The National Plan was released by the Australian Government on 17th October, 2022.
The Plan is a joint Australian, state and territory initiative and endorsed by relevant Ministers of all Australian Governments. It is dedicated to all victims and survivors of gender-based violence acknowledging their resistance and resilience. It lists upfront all national services providing help and support. The joint Ministerial media release says that The National Plan provides a blueprint to end family, domestic and sexual violence. It is available on the website of the Ministers for the Department of Social Services.
The Plan sets out actions in four domains – prevention, early intervention, response and recovery and healing, with six cross-cutting principles: Achieving Gender Equality, Closing the Gap, Centring Victim Survivors, Accountability, Intersectionality and Person-centred coordination and integration. Appendix One incorporates suggested focus areas for action to help achieve the objectives of the Plan and to develop the Action Plans. Nationally it is the responsibility of the Hon Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services assisted by the Hon Justine Elliot, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence with the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission (Interim Commissioner, Ms Teena Blewett PSM) and two national advisory bodies, one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a general National Plan Advisory Group.
The Plan is the product of collaboration across all governments and their responsibility to implement. It is the product also of extensive consultation. The next steps involve the development of two five year Action Plans and one five year Action Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Plan is a policy framework to guide the work of governments, policy makers, businesses and workplaces, specialist organisations and family, domestic and sexual violence organisations.
WEL’s Policy Priorities for the 2022 Federal Election capture our key concerns. The Plan on p58 puts safe, affordable and accessible housing as a key to ending violence. It places housing as central to a holistic approach. We welcome this recognition to the key role of housing at all stages if women and children are to reach recovery and heal after the trauma of violence.
Jozefa Sobski AM
WEL National Convenor
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