To ensure that all women in our region are safe, healthy and thriving, WHISE provides a range of support to our partners to develop our workforce, its capacity and capability around our priority areas.
2022 has provided the opportunity for this stream of work to reset and refocus its activities after completing some key pieces of work in 2021.
Workforce Development Working Group
This group has completed its work for the 2021 Action Plan to support workforce development in the Southern Melbourne Family Violence Sector.
- A report on the pilot to implement training on Mandatory Minimum Qualifications has been submitted to Family Safety Victoria (FSV).
- An emerging partnership with Education Services Australia has been established to produce a set of career resources in 2023.
- Planning is underway for a conference on valuing and incorporating lived experience of family violence, in the family violence sector in Southern Melbourne. This will be done in partnership with Chisholm TAFE and the integrated family violence partnerships of Southern Melbourne and Bayside Peninsula.
Implementing Mandatory Minimum Qualifications in the Family Violence Sector
A discussion based, and participatory learning experience workshop with peers was held in October 2021 to outline the purpose and rationale for the introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications and the roles that are in scope.
The session was facilitated by:
- Renae Leverenz | Sector Development Advisor – Recommendation 209; Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) and Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)
- Kit McMahon, CEO Women’s Health in the South East
This 1.5 hr workshop provided an overview of the equivalency principles and how they are implemented through existing qualifications that workers may hold, related qualifications and the transition period and outlined the role of employers and recruiters to apply the principles.
It also provided an opportunity for participants to practice implementing the principles to a potential candidate and/or current employee – to identify gaps and to discuss ways to implement in the workplace, and to consider what recommendations or other support is required from the sector to transition smoothly to the ongoing use of mandatory minimum qualifications.
Victorian Skills Authority (VSA) Victorian Skills Plan
WHISE worked with the Action for Gender Equality Partnership to advocate for the application of an intersectional gender lens on skills and labour plans that the Victorian State Government is developing and implementing.
The work resulted in WHISE being part of a project to detail the impact of the current skills and VET system on women and, put forward recommendations to the Victorian Skills Authority on how a gender lens will improve outcomes for Victoria’s skills system our community and economy. This resulted in gender equity being included as a key action in Victoria’s first skills plan.
Emergence and Evolution
A conference to encourage workforce reflection on how the pandemic has changed practice
WHISE has established a model for networks and local groups of workers in community and social services (including health and family violence sectors) to reflect on how the pandemic has changed the practice of delivering services to the community.
In partnership with the City of Casey, WHISE piloted the model through an online forum in November 2021.
With an opportunity to reflect on practice change in community, social and health services this event allowed space to hear the stories of frontline service workers and to learn about the impact of the pandemic on their practice.
With a focus on the lived experience of workers and teams delivering services and programs in our region, this conference provided space to reflect on how COVID-19 changed the way workers and organisations worked and to discuss the sector, looking forward.
This mini conference for the City of Casey was hosted by Council's Relief and Recovery Network - a network of organisations that came together to strengthen their collaboration to support community in that area during, through and after the pandemic.
Victorian Sikh Gurdwaras Council
WHISE has provided support to the Victorian Sikh Gurduaras Council (VSGC), the umbrella organization representative and elected body of Sikh places of worship in Victoria, to implement its primary prevention project across Victoria, with 79 faith community members involved.
The most significant success of this project is the Sikh community’s commitment to establishing strong foundations for ongoing community work to raise awareness and prevent family violence. The project built strong capacity and capability within the community to continue the work required to prevent family violence. Participants developed skills and structures within community to run health promotion and primary prevention activities that can be used as a model in the future.
The reach of the project has gone further than Victoria and has received contacts and queries from interstate from other Sikh Communities. Some members of the steering committee are keen to develop their capacity as a trainer to further support the community.