The Family Violence Prevention Foundation of Australia


The Rotary Club of Glen Eira and the Carnegie Cricket Club will be hosting a Summer Community Luncheon to Prevent Domestic Violence in the club rooms at Koornang Park, Carnegie on Saturday 30th of January 2016 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm.

Tickets are $35 per person (with separate $10 all-you- can-eat BBQ tickets for kids), with proceeds going to Violence Free Families and other Rotary projects.

Guest speakers include Assistant Police Commissioner Stephen Fontana and Domestic Violence Survivor & Advocate Kristy McKellar.

Book online at
View the printable pdf flyer

An opportunity exists for a suitably qualified individual, with expertise in the area of domestic violence, to travel to Louisiana, USA from 28th March to 10th April 2016. The trip will be sponsored by Rotary District 9800 (Victoria, Australia) and Rotary District 6840 (Louisiana & Mississippi, USA). A similarly qualified person from the southern part of the United States will come to Melbourne for 2 weeks in early March.

OVERVIEW: Each host District will arrange a program of occupational visits, networking and study opportunities, as well as home hosting, for the selected person. The ambassador selected will be expected to give a 20 minute presentation at the Conference of the host Rotary District. The District 6840 Conference will be held in Gulfport, Mississippi from 7th to 10th April.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION: The selected candidate should:

  • Have demonstrated professional expertise in the area of domestic violence.
  • Preferably have had experience in creating positive change in the area.
  • Be a person whose career development will be enhanced by this exchange.
  • Be prepared to have an ongoing relationship with Rotary after the exchange.
  • Not be a Rotarian. (Family members of Rotarians may apply.)
  • Be prepared to create a wish list for his or her exchange and assist with planning the detail of the exchange.
  • Be prepared to cooperate with and work with the reciprocal exchangee in the planning and implementation of the exchange.
  • Have good public speaking skills and preferably media skills.
  • Be prepared to deliver a 20 minute presentation at the Rotary District Conference. The presentation should not merely outline the magnitude of the problem of domestic violence. Practical approaches and successful outcomes to the problem should be highlighted.
  • Be prepared to speak at Rotary clubs during the exchange period if requested.
  • Be available to travel during the specified 2 week period.

COST: Costs for the chosen ambassador will be minimal. District 9800 will provide $AUD3000 to cover the cost of a return economy air fare and some money to cover incidentals. District 6840 will provide accommodation through home hosting and will assist with travel within its district.

SELECTION: Candidates will be asked to provide an essay of intent (guidance – around 1000 words or two pages) and two written references. Candidates will be interviewed by a panel of Rotarians and experts in the field.

Applications close on Friday 18 December 2015 and should be forwarded to Dr Murray Verso at the email address below.

CONTACT: If you wish to apply for the domestic violence vocational exchange, or require more information, please contact:

Dr Murray Verso
Past Governor Rotary District 9800

Mobile: 0417 595 217

Call Me Dad will premiere on the ABC on 26th November at 8.30 pm.

Call Me Dad is an important documentary which opens up the conversation about men’s violence and abusive behaviour. It illustrates very honestly what men stand to lose by choosing to use violence in their relationships; their families and the trust of those they love.”
Libby Davies, Chief Executive of White Ribbon Australia.

We’ve also just released our trailer! Check it out at

Broadcasting a day after White Ribbon Day and the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Call Me Dad puts an uncompromising spotlight on voices that are rarely heard – the male perpetrators of family violence.

Call Me Dad may be a confronting insight into the world of violent perpetrators, however it is a reality Australians need to see and discuss.

We want to use Call Me Dad as a powerful engagement tool to further elevate the conversation on family violence and support meaningful change. Will you help us spread the word by sharing the broadcast event on social media?

Leading up to the broadcast we are holding thought leader previews and parliamentary screenings across Australia urging Australians to tune into ABC on November 26 and to organise a community screening following the broadcast.

Hosting a community screening will give people an opportunity to come together as a group to discuss the film and ways in which we can all play a part in addressing family violence. Would you like to host a screening?

We are very keen to hear your ideas for how we can use the film to amplify this important conversation.

Please keep in touch with us if you have any ideas.

From the Call Me Dad Team
Sophie, Madeleine, Rebecca & Teri

Domestic Violence Forum Melbourne

Sadly, violence against women and children continues to occur all over the world, including on our doorstep.

So when is enough, enough? What are the facts and figures in our own community? How are victims being assisted? What happens to the perpetrators? How can we help to end this violence?

Be encouraged by recent research findings and inspired to make a difference. Hear from expert speakers including Scott Holmes from YMCA, Allison Wainwright from Family Life, Rachel Ellyard from the Royal Commission into Family Violence, Kaye Swanton from Violence Free Families and Peter Streker from Community Stars.

Join in conversation with them about ways to STOP family violence and build a safer world for all.

Proudly presented by St Stephen’s Anglican Church Gardenvale.

