The Family Violence Prevention Foundation of Australia

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Matthew Ryan

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
Murray Verso

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
Email: verson@netspace.net.au

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.