Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA), as one of the National Women’s Alliances, is a critical mechanism for government and civil society to continue to improve responses for victim/survivors of gender based violence. WESNET is the national peak body for women’s family violence organisations across Australia and I, as Chair, have participated in the AWAVA Advisory Group since its inception in 2010.


For eleven years, under the strong governance and auspice management by WESNET, AWAVA has continued to strengthen the participation of women’s voices through an incredible variety of women’s organisations. AWAVA is unique in that it addresses all forms of gender-based violence against women, how they are connected, and what steps need to occur to prevent it from happening in the first place but in the meantime to provide better support and justice to victim/survivors.


AWAVA is consultative, collaborative and works closely with member organisations and networks to bring the best current advice and expertise to the fore to provide the government with up-to-date, timely expert advice. The resources that AWAVA have developed for the sector working on preventing gender based violence and improving responses to victim/survivors are of a very high calibre, relevant and useful. The submissions to government inquiries have been at expert level no matter the specific topic, and have influenced policy as well as left a legacy for future improvements.”


Julie Oberin

Women’s Services Network (WESNET)


“Over the past decade the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) has been a central space for engagement, expert advice and communication on women’s safety in Australia. AWAVA has brought together an extensive list of women’s specialist services to innovate on cross-sector solutions. Given that our metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas each require unique community centred responses, collaborative energy within AWAVA has been essential. AWAVA has created space to table multiple perspectives on women’s safety whilst respecting the diversity of approaches to prevention and response that exists across Australia. AWAVA has subsequently informed much of the Government policies and national practice guidance on violence against women.”

Australian Women’s Health Network



“Domestic Violence NSW is highly engaged with AWAVA, sitting on the Policy Advisory Group and working collaboratively with the staff. AWAVA provide an essential platform for bringing together specialist organisations from across Australia to share information and support policy development and advocacy for better quality, safer responses to domestic and family violence. AWAVA are well networked, professional and adept at bringing together various stakeholders as well as producing high quality, well-researched policy briefings.”


Domestic Violence NSW



The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) is a critical leadership, advocacy and research body ensuring that the unique and diverse perspectives of women’s organisations that are committed to ending violence are heard. They have facilitated and driven important discussions relating to gender-based violence on a national level. From inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, as a specialist family violence service that works with refugee and migrant women, AWAVA have supported the elevation of a number of issues that directly impact the women we support taking it to a national platform, in particular temporary visa holders and intersectionality.


Their methodology in inclusive and robust, and their leadership and coordination efforts have made a lasting impact on influencing policy in Australia today. AWAVA have become a vital part of the broader family violence and gender based violence sector.”


inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence (VIC)



“The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing (CWSW) highly values the role and work of AWAVA. CWSW is the peak body in West Australia for Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence services and Women’s Community Health centres and as such the work of AWAVA at the national level is vital.


AWAVA provides a voice to the Federal government that is informed by the members of AWAVA who are from all states and territories. The work of AWAVA as an alliance is drawn from frontline services and peak bodies who bring a wealth of expertise and advice to inform and shape the national voice.


AWAVA works closely with the other Women’s alliances ensuring that the issue of violence against women is recognised as a driver that impedes the health and economic security of all women across Australia.”


The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing (WA)



“The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) provides a vital national space for state peak bodies and specialist women’s and gender-based violence services to develop collaborative policy and advocacy that improves responses to family violence in Australia.


The national leadership provided by the AWAVA team and members has ensured the Australian Government and other stakeholders are informed by advice from family violence experts. With minimal resources, the AWAVA team has effectively coordinated the views and experiences of members and contributed to a wide range of public policy related to gender equality, family and sexual violence, and specialist women’s services.


Domestic Violence Victoria and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria highly value the role AWAVA plays in the national response to family violence and are proud to be active members of the Alliance.”


Domestic Violence Victoria and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria



“Women’s Legal Service Australia (WLSA) supports the future of AWAVA as a national women’s alliance representing women’s specialist service providers and diverse women nationally.


It is important that specialist family violence services and their expertise is represented through an alliance that can inform the decisions of policy makers and funders. As a funded national women’s alliance, AWAVA ensures that the diverse needs of women’s services are supported, whether they are urban, remote and or legal or social supports.


AWAVA has made an important contribution in coordinating and facilitating:

  • Conversations/discussions within the wider sector;
  • Drafting submissions and papers as part of consultation with Government;
  • Identifying structural barriers to equality and suggesting systemic ways these be addressed;
  • Represents both urban and rural perspectives through the diverse membership;
  • Uses an evidence base to evaluate options.”

Women’s Legal Services Australia