The City of Parramatta Council recognises that domestic and family violence affects all our communities and is working to prevent it. The extent and the nature of domestic and family violence means that all of us should step up and do what we can to prevent it.
Council recognises that there are many services, groups, organisations, businesses and corporations in Parramatta that are already working to support survivors of domestic and family violence and/or working to prevent this violence. Council also recognises that there are also many individual workers and volunteers; family members; friends, neighbours and community members who are also doing what they can to support survivors or prevent this violence. Council values this work and recognises the knowledge, skills and commitment of people already doing what they can.
Council believes that EVERYONE in our communities can do something to prevent domestic and family violence and it will continue to work to support its communities to do this.
What is the City of Parramatta doing to prevent domestic and family violence?
The City of Parramatta, like many other local councils in NSW, has been active for a number of years in preventing domestic and family violence. This work has included partnerships with many different stakeholders in our communities: community based services and organisations; national and community based sports clubs; businesses, corporations and social enterprises; other government agencies; paid and voluntary workers; and community leaders and members.
We have delivered many projects externally, in our communities, to prevent domestic and family violence, including funding services and organisation through our grants programs to deliver additional programs for their clients. More recently, the City of Parramatta has been developing internal strategies to support any of our staff surviving domestic or family violence and increase the ability of our staff to take preventative actions.
We recognise that we have a leadership responsibility to step up and do what we can to prevent domestic and family violence on behalf of Parramatta’s many communities. We also recognise that we have a role in supporting others in our community to do the same.
The following information includes details on Council’s work to prevent domestic and family violence and ideas that others can also use:
- Funding and resourcing services and organisations through our Community Grants program and providing additional resources and in-kind support for partnership projects
- In partnership with specialist providers, holding training events on domestic and family violence for community sector workers including paid staff and volunteers. In 2017 this has included a partnership with TAFE NSW to offer free Basic Domestic and Family Violence training for community workers
- Building connections and stronger networks between services and groups thereby increasing the support available to survivors
- Working in partnership with a range of other services and organisations to increase our communities’ awareness of and understanding of domestic and family violence This work includes supporting the Parramatta Cumberland Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Committee to run community events during the annual international campaign 16 Days of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls
- Increasing our communities’ knowledge of and understanding of domestic and family violence and providing useful information to survivors of this violence. This work includes distributing information and resources through Council’s services, including libraries, care services and early childcare centres, and garbage truck signage for our domestic waste collection services
- Partnership with Western Sydney Wanderers and University of Western Sydney to develop and deliver Anti Violence and Anti Bullying program for high schools
- Innovative work to develop and implement primary prevention of violence against women in our communities. In 2016 Council was one of 45 organisations across Australia funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Building Safe Communities for Women program. We have used this funding to run the Preventing Violence Against Women Grants Program and worked with 10 ‘everyday and unlikely’ services and groups to address the known causes of violence against women- gender inequality. More information on this project can be found here
The City of Parramatta employs over 800 staff and Council recognises that the nature and extent of domestic and family violence means that some of our staff will be surviving this violence. Council is committed to supporting its staff and providing a safe and supportive work environment. It also recognises that domestic and family violence has significant negative economic impacts: it affects staff performance, absenteeism and turn over. To support staff who may be supporting this violence Council has:
- A staff Domestic and Family Violence Policy which provides a framework to support employees who experience domestic and family violence and encourage them to come forward for help and support. This policy includes additional paid leave entitlements for staff for example who may need to attend medical or legal appointments or court dates.
- Includes in all staff’s Induction training information on domestic and family violence and Council’s work to prevent this violence
- Introduced training for staff on supporting those surviving domestic and family violence
- Established the Domestic and Family Violence Working Group which works across Council to increase the organisation’s capacity to prevent domestic and family violence
The City of Parramatta is also sharing its knowledge and skills to prevent domestic and family violence in our own communities with workers from other communities across NSW. By creating opportunities to learn and work with others Council is building its own strengths and capacities.
- Since May 2016 we have held three forums for NSW local government officers to share information and knowledge; showcase and share best practice strategies and build connections between workers. Each forum was delivered in partnership with other agencies including Local Government NSW; Cumberland Council; Domestic Violence NSW and Our Watch.
- Work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Domestic and Family Violence Interagency, including training for community workers
- In February 2018 Council will be delivering the following learning opportunities for others working to prevent domestic and family violence:
- In partnership with Cumberland Council:
- Our Watch Change the Story- Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women
- Workshop for those in Parramatta and Cumberland regions
- In partnership with Inner City Legal Centre:
- Supporting LGBTIQ people experiencing Domestic and Family Violence - A Legal Context
- Workshop for those in Parramatta and Western Sydney