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Leading and advocating for a strong family violence system in Central Highlands Victoria.


The Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee (CHIFVC) works to share information across agencies, and identify issues and opportunities for the family violence system in the region. This can lead to time-limited projects on particular areas or attributes of the system. This page provides an overview of some projects currently underway or recently completed under CHIFVC or in collaboration with key partners.

For more information on any of these projects please Contact Us.

Co-Design Project by Peer Academy (completed)

Co-design experts, Peer Academy, engaged with key service providers and users to consider the design of a safe and accessible support system for people experiencing family violence in the Central Highlands. The project was initiated under a partnership between the Central Highland Children and Youth Area Partnership (CHCYAP) Research Advisory Committee and a working group of the Central Highlands Family Services Alliance and CHIFVC. The project funded a co-design process to better understand specific functions and goals a new ‘Support and Safety Hub’ might consider in order to meet local service users’ needs. 

Read the Peer Academy’s Final Report.

Working Together Project

The Working Together Project (WT) is a joint initiative of the Family Services Alliance (CHFSA) and CHIFVC. WT commenced as a response to the high number of Victoria Police Risk Assessment and Risk Management Reports (L17’s) to Child FIRST, Child Protection and the Family Violence Sector and recognition of the potential to increase purposeful collaboration and improve sustained engagement for families seeking assistance.

The WT strategic vision is to develop a collaborative service system and practice model that can best respond to the immediate and longer term needs of vulnerable families in the early stage of experiencing family violence. Partners focus on ascertaining strategies to improve collaboration, improve engagement both with families and across the service system and discussing options for news of intervening during workshop style meetings.

Safer Pathways for Refugee and Immigrant Women

This newly funded project is being led by Ballarat Community Health and aims to increase the safety of women from immigrant, refugee and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Ballarat. It aims to deliver culturally appropriate responses and build stronger pathways between mainstream, targeted and family violence and sexual assault services. CHIFVC Chairs the Steering Committee for this project.

Submission to Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor Consultation

The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor holds government and its agencies to account for implementing the family violence reform, following the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The current CHIFVC Principal Strategic Advisor, Jess Cadwalladar, prepared a submission on behalf of CHIFVC. You can access it here.

Elder Abuse Prevention Network

This newly funded initiative is being led by Ballarat Community Health and aims to increase awareness and capacity to address elder abuse in our community. CHIFVC Chairs the Steering Committee for this project. An elder abuse forum was held on 26 February 2018 with nearly 100 participants. This event also launched a new Elder Abuse Network Plan. An online survey is currently open to gather community views about elder abuse.

Communities of Practice

A key focus of the CHIFVC is to deliver cross-sectoral Community of Practice (CoP) events on priority and emerging topics. These events provide an opportunity for specialist family violence practitioners, allied health and community service professionals and others to share their experiences and insights, and learn from each other, and help identify system gaps and opportunities.

Visit the News page for information on past and upcoming CoP events.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023 sets out the key priority areas for the next 3 years, along with key deliverables and responsibilities for each of the working groups.

Demand Management Strategy

The Information and Systems Intelligence Working Group is currently drafting a Demand Management Strategy (DMS), with a focus on shared principles and strategic priorities. The DMS will support the CHIFVC to better understand and respond to system demand. The CHIFVC recognises that a timely and flexible response to community members seeking support is essential to providing an effective service.

Aboriginal Workforce Development Strategy

The Community Engagement Working Group is currently in the scoping/discovery phase of developing this strategy, which will address the need to support and empower the Aboriginal community to apply for Aboriginal-specific job vacancies in the region.



Hepburn Family Violence Action Group

The Hepburn Family Violence Action Group is a subset of CHIFVC partners and other local organisations committed to working on the particular needs and context of the Hepburn region. The Action Group has identified key priorities and challenges for the region to guide its advocacy work and local initiatives. This includes strengthening the local response to family violence crisis situations, particularly outside normal business hours.

Central Highlands Child & Youth Area Partnership (CHCYAP) – Research Advisory Committee

The CHIFVC is a partner of the CYAP’s Research Advisory Committee and sponsors a PhD research project, which is currently being undertaken by Michelle Hunt. This project explores the concept of ‘strong families, safe children’ in the context of intimate partner violence. Women will reflect on how their experience of domestic family violence (DFV) services has influenced their capacity to support strong families and safe children. The project uses photovoice, whereby women take photographs to capture their lived experiences to share in a critical discussion with DFV service providers. This knowledge and shared understandings can then be used to contribute to service delivery reforms.

Find out more about the Photovoice project.

Communities of Respect and Equality Alliance (CoRE)

The CHIFVC is proud to be a member of the CoRE Alliance - a partnership of organisations, businesses, clubs, groups and networks from across the Grampians Region that share a vision for safe, equal and respectful communities. The CoRE Alliance recently release a report on Gender Inequality in the Grampians Region which highlights areas we need to focus on to change the trajectory towards equality.

Read more about the CoRE Alliance. Read more about the Gender Inequality in the Grampians Region report.

Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence

Ballarat Health Services is a regional partner in the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) initiative which is a partnership between Our Watch, the Royal Women’s Hospital (the Womens’) and Bendigo Health. The Royal Commission into Family Violence ‘Recommendation 95’ calls for a whole of hospital response to family violence. Family violence is outlined and imbedded in the ‘Statement of Priorities’ of all publicly funded Health Services. The model is based on best practice and was identified by the Department of Health and Human Services as an appropriate model to meet the requirements of Recommendation 95 and funded accordingly. Ballarat Health Services also has a regional responsibility to support six other health services across the Grampians and Loddon Mallee Regions. The initiative is funded for two years with the possibility of extension. The initiative seeks to strengthen family violence responses to Health Services staff experiencing family violence as well as consumer family violence support and responses.