The Family Violence Capacity Building Program

Unique cross sector collaboration leads to philanthropic investment in family violence sector capacity building projects to improve family violence outcomes in Victoria

The Royal Commission into Family Violence called for a whole of community response to improving family violence outcomes in Victoria. The Family Violence Philanthropy Collaboration Project (FVPCP) has answered this call, bringing together for the first-time representatives from the family violence, philanthropic and government sectors who recognise the value in working together for change.

The resulting cross-sector collaboration, led by Domestic Violence Victoria with generous support from The Ross Trust, Gandel Philanthropy and The William Buckland Foundation and key input from Family Safety Victoria, is focused on supporting the implementation of the Royal Commission Recommendations. Through this work, a range of strategic areas for philanthropic investment have been identified, and a group of philanthropic funders have come together to resource these areas.

As a result of the Royal Commission into Family Violence historic reforms are now underway within the family violence system – with major changes in legislation, new services and sectors with a role to play and increased expectations for systems coordination. The Family Violence Sector Capacity Building Program is designed to meet the emerging needs of the family violence sector to meet this challenge by providing mechanisms and tools to support and sustain changes required to improve family violence outcomes for all Victorians.

The program includes the following three action-learning projects:

  • Experts by Experience – A Consumer Participation Model for the Family Violence Sector to be delivered by the Women and Children who have Experienced Abuse and Violence: Advisors and Researchers (the WEAVERs) in partnership with Kelsey Hegarty and the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against Women and their Children (MAEVe) at the University of Melbourne. This project will support the family violence sector to further embed victim survivor expertise and decision making in the development and delivery of their services.
  • Strengthening Family Violence Regional Integration – A Monitoring, Research and Evaluation Framework for Family Violence Regional Integration Committees to be delivered by Professor Cathy Humphreys and the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against Women and their Children (MAEVe) at the University of Melbourne. This project will improve evidence informed decision making by the 13 Family Violence Regional Integration Committees across Victoria, leading to more coordinated responses to family violence, improved safety for victim survivors and increased perpetrator accountability.
  • Increasing Inclusion and Accessibility for Victim Survivors and Families in Refuge – Implementing a Service Model for Family Violence Refuges State-wide to be delivered by Domestic Violence Victoria in partnership with Family Safety Victoria. This project will support family violence refuges across Victoria, who provide protection and safety for adults and children fleeing family violence, to increase inclusion and accessibility for all Victorians, and incorporate the Recommendations from the Royal Commission into their work.

The Family Violence Sector Capacity Building Program is generously funded by Gandel Philanthropy, The William Buckland Foundation, Give Where You Live Foundation, State Trustees Australia Foundation, The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust and the Johnstone Gumption Fund and the Jump Start Fund, sub-funds of Australian Communities Foundation.

Australian Communities Foundation is a community of giving that seeks social, environmental and cultural justice. The Foundation makes philanthropy easy and accessible for people from all walks of life, from all over Australia. With more than twenty years of experience in catalysing positive social and environmental change, the community at the Foundation is united in its drive to make things better for people and the planet.

Gandel Philanthropy is one of Australia’s largest independent private family philanthropic funds. It has been the vehicle for charitable giving by the extended Gandel family since its formation as the Gandel Charitable Foundation back in 1978. John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel AC are actively engaged in their philanthropic initiatives and they are universally recognised for their generosity, commitment and passion in supporting both Jewish and general causes. Through Gandel Philanthropy, over the years they invested over $100 million dollars in the community, supporting various charitable causes in Australia and overseas.

The Give Where You Live Foundation is a community foundation that has been addressing the issue of entrenched disadvantage in the Geelong/G21 region for over 65 years. Through its work the Foundation seeks to ensure greater equity of opportunity in the region so that ALL people and places thrive. The Foundation supports the key areas of education, employment and supporting people through a life crisis by investing in programs and organisations, convening and connecting to create strategic and effective solutions and by raising money for and awareness of the issue of entrenched disadvantage in the Geelong/G21 community.

The Ross Trust is a perpetual charitable trust with a vision to create positive social and environmental change so Victorians can thrive. As a compassionate and responsive philanthropic leader, the Trust wants to enable young people in Victoria by giving them equitable access to education, so they can complete their secondary schooling regardless of their circumstances. The Trust works with partners to ensure Victoria’s biodiversity is conserved, protected and valued by all as part of a healthy and resilient environment.

State Trustees Australia Foundation has a vision for a Victoria where everyone participates in and prospers from philanthropy. The purpose of the Foundation is to positively impact the Victorian community through encouraging giving in perpetuity and engaging in effective philanthropy.  Through the generosity of individuals and families, who have made gifts in perpetuity, over $34 million has been granted since 1994 to address disadvantage in Victoria.

The William Buckland Foundation is focused on improving the lives of vulnerable Victorians through grants that support better housing, health, education and employment outcomes and initiatives that build resilience and strengthen rural and regional communities. The Foundation works to deepen understanding, engagement with grantees and collaborate with other philanthropic funders to overcome the causes of social and economic disadvantage. The Foundation continues to focus grant making on innovative solutions to complex problems and to amplify the reach of these projects where appropriate.

The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust is the grant making branch of the Victorian Women’s Trust, providing community grants to experts who are finding innovative ways for women and girls to thrive and reach their full potential. Since 1985, the Trust has given nearly $7 million in grants to more than 550 projects, helping thousands of women, girls and families across Victoria and importantly, bringing about positive social change.

For more information about these projects and the Family Violence Philanthropy Collaboration Project please contact Project Coordinator Emma Morgan at