Monday, 1 June 2015

Working together on Family Violence

National Council of Women has welcomed the setting up of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the appointment of the Honourable Marcia Neave AO as Commissioner in February 2015. Commissioner Neave has been a judge of the Court of Appeal and a professor at three Australian universities. She has always had an interest in the way the law responds to the needs of women, and we recall her work as Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission which worked on projects including Defences to Homicide, Sexual Offences and Reproductive Technology. Commissioner Neave is being assisted by two part-time Deputy Commissioners, Patricia Faulkner AO and Tony Nicholson.

The Royal Commission’s terms of reference, outlines its objective of reporting early in 2016 on many matters that will foster a violence-free society and to developing practical recommendations for change.

The Royal Commission is currently seeking submissions from anyone directly affected by family violence and from any others whose experiences and ideas may assist the work of the Royal Commission in On March 31st the Commission released an Issues Paper to help guide individuals and organisations wishing to lodge a written submission. The Issues Paper includes a definition of family violence, and a brief summary of what is currently known about family violence and what has been done so far, including themes and questions to assist writers to provide valuable information about what works, what doesn’t work and what improvements should be made across the family violence system.

Written submissions are just one of the ways in which the Royal Commission is gathering views and information. It will also be examining more detailed questions through its research, site visits, community engagement activities and public hearings 

Stop Press: For the April 10 announcement, with information about the five Community Consultations in Metro Melbourne and across Victoria starting on April 20, and for other information, please go to the Royal Commission’s website at

The Royal Commission invites individuals and organisations to make submissions and lodge them by Friday, 29 May 2015. Anyone with questions about the submissions process or who requires assistance to make a submission, should call 1800 365 100 or send an email to If you would like to speak to the Commission in a language other than English, call 03 9321 5499. Or write to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, PO Box 535 Flinders Lane VIC 8009

We have formed the view that the very tight timelines for the lodging of submissions may well disadvantage those without access to high speed internet. The NCWV 2015 Forum on Thursday May 7th at 10 – 11.30 am will focus on HOW and WHAT to submit to the Royal Commission on Family Violence. Please join us on that morning if you would like to be better informed on the issues paper and on what will be included in the National Council of Women of Victoria submission.There are a limited number of places available, so please register by email by April 25th.