THE doors have opened on Victoria’s first ever dedicated family violence prevention agency. Respect Victoria will work to address gender inequality as a root cause of family violence.
A statutory authority to be enshrined in legislation, it will work to change the attitudes, social norms and culture that lead to family violence and violence against women.
The agency fulfils Recommendation 188 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and forms part of the first pillar of the state government’s primary prevention strategy, Free from violence. The organisation will lead on two pillars of the strategy: research and evaluation, and community engagement.
Respect Victoria will also provide expert advice on best practice, and hold quality assurance and accreditation functions. It will engage in whole-ofcommunity campaigns and activities to change the culture that allows family violence to happen in the first place.
Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Natalie Hutchins last week officially opened Respect Victoria and revealed its first leaders.
Respect Victoria’s inaugural board chair will be Melanie Eagle, who is chief executive officer of Hepatitis Victoria and a former mayor of the City of St Kilda.
“Changing the attitudes and behaviours that drive family violence is the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime,” she said.
“My vision for Respect Victoria is to create generational behaviour change for a future free from violence.”
Tracey Gaudry will be Respect Victoria’s inaugural CEO and comes to the position with 25 years of community, sporting and organisational experience.
A former Olympian, Ms Gaudry was CEO of Hawthorn Football Club (the first woman to serve in the role) and CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation.
Ms Hutchins said that Respect Victoria will help Victoria achieve a future free from family violence, where all Victorians are equal, empowered and respected.
For more information, head to respectvictoria.vic.gov.au