MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:08): As a society and a community we must work together to achieve cultural change to support survivors of family violence. We must never lose sight of the importance of improving safety and support for people who are leaving violent or abusive relationships.
On Monday it was my privilege to stand alongside Minister Williams, Professor Margaret Gardner, AC, and Liana Papoutsis, human rights and international law academic, to announce an $8.6 million grant to support the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, featuring the Safe and Equal @ Work program, workforce pathways and access to justice. Liana has played an integral role in this work, which intersects across many disciplines, including law, arts and community services. She draws on her own lived experience of surviving and starting life again after family violence. She works tirelessly to inform foundational key family violence reforms. Liana said the Safe and Equal @ Work program provides us with an equal opportunity to shine the research spotlight on significant financial independence for victim-survivors and establish employer innovation in creating sustainable pathways so that victim-survivors can regain agency and economic security that is pivotal to navigating the lived experience.
This program will further address risks to women’s safety and inequality and work collaboratively to build a future underpinned by respect and dignity. The funding of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre will create 24 graduate certificate family violence prevention scholarships for people with lived experience, PhD and postdoctoral research scholarships, and research and associated professional roles. This program is about respect and is an important investment in the future of our state.