Police Superintendent Matthew Ryan has been selected to represent District 9800 on a vocational exchange of experts in family violence being arranged between Rotary District 9800 and District 6840, centred on New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The exchange program is supported by Violence Free Families. Matthew is the sole superintendent in the Victoria Police Family Violence Command established in March 2015. He leads a team of 50 staff working collaboratively to prevent and reduce the harm caused by child abuse, sexual assault, and family violence.
Superintendent Ryan will travel to the United States for two weeks in late March. He will be hosted there by local Rotarians and will study the work of police and other agencies involved with domestic violence. He will also speak at the District 6840 Conference being held at the Island View Casino & Resort in Gulfport, Louisiana.
District 6840 has also selected an expert in the field to spend two weeks in Victoria looking at ways the various agencies here tackle the growing problem of family violence. That person will speak at the District 9800 Conference in Bendigo on 12th March.
This exchange of vocational leaders in the field grew out of the very successful Group Study Exchange (GSE) run between Districts 9800 and 6840 in March and April 2015. At the time of that GSE, the team leaders, DGN Peter Frueh (9800) and Carl Michel (6840) agreed that domestic violence was a major issue in both communities and that by having a vocational exchange of this sort the relationship between our two Rotary Districts would be enhanced in a meaningful way. It is intended that the exchange will be hosted by each District for two weeks each year for three years.
Superintendent Matthew Ryan says that “This exchange will inspire me to be innovative in the way I lead police to combat family violence in Victoria. I feel privileged to be selected and am very grateful to Rotary for allowing me to represent Victoria in this way.” He is keen to create positive lasting links with family violence professionals in the USA.
Prior to establishing the Family Violence Command, Matthew was the Superintendent in charge of the Victoria Police State Emergency Response Division. He was the Police Commander for the Murrindindi and Mitchell Shires for three months during and after the 2009 Black Saturday fires. He has worked in metropolitan and rural Victoria as a police operative, detective, supervisor and manager. From 2001, he spent five years planning and delivering the security overlay for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
In 2008, Matthew was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chadstone – East Malvern as a participant in the first Rotary Victoria Police Leadership Mentoring Program. He is an accomplished speaker and has spoken at Rotary Clubs, police conferences and various community forums.
Matthew has been married for 29 years. He and his wife have four sons.
His trip has been made possible by a travel grant from the Rotary Club of Balwyn. The leadership of District 9800 and Violence Free Families are very appreciative of the Balwyn Club’s generous support of this new vocational exchange and wishes to place on record their grateful thanks to the club.
Past District Governor, Rotary District 9800