Respect Victoria: new statutory agency for family violence prevention

By David Donaldson

Friday October 5, 2018

Victoria has taken another step in implementing recommendations from the Family Violence Royal Commission with the establishment of Respect Victoria as an independent statutory authority. 

The new agency, which opened on 1 August and became a statutory authority on Thursday, will lead Victoria’s prevention efforts in changing the attitudes, social norms and culture that result in family violence and violence against women.

It will work with partners in rural and regional Victoria, education and care settings, workplaces, community organisations, faith-based and cultural organisations, sport, the arts and media.

Respect Victoria’s board, led by Chair Melanie Eagle, and Chief Executive Tracey Gaudry, have now been officially appointed.

Gaudry has previously served as CEO of Hawthorn Football Club and the Amy Gillett Foundation. Before her corporate career, she represented Australia at two Olympic games as a cyclist.

Eagle is a board member of several organisations, including Alfred Health, and is CEO of Hepatitis Victoria. She is also the former mayor of the City of St Kilda.

“Respect Victoria has an ambitious agenda and a responsibility to support a future free from violence for all Victorians,” Eagle said in a statement.

The directors collectively bring strong leadership experience, diversity and a wealth of knowledge about behaviour and cultural change, says the government.

The board includes a member of Victoria’s Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, to ensure victims’ voices remain front and centre of prevention efforts.

More than 4 out of 5 Victorians can identify what family violence is and its causes, following government behaviour change campaigns. Respect Victoria aims to build on this work.

The Andrews government has invested $24 million for research, communications and engagement initiatives for the next four years for Respect Victoria as part of its unprecedented $2.6 billion spend to prevent family violence in Victoria.

The agency’s establishment fulfils recommendation 188 of the royal commission.

Image, L-R: CEO Tracey Gaudry, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Natalie Hutchins, Chair Melanie Eagle.

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