Page 1988 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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consistency to allow for the proper flow of information between experts within and outside of government.

This legislation is non-controversial, but it serves an important function in the proper administration of government. For issues as important and cross-sectional as this, it is essential that the council operates as effectively as possible. I thank the directorate and the minister for their work and leadership on this legislation.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.36): I am pleased to speak today in support of the Domestic Violence Agencies Amendment Bill 2022. It can be easy to see this bill as simply a set of technical or bureaucratic amendments. However, I believe these changes are important and will have a real impact on the work of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council and, by extension, the ACT government’s response to domestic and family violence.

The reforms in this bill will support greater integration and collaboration in the ACT’s response to domestic and family violence. They will strengthen linkages between the government and community sectors. This is critical because domestic violence is a whole-of-community issue, requiring responses that cut across sectors. So the integration that this bill will support is vital to supporting the ACT’s response, both now and in the longer term.

I want to take this time to recognise some of the key achievements of the council over the past 20 years. The ongoing work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group has been critical in progressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led responses to family violence. Importantly, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group is guiding the implementation of recommendations in relation to the We don’t shoot our wounded report, so that responses are grounded and led by what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the ACT know will work best for their communities. This includes both supporting healing and understanding the impacts of colonisation in preventing and responding to family violence.

Other key achievements of the council include the 2018 extraordinary meeting into issues and responses affecting children and young people living with violence. This has led to real change in how we respond to children and young people as victim-survivors in their own right, and informed service offerings such as the Got Your Back program for young people, as well as the new children’s service for five to 12-year-olds which is currently being established.

More recently, the council has provided advice to the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence around the issue of coercive control. This is an incredibly complex issue, and the advice from the council will ensure that we continue to focus on strengthening community understanding of coercive control and how to recognise and respond to this really insidious form of abuse.

These are just some of the achievements of the council. I thank all the members that have been part of this council in the past. I note that none of these achievements would have been possible without the expertise of our community sector partners and,

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