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inTouch multicultural centre against family violence: “Strengthening workforce capacity to better prevent and respond to family violence in migrant and refugee communities” project

We were approached by inTouch multicultural centre against family violence to identify gaps and opportunities for workforce capacity building across the Victorian family violence service system to produce a theory driven Investment Logic Map.

The evaluation adopted a culturally responsive approach and drew from principles-based practices in family violence prevention and program design. Using critical race, postcolonial, feminist theories and ecological systems thinking, we recommended actions that address structural and institutional asymmetries underlying unequal access to protective factors and unequal exposure to risk factors. 

Critical race, postcolonial, and feminist theories remind us that the current distribution of access are the cumulative effects of historical and ongoing patterns of inequity and limited understanding by:

  • Policy developers of the lived experiences of multicultural victims and survivors of family violence and 
  • The family violence workforce to design and deliver responses that meet the needs of migrants and are refugees who are victims of family violence. 

Examples of recommendations we made:

  • Partner with culturally competent training providers to uplift sector-wide capability in migrant & refugee specific service delivery Partner and engage in efforts that build the migrant/ refugee workforce—closing ethnic and gender-based gaps and power differentials in employment, income, and influence, which increase the likelihood of exploitation and abuse.
  • Formally establish, manage and deliver best practice culturally responsive training through a range of training delivery modes.
  • Maintain active partnerships with multicultural communities to influence and inform their family violence service design and delivery and
  • Increase State Government understanding and prioritisation of multicultural communities in law and policy reform that change political, social, and cultural narratives around power and control over service delivery decisions—including by modelling shared power through long-term partnership and the symmetric, reciprocal exchange, as opposed to the asymmetric extraction or deposit, of knowledge, staff, and other resources.

“Our Voices: Stances for Multicultural Australia” Questionnaire Report

The Centre administered a survey in early 2021, which is being analysed. We invited people and organisations whose clients include members of multicultural communities to complete a questionnaire and were particularly interested in feedback from a broad group of stakeholders ranging from evaluators, managers, researchers and policy advocates, procurement and project officers, program designers, and interpreters and we succeeded.
The questionnaire was designed to fill a gap in reports on multicultural issues in Australia, two of which are:

  • The Victorian Government Report in Multicultural Affairs, which outlines policies, strategies and services of Victorian Government departments and reports on some key indicators and
  • The Scanlon Report: Taking Australia’s temperature on migration issues.  

At CMPE we believe there is a need for additional information about how departments and others respond to the many and varied needs of multicultural communities in Victoria and Australia.

The purpose of the questionnaire was to explore how:

  • organisations and individuals hear and respond to the voices of multicultural communities in Australia 
  • such voices are used to make policies and deliver services and
  • deliver multicultural evaluations that respond to need