WHISE backbones the regional strategy for the prevention of violence against women.

WHISE continues to support the regional strategy to prevent gender-based violence by bringing together over 30 partners from across the region to set priorities, share learnings and identify gaps in practice. 

The partnership met bi-monthly throughout 2022-2023 and identified areas of learning including engaging men and boys, applying an intersectional gender lens to prevention practice and respectful relationships in education and sports clubs.  

The partnership also provided a platform for partners to share upcoming plans and campaigns for 16 Days of Activism across the region.  

WHISE participates in many state-wide networks and working groups to ensure that our partners are connected to new ways of working and the latest evidence and learning from across the sector that support best practice.  

PRET Initiatives

Applying an Intersectional Gender Lens to PVAW Practice Learning Forum

The PRET partnership held an online learning forum on 26 July, with the purpose of understanding and applying an intersectional gender lens in relation to the prevention of gendered violence and to hear practical examples of intersectional practice applied to gendered violence prevention. 

59 of the 73 registrants attended to listen to Women’s Health East (WHE) presented their learnings from implementing the prevention of violence against women with disabilities project “Margins to the Mainstream”.  

South East Community Links (SECL) also presented their “Safer and Stronger Communities Pilot” that they ran in 2018- 2020 across the region, which centred lived experience in an intensive co-design and co-facilitation model with three diverse migrant and refugee communities to produce culturally appropriate prevention resources.

Event header banner that reads: "Applying an Intersectional Gender Lens Learning Forum: the why, the how and who's doing it?" At the bottom of the banner is an illustrated crowd of diverse people of different ethnicities and ability

Healthy Masculinities Learning Forum

Through the consultation and development of the PRET Strategy, a need was identified to broaden community response to the prevention of violence in the SMR (Southern Metropolitan Region) and to “make the prevention of gendered violence everyone’s business.” 

The PRET partnership hosted a learning forum at Kingston City Hall on 16 September, to share learnings and build workforce capacity across the region on gender stereotypes and their impact on masculinities. 

The aim of the forum was to increase the confidence of our partners to engage men and boys in healthier masculinities as an additional way to promote prevention of family violence and gender equity.  

49 participants heard from Jesuit Social Services’, “The Men's Project” looking at the Man Box research with men and boys. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in collaboration with Family Life shared outcomes from their recent “Mornington Peninsula Communities Creating Change” project in 2020-2022 working with men, boys, and the community to encourage healthier relationships and masculinities.

Relationships Australia Victoria shared information and outcomes from their work in engaging men from culturally diverse backgrounds in conversations around healthy relationships for the prevention of gendered violence. 

Men & Masculinities Forum Flyer that reads: "Bringing together partners and experts engaging men and boys in healthy masculinity work to improve gender equality outcomes for the prevention of gendered violence." There is a graphic of father carrying his son and embracing.

"The Men’s Project and Man Box was an amazing project to learn more about and great to be able to network with likeminded people.” 

“The Men's Project presentation was fantastic and always highlights the need for this work to be carried out across the whole community.” 

“An understanding of different strategies and pathways to engage men and boys, from different organisational perspectives.”

Lived Experience in Primary Prevention Work

Following the success of Aligning the Personal with the Professional Conference in October 2022, WHISE continued to build on the learning about and interest in, centring the lived experience in primary prevention work.  

The goal of the panel was to highlight different ways that lived experience is incorporated into work, and the ways that different sectors respect and centre lived experience. After the panel, participants worked through a series of breakout rooms to provide feedback and input into a potential framework for centring lived experience in the work to prevent gendered based violence. This feedback will be collated together and presented to WHISE partners for comment. 


The project commenced with an online forum held on the 26 July which sought to explore the ways in which lived experience has been successfully implemented within organisations and specific projects, identify the key components, and discuss the ways in which we can apply these components to the primary prevention sector. 105 participants registered.  

The forum was structured around a panel of leaders and experts in the space of lived experience including:  

  • Lula Dembele - Director of Lived Expertise and Advocacy for the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre – Women’s Trauma Recovery Centre Project  
  • Nina Storey – Lived Experience Expert in WHISE Women’s project
  • Chantelle Higgs - Engagement Lead - The Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council
  • Nicole Thompson - Manager Residential Peer Programs Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC)
  • Morgan Cataldo - Senior Manager Youth Engagement - Berry Street Victoria  

Values-Based Messaging Training

Common Cause Australia is an organisation that helps mission-driven organisations use the power of values and frames to motivate change. Taught by Common Cause, values-based messaging (VBM) is a core communications skill of prevention of gender-based violence practice. 

Common Cause Australia, in partnership with WHISE, facilitated two half day training sessions in March 2023, that provided members of our PRET partnership and other interested stakeholders with the opportunity to refresh and practice their knowledge of and skills in applying values-based messaging. 

Building confidence in applying the principals of VBM by practically applying the tools to a piece of work that participants will implement in 2023 gave participants firsthand experience and an opportunity to workshop messaging. 

The training aimed to increase knowledge of, and confidence in the VBM approach, particularly regarding prevention of violence against women and gender equity messages. 15 participants registered and attended the two sessions including several participants from council communications teams who had not been previously connected with PRET.  

Values Based Messaging training event banner from March 2023