WOMEN’S Health Grampians is encouraged by the level of Wimmera support as it develops a regional plan to tackle family violence.
The group is leading work on the Grampians Regional Strategy, which aims to promote gender equality and denounce violence against women in Wimmera communities.
Wimmera councils, Wimmera Primary Care Partnership, Wimmera Uniting Care and Grampians Community Health are providing input for the work.
The groups met in Horsham and Ballarat this week to continue work on the plan.
Women’s Health Grampians chief executive Marianne Hendron said there was no question the Royal Commission into Family Violence’s findings, released last month, had galvanised people.
“People want to be part of a violence prevention strategy,” she said.
“We talked about the fact the report does highlight the need for a prevention strategy as opposed to little pockets of activity around that.
“A strategy needs to be co-ordinated, collaborative and inclusive, with a focus on cultural change and gender equality.
“It’s very affirming that what we have developed up to this point in our regional pan is completely aligned to what the Royal Commission is recommending.
“This work is about lasting sustainable activity in the sector.”
Ms Hendron said there were two main components in this week’s discussions.
“One was a sense from those present that there's no question a family violence strategy is something we have to be part of now,” she said.
“Given the geography of our region and the fact we're talking about small councils that need to act smartly, collaborating on something like this makes absolute sense.
“But more than that we also talked about the value of aligning this work with municipal public health and well-being plans.
“Councils will be developing new plans next year, and this work needs to be integrated with those.
“That will be enabled through the regional strategy process.”
The plan is due to be released in May.