Members Statement – ‘Say No to Family Violence’ Forum

Mr CARROLL(Niddrie) — On Wednesday, 25 March, I joined my local community at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School in Keilor East for the ‘Say No to Family Violence’ forum which was organised by the Keilor East Airport West Uniting Church. The aim of the forum was to raise awareness of family violence issues which can affect people from all social levels and walks of life. Family violence is a crime which must not be tolerated. Indeed family violence is the most significant problem confronting our community, with widespread detrimental social, health, economic and other effects. The forum was addressed by Fiona McCormack, CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria; Tim Cartwright, Acting Chief Commissioner of Police; and Nathan DeGuara, manager, Men’s Referral Service. I was also proud to hear the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence explain the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to tackling this pervasive issue, starting with the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which was established within the first 100 days of this government.

I would like to thank the moderator, Reverend Jeanne Beale, chaplain at Aitken College, who ensured that the proceedings ran smoothly. It was also great to see representatives from the City of Moonee Valley and the City of Brimbank, as well as the Victoria Police divisional commander, Superintendent Michael Hermans. I am certain all those who attended the forum gained an insight into the terrible impact family violence has on the victims, especially children, and will realise the importance of speaking out in support of them. My heartfelt thanks go to the elders of the Keilor East Airport West Uniting Church, in particular Barbara Dorward and Maxine Knight, who put in a lot of hard work to make the forum the outstanding success that it was. The royal commission is due to deliver its report and recommendations by 29 February 2016. I have had initial discussions with Barbara Dorward on doing a follow-up to this great initial forum. I am certain that by working with the Keilor East Airport West Uniting Church we can make positive progress.