Tag Archive: family violence

  1. State Government funding announcement: $300,000 boost to ECLC

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    ECLC has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of extra funding for its vital work over the next two years.

    ECLC will receive a total of $300,000 over this period, to continue and extend its work, across a range of programs.

    Michael Smith, CEO of Eastern Community Legal Centre, outlined that the resources will particularly focus on the Centre’s family violence and Yarra Ranges services.

    “ECLC assists community members affected by family violence in a wide range of circumstances, from early signs of concern, through to the Court process and beyond. These survivors, predominantly women and children, live right across the Eastern region and we need to work closely with and in these communities to be effective.

    “This funding is crucial for us to provide the holistic legal services that assist the most vulnerable people in need,” said Mr Smith.

    The funding will also enable the Centre to continue its successful Dandenong Ranges outreach service in Monbulk. Around 30 clients have been assisted by this new service since it commenced in June.

    The Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region, Shaun Leane, outlined his support for this vital work.

    “We’re proud to be delivering this funding to Eastern Community Legal Centre because it will help to improve access to legal services in our community and deliver more support to those who need it most.

    “I congratulate Eastern Community Legal Centre on their successful application, and thank them for their hard work and dedication to the Eastern Metropolitan community,” Mr Leane said.

  2. Busting the Myths about Family Violence

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    The ‘Busting the Myths’ is a new project that captures the stories of seven women and their experience of men’s violence.

    Produced by the Outer East Primary Care Partnership in partnership with Women’s Health East Speaking Out Advocates Program & EDVOS, this first video highlights how these women’s lived experiences expose and challenge some of the most commonly held social myths about violence against women.

    Watch the full video here, and find out more at oehcsa.org.au/portals/btm.

    For more information and resources related to family violence and the Intervention Order process at Court, visit Steps 2 Safety.

  3. #GE4Us: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

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     The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (16 Days) is a global campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and its impact on a woman’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being.

    The 16 Days begin on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and end on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. These dates were chosen to highlight that violence against women is a human rights abuse. (Click here to read more about the significant events during the 16 Days).

    ECLC is proud to support #GE4Us, the 16 Days campaign led by Women’s Health East, which focuses on what gender equality looks like in action for the many diverse groups that shape Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region.

    As the fundamental driver of violence against women is gender inequality, the #GE4Us  campaign focuses on what gender equality looks like in everyday life by featuring community Ambassadors from Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region.

    ECLC will also share reflections about gender equality from our team and community during the 16 Days on Twitter.

    Read more about the 16 Days of Activism and the #GE4Us campaign here. 


  4. 43rd Annual General Meeting: Community Voice

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    The Hon. Martin Pakula MP, Attorney-General of Victoria was keynote speaker at Eastern Community Legal Centre’s (ECLC) Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 22nd November. The event was an opportunity for ECLC’s community to reflect on a year of challenges, successes and exciting developments, including the launch of the Enhanced Entry Project.

     Attorney-General, The Hon. Martin Pakula MP

    Board Report: Janet Matton, Chairperson

      CEO’s Report: Michael Smith

    Enhanced Entry Project

    Community Voice: Dilnaz Billimoria

  5. EVENT: Respect Your Elders Indian Family Day and Community Forum

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    Join us for a Family Day about respecting elders and treating them with dignity.

    There will be representatives from a variety of services such as Victoria Police, Sheriff’s Office, Department of Human Services (DHS), Family Mediation Centre, Carers Victoria and much more!

    They will be providing information and helpful strategies on how to treat our elders respectfully.

    Saturday 11 November 2017

    10am – 2pm

    Room 1, 45 Miller Crescent, Mount Waverley 3149


    Family members of all ages are encouraged to attend.

    Lunch and children play area provided.

    Register here.

    Download the flyer.

    This event is presented in partnership with IndianCare, Indian Senior Citizens Association Victoria, Victorian Multicultural Commission, Victoria State Government and Eastern Community Legal Centre.

  6. Attorney-General George Brandis QC launches new program to tackle family violence

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    Attorney-General George Brandis QC launched Eastern Community Legal Centre’s (ECLC) new family violence program, SAGE – Support, Advice, Guidance, Empowerment – at the Centre’s AGM on Wednesday 16 November. SAGE provides a unique ‘wraparound’ service for women experiencing or at risk of family violence, including legal, social and other support.

    ECLC CEO Michael Smith said the program, which integrates with other service providers across Melbourne’s east, seeks to engage women most in need of assistance.

    “The demand for family violence support has surged in recent years but many women still face barriers to accessing help. The SAGE program takes a partnership approach that’s more likely to reach women who fall through the cracks of mainstream and standalone services,” said Mr Smith.

    Women from especially vulnerable population groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women from migrant and CaLD backgrounds and women with mental health issues or a disability, will have priority access to the SAGE program.

    “With the SAGE program launched, we have greater capacity to provide a culturally safe service that responds to the whole-of-life issues that can arise with family violence,” said Mr Smith.

    In the 2015/16 year, ECLC assisted a record number of clients with 38% of the Centre’s work related to family violence matters and another 22% related to family law. ECLC assisted 945 clients at the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court as part of its family violence Intervention Order Support Service, up 20% from the previous year.

    ECLC was one of 12 legal assistance providers nominated by the Federal Government in 2015 to develop a specialist family violence service under the Women’s Safety Package.

  7. ‘Equality Every Day’: Annual General Meeting & Family Violence Team launch

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    All people are created equal but for many, equality still has to be sought. ECLC supports people and communities every day as they seek equality and increasingly does this work in everyday places.

    At ECLC’s 2016 AGM, ‘Equality Every Day’, the Centre celebrates and highlights the work of its staff, volunteers and partners over 365 days.