Thursday 26 November 2015
7.30pm – 9pm (supper to follow)St. Stephen’s Anglican Church,
Gardenvale, 111 North Rd, Brighton
Cost: Free.
Register at:


Our focus on family violence prevention through innovation and development of men’s behaviour change programs continued and significant further progress was made.

The Online Behavior Change Program

The third and final field trial of this world-first concept was completed in May, and the University of Melbourne evaluators confirmed the excellent results obtained from the first two trials. One partner said: “The program has given me the man I believed he could be when we married nine years ago.”

On the Line, specialists in telephone counselling and the provider of MensLine Australia was selected for the provision of the first regular program and preparations for induction training of their staff by VFF were finalised.


Our research study with Monash University into the long term results of conventional men’s behaviour change programs will continue for another nine months as we follow up men who have “graduated” from the programs. The results will be disseminated through publications and a seminar early in 2016.

Funding and Community Support

We welcome 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. Sixteen family violence prevention presentations were made to a total of over 1,000 people, spreading awareness of family violence and our contribution to prevention.

In March, our new Ambassador, Colleen Hewett, entertained delegates at a Rotary conference in Hobart with her new song about the experience of family violence, along with other well known songs. For many delegates, it was the highlight of the conference. An anti-violence video clip, featuring Colleen and numerous public identities, including the Prime Minister, premiered at the conference.


We accepted with regret the resignation of Norm Thomas from our Board with effect from 31 December. Norm’s wise advice and many contributions over his five years of service will be very much missed.

In May, we welcomed Helen Bird to the Board. She brings to our work her great enthusiasm and a wealth of experience in business development and public relations.

We made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into domestic violence in July, 2014, testified at a hearing later in the year and followed up with supplementary material requested on notice. We also made a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.


Dr David Smyth


Violence Free Families Ambassador, Colleen Hewett, is donating $5 from every sale of her new CD, Black and White, to Violence Free Families.

There’s a wonderful feeling of freedom and security in being able to breathe normally, without fear and without anguish. Sadly, three in ten Australian women have felt suffocated by physical, emotional or sexual abuse at the hands their partner. Colleen Hewett’s powerful anthem “Let me Breathe” has been generously donated to Violence Free Families to help raise awareness and much needed funds.



Colleen Hewett has joined Violence Free Families as an Ambassador. Her new CD – “Black & White” featuring the song “Let Me Breathe” – is available now and $5 from every sale will be donated to Violence Free Families. To order your copy, click here.

The Monash Filicide Research Project (led by Professor Thea Brown and Dr. Danielle Tyson) has just received funding from the Criminology Research Grants Scheme for the first Australian National Study on Filicide.  The study will be conducted in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Criminology.

It has been estimated that some 25 or so children are killed by a parent or equivalent guardian in a tragic act of family violence in Australia each year.

The study, retrospectively examining 12 years of filicide deaths, will be the first to provide accurate information on incidence; it will investigate the extent to which the Monash Project’s Victorian study findings on causes and risks are the same in all states and territories of Australia.   The study will examine potential intervention and prevention for all levels of government.   It will commence in early – 2015 and finish in mid – 2016.

(Professor) Thea Brown, 18/12/2014

This ambitious study is examining the results of behaviour change programs for violent men over the long term. These programs are believed to be one of the most effective ways of helping men to stop their violence but no large scale systematic study of them has ever been conducted in Australia.

Violence Free Families is raising the funds for this study and has commissioned Monash University to lead it. The researches are supported by a talented and diverse academic reference committee.

The first results are currently being analysed and the final outcomes will be published in mid 2016.

Why are we doing this study?

The need for more research into intervention programs has been recognised in the federal Government’s “National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women – Immediate Government Actions” Canberra, April 2009 and was further supported by a survey of agencies providing programs in 2012 by IBIS Research.

Who is doing the study?

The lead researchers are:

  • Professor Emeritus Thea Brown, former Professor of Social Work and Research Professor at Monash University, and
  • Dr Catherine Flynn, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Monash University, with special responsibilities for honours studies.

They are supported by an academic reference committee that brings together a cross-section of members with a wide range of relevant skills and knowledge to provide significant input and advice. It includes:

  • three program managers from agencies located in participating states
  • a legal expert with human research ethics committee experience
  • a medical practitioner with special interest in family medicine
  • an agency chief executive
  • a professional manager with a research background.

The committee has also consulted international experts on forensic psychology and survey questionnaire design.

Ethical considerations

The study design has been examined in detail and cleared by the human resource ethics committees of Monash University, the Victorian Department of Justice and five agencies.

Web survey

As part of the study, we are inviting the opinions of partners and men with first hand experience of behaviour change programs, sometimes known as anger management programs. If you have such experience, please respond to the questionnaire. We would value your views and you would be helping families with difficulties in the future.

Further information

Further information may be requested by contacting us.

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.