melbourne
  • The Women’s Legal Centre ACT presents the Women and Justice Forum 16 May
  • Preventing and responding to violence against women: Issues, challenges and best practice to be held in Adelaide (South Australia) on 15 June 2012
  • Homeless Persons Week, running 6 -12 August, recognises that the most common reason clients give for seeking assistance, relates to Domestic and Family Violence
  • Dont forget the Association of Women Educators conference being held in July 2012 – for details and registration click here
  • Violence Against Women Conference – Queensland on 7,8, 9 August 2012, in Brisbane
  • The No To Violence conference will be held in November 2012
  • The 7th Womens Health Conference will be held in Sydney in 2013
  • Australian Women’s Coalition is calling young women between 18 – 30 years who live, study or work in Auburn, Bankstown, Liverpool or Coffs Harbour NSW, or in Canberra, ACT to be a part of SHOUT!  A series of three free workshops will run in each location, complemented by an online network of support and skills-sharing and a local network of participants and AWC member organisations. The workshops will culminate in community events on Harmony Day next year, 21 March 2013. Find out more here