Family Life Sets the Benchmark for Community Change and Innovation

By admin December 4, 2018

Family Life’s domestic violence reduction project, Together We Can, recently 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 led by Family Life, with Cardinia Shire Council, Victoria Police and the University of Melbourne to address high levels of family violence within the municipality.

“We are extremely proud to receive this award in recognition of Together We Can,” said Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh.  “This project was developed with a clear objective in mind and whilst ACVPA is a wonderful acknowledgement, the biggest winners are the community of Cardinia who have seen a 23.7 percent reduction in reported incidents of family violence over the course of the of the campaign.”

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.

“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,” Ms Cavanagh said.

As part of the award process, participating projects are assessed by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each each state and territory police service, and chaired by the AIC Director.

Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Michael Phelan APM acknowledged that Together We Can is the first of its kind in Australia, and had shown promising outcomes 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,” he said.

The ACVPA announcement follows Family Life being announced in the top 10 Innovators in the 2018 GiveEasy Not-For-Profit Innovation Index,  in late October. Other groups in recognised in the index included well respected brands such as Movember, Breast Cancer Network Australia, Beyond Blue and Thankyou.

Reflecting on this award, Ms Cavanagh, said, “Sharing this recognition with some of the largest and most recognised not-for-profit organisations in Australia is something that we are very proud of.”

“The reason we strive to innovate is to do better for the children, young people, families and communities we serve.   Family Life seek out best practice so those people who seek our help will be better off. We pride ourselves on being creative, curious and enthusiastic to follow new opportunities.”

An example is the innovative work Family Life have been doing with Swinburne University, exploring how the application of innovative new technology can better support vulnerable young parents and babies.  

The organisation is also charting new territory by undergoing site certification in Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics enabling staff to conduct specialist assessments and design interventions that respond to the unique impacts of trauma on individuals, families and communities.

In terms of the health of the organisation, the Index outcomes were also able to determine whether employees at Family Life are engaged. The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, the Innovation Index highlights that engagement and innovation reinforce each other.

GiveEasy CEO Jeremy Tobias said, “Engaged employees are more likely to be innovative and an innovative organisation is more likely to motivate and engage their employees.”

Organisations in the Index are measured according to their capacity to develop and deliver innovation across eight key categories:  technology, internal collaboration, external collaboration, innovation focus, openness of culture/vision, organisational velocity, rewards/recognition and stakeholder centricity.

Whilst the work done at Family Life is always rewarding, we are grateful to ACVPA and GiveEasy for this recognition.


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