Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2022) . . Page.. 1989 ..
in particular, the incredible contribution of the ACT’s domestic and family violence sector. I am heartened that the reforms in this bill clarify and strengthen the role of community sector representatives on the council and will allow membership from a range of specialist and generalist services. In turn, this will position the council to continue providing strong leadership and governance into the future.
It is important to make sure that our institutions and advisory bodies are suited to the contemporary landscape in the ACT. These reforms to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council will do just that. Domestic and family violence continues to be a significant community issue, and I see this bill as one small part of an enormous body of work to prevent and respond to it. I would like to thank Minister Berry, her staff and directorate officials, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.
MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.40): I am pleased to speak today in support of the Domestic Violence Agencies Amendment Bill 2022. We need contemporary governance for a contemporary, inclusive Canberra. The bill introduces a number of measures that update the Domestic Violence Prevention Council so that it can carry out its functions as the key strategic governance mechanism for domestic and family violence responses in a clear and inclusive way.
As a government, we are committed to intersectional responses to domestic and family violence. We know, sadly, that forms of discrimination continue to exist that can increase the likelihood of domestic and family violence. Such forms of discrimination can also make it difficult for people experiencing marginalisation to safely access the supports that they need. The bill will support the refreshed council to include the range of voices and experiences that we need to address some of the barriers that exist in our domestic and family violence system.
I am particularly excited about the new membership model that the bill introduces. The new membership structure will ensure that members have clarity regarding their role on the council, allowing the council to spend more time focusing on their meaningful work, as well as identifying opportunities to strengthen how our system provides diverse responses for all Canberrans at risk of or experiencing domestic and family violence.
The measures will also ensure that a diverse range of expertise is represented on the council. In particular, the council will include two positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members. It will also ensure that a member of Canberra’s multicultural communities is represented on the council. As my colleagues have spoken about, the new membership also includes representatives from community sector organisations. Both specialist domestic and family violence services and services that support people impacted by domestic and family violence are able to sit on the council. This ensures that we can hear from a range of community sector expertise and experience.
The new structure will also introduce more reference groups under the remit of the council. The existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group continues to lead the co-design of community-based, family-centred responses to domestic and