    The launch of the new Family Violence Team, SAGE, will also feature the strategic and partnership approach of this much needed service amidst an increasing understanding of the devastating impacts of family violence.

    Wednesday, 16 November 2016

    2:00pm Launch of Family Violence Team
    3:00pm Annual General Meeting
    3:30pm Afternoon Tea / Refreshments

    The Camberwell Parkview Room
    340 Camberwell Road, Camberwell
    (Car parking is limited)

    by Friday, 11 November 2016
    via TryBooking

    Enquiries: 1300 32 52 00 (1300 ECLC 00)

    View or download the invitation


  8. Federal Election 2016 – Candidates respond to community legal issues

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    In the lead up to the 2016 Federal Election, ECLC contacted all federal candidates for the House of Representatives in its catchment who are running for the upcoming election.

    ECLC respectfully asked candidates to outline their response to key issues facing communities in Melbourne’s east and the community legal sector, including:

    1. Commonwealth funding cuts to community legal services
    2. Community Law Australia – Fund Equal Justice campaign and recommendations from the Productivity Commission for secure funding of legal assistance
    3. Family violence prevention and response
    4. Specialist pathways for family violence cases in the courts
    5. Elder abuse prevention, education and response
    6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice reinvestment

    The full letter can be accessed here.


    ECLC will publish candidates’ responses in the lead up to election day on July 2.

    Responses received to date can be viewed by electorate or by candidate.


    A full response from Stefanie Perri (ALP, Chisholm) was received on June 23 and is available here. (Apologies, as this should have been included in the earlier e-news.)

    A response from the Turnbull Coalition Team was received on June 27 and is available here.

    A response from Nick McKim, Greens spokesperson for legal affairs, was received on June 30 and is available here.

    Funding announcement

    On June 16, local ALP Candidates Stefanie Perri (Chisholm) and Tony Clark (Deakin) attended ECLC’s Box Hill office to announce a funding boost of $450,000 over 3 years if elected. Their media release is here.


    ECLC also contacted candidates via Twitter. Their responses can be viewed here or by clicking through the slideshow below.

  9. Eastern CLC welcomes historic Royal Commission findings

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    Eastern Community Legal Centre has strongly welcomed the comprehensive and historic findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence that were tabled in parliament today and released by Premier Daniel Andrews and Commissioner Marcia Neave, AO.

    Mr Michael Smith, CEO of Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) praised the depth and breadth of the report and its 227 recommendations.

    “The Royal Commission has established a clear systems approach to tackling the scourge of family violence across the community, with a broad range of recommendations across prevention, response, support, justice and legal systems as well as perpetrator accountability.” he said

    “It has clearly heard the voices of victim/survivors as well as professionals and agencies working in this field for many years, including the expertise of our Centre and our many colleagues and partners.”

    “The success of a number of initiatives and pilot projects in our Eastern region is clear in the report and ECLC looks forward to working with the government and partners to implement the recommendations without delay.”

    ECLC welcomes the Premier’s comments that,

    “There can be no more excuses. Our work begins today to overhaul our broken family violence system from the bottom up.”¹

    as well as the State Government’s clear commitment to implement all recommendations. While it will take some time to analyse the report’s details, the Royal Commission clearly identified that,

    “All parts of the system—support services, police, courts – are overwhelmed by the number of family violence incidents now reported. Services are not currently equipped to meet this high level of demand, which undermines the safety of those experiencing family violence and their potential for recovery.”²

    This is certainly the case in Melbourne’s East, with the Royal Commission noting a doubling of family violence incidents in last five years (to 2013-14).

    “ECLC, like many agencies, is struggling to cope with the increased demand for assistance from family violence victims,” said Belinda Lo, Principal Lawyer. “We remain highly concerned for women and children who may not receive the help they need so remain in immediate danger – this needs an urgent, whole of community response.”

    ECLC provided three detailed submissions to the Royal Commission with a focus on specific projects and expertise. In this context, ECLC particularly welcomes:

    • That all Magistrates’ Courts headquarter courts have the function of Family Violence Division Courts, with specialist magistrates, registrars, staff and facilities (Rec 60).
    • This acknowledges the critical Ringwood Family Violence Integration Project, an ECLC led partnership project, including its key outcomes with RC recommendations for:
      • a daily co-ordination meeting before hearings in the family violence list (Rec. 64)
      • capital works for “safe waiting areas” and other appropriate facilities (Rec. 70)
      • production of “multi-media information about the family violence intervention order process that can not only be viewed online but can be shown in court waiting areas… (Rec. 73) See ECLC’s Steps 2 Safety video resources.
      • a series of recommendations for improving the court and justice system for people experiencing family violence (Recs 60-78).
    • The importance of specialist (family violence and legal) services working closely with universal health and education services to prevent, identify and respond to family violence.
    • The emphasis on Family Violence and Diversity, particularly the needs of older people (in elder abuse as a form of family violence), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people in rural and regional communities, people from CaLD communities, LGBTI people, people with disabilities and more.
    • The extensive education, awareness-raising and co-ordination work of ECLC’s elder abuse work, as well as the Eastern Elder Abuse Network was widely cited and commended, including:
      • that “ageism—stereotyping or discriminating against a person because of their age—can be an important factor in family violence against older people” (Vol V p 71)
      • the importance of professional development and training for police and a range of health professionals in family violence and older people
      • ECLC’s training videos on Elder Abuse
      • The EEAN electronic case conferencing facility (Vol V. p78)
    • Improved Residential Tenancies Act legislation and VCAT procedures for when family violence impacts on tenancies, protecting the victim from further financial impact (Rec 116).

    Download ECLC’s full media release.

    ¹ Media Release, It’s Time To Fix Our Broken Family Violence System, March 30, 2016
    ² RCFV Report, Summary, p6