Cardinia Shire community recognised nationally again!

Published: 30 November 2018

Family violence reduction project, Together We Can, today received a gold award in the community-led category of the 2018 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

Together We Can is a Collective Impact project driven by the community with the support of Cardinia Shire Council, Victoria Police and The University of Melbourne, and 2015 – 2018 backbone organisation, Family Life, to address high levels of family violence within the municipality.

Family Life submitted the nomination to ACVPA.

Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh, said: “We are extremely proud to receive this award in recognition of Together We Can.

“This initiative provides a tangible example of how, by working together and applying a proven process towards a common goal, we can fundamentally change the lives of vulnerable people in the community.”

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Graeme Moore said: “What great recognition for this community initiative!

“This award helps strengthen the message to both funders and other community leaders that Together We Can and collective impact are valid, community-based approaches for improving community outcomes through increasing safety and reducing crime.

“The Cardinia Shire community no longer has the second-highest number of serious family violence incidents reported to police, but we still have far too many families impacted. 

“What is good news for our community is that more people are seeking services to help stop them from resorting to violence, or to heal from the trauma that family violence imposed on them and their children,” said Cr Moore.

“Preventing Family Violence is the key. We can no longer bury our heads and pretend that it’s not happening to people around us, people in our community.  We need to keep talking about it, support by listening and not judging, and call out those behaviours that disrespect and minimise another person’s worth.”

These annual awards recognise contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and chaired by the AIC Director.

Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Michael Phelan APM said: “Together We Can is the first of its kind in Australia and has shown promising outcomes with a reduction in reported incidents of family violence since the program began.

“These innovative approaches, programs and partnerships in the community are providing great public and social value now and for the future.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.