Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Violence against Women Advisory Group

The Australian Government today announced the members of the new Violence against Women Advisory Group.

The Prime Minister announced at the White Tie Dinner in Sydney that the new Advisory Group will be chaired by Libby Lloyd AM.

The other ten members of the Council are: Georgie Gardner, Annie Parkinson, Bess Price, Mick van Heythuysen OAM, Heather Nancarrow, Vanessa Swan, Norman Raeburn, Dr Leigh Gassner, Dr Rae Kaspiew and Victoria Hovane.

The Government is providing national leadership in reducing domestic violence and sexual assault through the development of a National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women.

The Plan is being developed through the Council of Australian Governments and will be released in 2010.

The role of the Advisory Group will be to provide the Australian Government with expert advice on the implementation of National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women initiatives.

The Advisory Group will also provide advice on issues and recommendations raised in Time for Action: the National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2009-2021, including immediate actions the Government is already implementing.

Advisory Group members have been drawn from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, which will enable them to provide expert advice and direction to assist the Government.

The Violence against Women Advisory Group has been appointed for a period of two years.

Upcoming priorities include:

  • Establishing a new high quality national domestic violence and sexual assault telephone and online crisis and support service.
  • Implementing Respectful Relationships programs into school and non school settings to change attitudes and behaviours that contribute to violence.
  • Working with the States and Territories to establish a National Centre of Excellence in the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The Prime Minister also announced the opening of the second round of applications for the Respectful Relationships Program, to introduce respectful relationships education into high schools across Australia.

$1.1 million will be invested in this round, as part of a total $9.1 million investment in this program.

An additional 2,000 young people are expected to be educated through this round – bringing the total to 8,000 throughout the duration of the program.

Respectful Relationships is a primary prevention strategy that seeks to prevent sexual assault and domestic and family violence through education.

Round 1 of the Respectful Relationships Program is currently being implemented in 56 school and non-school sites across Australia this year.