CHIFVC acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First Peoples and the Traditional Owners of the lands, waterways and skies where we live, work and play. We celebrate that this is the oldest continuous living culture in the world, and that sovereignty was never ceded. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.
Across the Central Highlands region, we acknowledge Wurundjeri, Wadawurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Djab Wurrung, Eastern Marr and Wotjobaluk peoples, and pay respect to elders past and present.
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Our vision

Our vision for Central Highlands is that all people are safe, respected and valued, and live free from family violence.

Our purpose

The Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee (CHIFVC) exists to strengthen, integrate and improve the family violence system in Central Highlands, and to help end family violence. We do this through harnessing system leadership and expertise, creating value for the family violence system, advocating for Central Highlands and with Central Highlands, and addressing family violence in our communities.

Who we are

The Central Highlands is defined by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and comprises six municipalities located in central Victoria. These are Rural City of Ararat, Pyrenees Shire, Hepburn Shire, City of Ballarat, Moorabool Shire, and Golden Plains Shire.

CHIFVC has representation from specialist family violence services as well as broader cross-sector organisations and alliances whose work intersects with family violence response, early intervention and prevention.
Committee members, including the Senior Executive Team, are all leaders involved in strengthening the family violence system and ending family violence in the Central Highlands.

CHIFVC is formed by representatives from the following organisations:

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC)

Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA)

Ballarat Community Health

Ballarat Magistrates Court

Berry Street Western Region

Our role and function

  • Provide expertise and leadership on all matters relating to family violence and the family violence system in Central Highlands. Draw on our unique and valuable position as system leaders to influence change.
  • Collaborate and act as one, accountable to each other, with complementary strengths, to progress family violence system integration and improvement. Partner with purpose as we work towards realising our vision of an end to family violence.
  • Advocate on behalf of our family violence system and its unique contexts. Influence system designers and decision makers so that statewide initiatives coming to Central Highlands are articulated and delivered in a way that maximises benefits for our community.
  • Communicate to stakeholders and communities the inherent value articulation of our role in system integration and improvement, and in facilitating the statewide reform agenda as initiatives roll through Central Highlands.
  • Undertake evidence-informed design and client-focused planning to strengthen, integrate and improve Central Highland’s family violence system.
  • Innovate and evaluate so we can contribute to the evidence base. Share our achievements and lessons learned as we build our evidence base for Central Highlands.
  • Enable improved knowledge of the structural causes of all family violence and their intersecting dimensions. Facilitate more consistency in family violence literacy across Central Highlands (i.e. the system and the community).

Our values

  • Accountability
  • Action focused
  • Cultural competence
  • Integrity
  • Central Highland’s uniqueness
  • Cultural safety
  • Respect and transparency
  • Collaborations and partnerships
  • Innovation and learning

Our principles

  • Collectively, we can change the family violence system so it can better prevent family violence, intervene earlier, respond more effectively, and facilitate recovery from family violence.
  • Family violence is predominantly gendered in its contexts and dynamics, and is derived from, and maintained by, structural inequities and hierarchies that perpetuate gender inequality. Additionally, all family violence occurs in the context of power imbalances that derive from, and are maintained by, intersecting structures of privilege and oppression. These structures shape the manifestations of family violence that impact the lives of victim survivors and perpetrators, across all facets of society.
  • Family violence against Aboriginal people derives from, and is maintained by, the history of colonisation and the ongoing disempowering impacts of systemic racism, marginalisation and exclusion. Family violence against Aboriginal people encompasses physical, sexual, emotional, economic, social, spiritual and cultural dimensions of perpetration by non-Aboriginal people against Aboriginal partners, children, young people and extended family members; the abuse of Elders; and lateral violence within Aboriginal communities.
  • The structural causes of all family violence are historically constructed, not inevitable. Action on the structural causes of family violence is both possible and necessary if we are to end family violence once and for all.
  • Ending family violence is everyone’s business; it’s the collective responsibility of all levels of government, the non-government sector, justice and legal sectors, business sector, community, education and media.
  • We can be free of family violence.

Join us, and help end family violence.

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