The Family Violence Prevention Foundation of Australia



This year has seen the near-completion of our longitudinal study into the outcomes of men’s behaviour change programs by Monash University and preparation for delivering our new online men’s behaviour change program on a large scale.


Data collection for the research study was completed in October and Professor Emeritus Thea Brown, our lead researcher, has presented preliminary findings to numerous organisations, including the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Department of Health and Human Service (Vic) and other interested organisations.

The key finding is that the programs work, they work well and they work in the long term. This is the largest study ever conducted in Australia, one of very few in the world and contributes substantially to removing past doubts about the outcomes of programs. In addition to the headline findings, there is a great deal of detail that will assist in developing future programs, especially in the area of parenting.

The Online Behavior Change Program

The fourth online men’s behaviour change program ran from February to May and was very successful. We confidently expect that the University of Melbourne’s evaluation report will be as positive as the reports on previous programs.

Clients from three States, regional and urban, and from indigenous and ethnically diverse communities participated. This confirmed the universal need for the program and the reasons that drove this initiative in the first place. We aim to start regular program provision in 2017.

Rotary Exchange Ambassadorships

In February, Rotary District 9800, the Rotary Club of Balwyn and Violence Free Families awarded the first annual Rotary Exchange Ambassadorship for family violence prevention professionals. The Australian awardee, Superintendent Matthew Ryan, deputy head of Victoria Police’s Family Violence prevention unit, travelled to New Orleans and other parts of the USA for eight weeks, gathering information that will benefit the Victorian and Australian community. The incoming exchange ambassador, Marie-Claire Landry from New Orleans, visited Victorian organisations and addressed the District 9800 Annual Conference in Bendigo.

Funding and Community Support

Our Ambassador, Colleen Hewett and her manager, Danny Finley, continued to support us and publicise our cause. They presented to a sold-out concert in Bendigo and Colleen did radio and TV interviews and continued to air her anti-violence anthem, ‘Let me Breathe’.

We welcomed the continuing official recognition of our programs by Rotary. Generous donations were received from Women in Rotary and clubs, as well as philanthropic trusts and individual donors. Many family violence prevention presentations were made to community organisations, spreading awareness of family violence and our contributions to prevention.

Dr David Smyth

27th – 29th September 2016 | Crowne Plaza, Melbourne

Just under half a million Australian women reported that they had experienced physical or sexual violence in the past 12 months, according to the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre and over a million women have experienced physical or sexual assault by their current or ex-partner since the age of 15. These figures demonstrate a great need for significant reform in the area of domestic and family violence.

With the Victorian Government committing $527 million to addressing domestic and family violence earlier this year, the NSW Government followed suit and pledged $300m in June. It is vital that not for profit agencies implement strategies to increase their scalability and capacity to continue delivering important services.

Akolade’s 2nd Breaking the Cycle of Domestic and Family Violence Conference, which will be held on 27-29 September in Melbourne, provides a timely opportunity to explore how front-line services can utilise this funding to improve organisational efficiency.

Attend and hear from senior leaders in this sector including:

  • Rebecca Poulson, Chief Executive Officer, The Poulson Family Foundation, Author, ‘Killing Love’
  • Amy J Sanchez, Chief Executive Officer, Break the Cycle, Minnesota, US
  • The Hon. Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Equality, Minister for Creative Industries, Victorian Government
  • Kon Karapanagiotidis, Chief Executive Officer, One of Pro Bono’s top 25 Most Influential People in the Social Sector of 2015, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
  • David Smyth, Chairman, Violence Free Families, VIC

Click here to see the event brochure

Key benefits of attending:

  • How to access new government funding opportunities
  • How to maximise resources to strengthen capacity
  • Innovative strategies to improve quality and scalability of service delivery to meet growing demand for frontline services
  • Diversifying service delivery approaches to meet the diversification of relationships
  • Methods to strengthen culturally effective service delivery to Indigenous communities
  • Implementing leading-edge perpetrator behavioural change programs

To register, please contact Akolade on 02 9247 6000 or

Violence Free Families works for the elimination of all forms of family violence. We believe that Research, Innovation and Education can help improve the lives of vulnerable children and women, and help curb the incidence of family violence.