6th Asia Pacific Safe & Together™ Model Conference
The Safe & Together Institute, together with Berry Street, The Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare and Safe and Equal, are proud to partner to bring you the 6th Asia Pacific Safe & Together™ Model Conference.
We are excited to announce that, after two years, the conference will be an in-person event.
Featuring David Mandel, Executive Director, Safe & Together Institute, we are developing a program that will showcase a range of international and local speakers who will share how they are implementing the Safe & Together™ Model, how it is influencing their practice and enhancing the safety and wellbeing of children.
The program will be rich in content and interesting to all levels of familiarity with the Model, including attendees of prior conferences, professionals who have undergone training and those new to the model. It will include keynote presentations, concurrent sessions that focus on skill building and discussion as well as networking opportunities. We will also be offering pre-conference masterclasses to kick-start your learning journey.
KEYNOTE: Responding Effectively to Coercive Control
Dr Emma Katz, Ph.D.
(Delivered ‘live’ via ZOOM from the UK)
This Keynote will explore the new, innovative work that is taking place around coercive control. Coercive control is a severe but often hidden form of abuse. It involves situations where a perpetrator subjects their partner or family member to persistent, wide-ranging controlling behaviour over a long period of time and makes it clear that standing up for themselves will be punished. By repeatedly punishing their partner/family member for non-compliance, the perpetrator intends to demoralise and terrorise them into a state of permanent obedience, stripping them of their ability to freely participate in their communities and to make basic choices for themselves. Coercive controllers use multiple tactics of abuse, and every tactic harms the lives of any children in the family as well as the lives of adult victim-survivors. The experiences of adults and children subjected to coercive control are highly similar, and children and adults should be considered co-victims and co-survivors.
After exploring the dynamics and tactics of coercive control and their impacts on victims-survivors, this Keynote will emphasise the following points: it is the abuser, not the relationship, that is the cause of the abuse, and it is the abuser who is responsible for the harms experienced by any children in the family. Perpetrators are making a parenting choice to have their child grow up in a family dominated by coercive control. Responses to domestic abuse by systems and individual professionals must identify the abuser’s pattern of abusive behaviour as the source of the danger and harm. Because separation rarely brings about safety for the adult and child survivors, and most coercive controllers are determined to continue their coercive control post-separation, responses to abusers must focus on meaningfully disrupting and blocking the abuser’s willingness and ability to continue to be abusive. Both adult and child victims and survivors require not only meaningful safety from the abuser, but also the freedom, support and resources to make their own choices and to thrive in the aftermath of abuse.
KEYNOTE: Our Men Our Sheilds
Jack Bulman, CEO, Mibbinbah, will speak about their work with Aboriginal men around fatherhood and family violence.
Our work supports and celebrates the roles of mothers, fathers and extended family in ensuring the health and well-being of children. When men’s roles and responsibilities are either not acknowledged or denied, the very foundations of our societies are disrupted and our cultural ways of rearing children in nurturing homes are denied.
As an Aboriginal man, I have first-hand knowledge of what our people endure: jails full of our people; our children being removed at unprecedented rates across the country; our identity and culture publicly trashed again and again; and the violent, soul-destroying experience of daily racism.
The organisation I established and continue to work for, Mibbinbah, is Australia’s only national Indigenous male health promotion charity. For more than 15 years, Mibbinbah has undertaken a range of activities to support and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s and boys’ groups and their communities across Australia.
KEYNOTE: “Why does she keep choosing him over her children?” How to stop blaming mothers, ignoring fathers and fix the way we keep children safe from domestic violence
David Mandel, Safe & Together Model founder
We live in a world where, consistently, mothers are still blamed for the harm violent fathers create for children and families. Fathers’ behaviours and choices, positive and negative, and their impact on child and family functioning are underappreciated or outright ignored.
As part of the prelaunch of his forthcoming book, “Why does she keep choosing him over her children?” David will examine some of the professional “myths” that interfere with societal and systemic change and some of the steps to fix the systems charged with keeping children safe from domestic violence.
KEYNOTE: The Four Pillars of “Failure to Protect” Culture
David Mandel, Safe & Together Model founder
“Failure to Protect” culture holds mothers responsible for the behaviours of their abusive male partners. These practices are inefficient, ineffective, unfair and unethical. Drawing from his upcoming book “Why does she keep choosing him over her children,” David outlines “failure to protect culture,” its limitations and impact, and his suggestions for ending the use of “failure to protect” in domestic violence cases.
The KODY Project: Fathering intervention at the intersection of family violence and substance abuse
Raelene Lesniowska, Kids First Australia
Anne Tidyman, Daniella Wilson & Dave Kwame Arthur, Odyssey House Victoria
Problematic alcohol and other drug (AOD) use increases the likelihood, severity, and continuation of domestic and family violence (DFV) and is associated with hostile and abusive parenting. These intersecting problems have implications for victim-survivor’s safety and wellbeing, most of whom are women and children. However, interventions addressing these problems are typically delivered by different sectors, with little collaboration. Neither sector is well equipped to address the intersection of both issues, or adequately incorporate children’s voices, whose needs are at risk of remaining invisible in the face of father’s parent-centred choices.
The 4th National Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children urges a more targeted intersectional approach, which addresses the specific needs of men accessing DFV programs. The KODY project, comprising the Caring Dads (Kids First Australia) intervention for fathers, Kids in Focus (Odyssey House Victoria) intervention for whole of family, and cross-sectorial collaboration via the adult AOD sector, examines the efficacy of a partnership approach to addressing the complexity of father’s use of DFV, in the context of AOD use (and other aspects of intersectionality) in more nuanced ways.
S&T’s critical components and multiple pathways to harm will be used to highlight:
- Intersectoral practice implications, case studies and outcomes of the KODY project, and recommendations for similar interventions.
- How the shared language and understanding of S&T enables cross-sectoral work and capacity building that enhances the ability to intervene with fathers typically considered too complex for a business-as-usual approach to their use of DFV and AOD.
The path to Rainbow Tick accreditation: The Safe & Together Model in practice at Berry Street
Sue Hermans, Lani Pereira & Jac Dwyer, Berry Street
The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted a need for Victorian specialist family violence services to become more family violence proficient in their work with LGBTIQA+ communities and families. Recommendation 167 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence required all funded family violence services to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation.
In 2018 Berry Street’s Specialist Family Violence Services and Restoring Childhood programs embarked on a journey towards Rainbow Tick accreditation, achieving Rainbow Tick in 2021.
This presentation will explore how Safe & Together and Rainbow Tick have worked together to support Berry Street’s Northern Specialist Family Violence Service (NSFVS) to enact family violence-informed practice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) victim-survivors.
Embedding Domestic Violence informed practice across Child and Youth Protection Services – supporting the transfer of theory to practice
Ali Trewhella & Lauren Ellerton, Community Services Directorate, ACT Government
Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) in the ACT commenced training in the Safe & Together Model in June 2021. The CYPS Case Analysis team, reviews and analyses cases at key decision-making points and/or during periods of perceived heightened risk for a child or young person. Since completing training in the Safe & Together Model, the team have incorporated the key principles of the model into analysis reports; including focusing on mapping a perpetrator’s coercive control and actions to harm, identifying the full spectrum of the non-offending parent’s efforts to promote child safety and wellbeing, highlighting the impact of the perpetrator’s behaviour on the child, integrating intersections and intersectionality’s, documenting survivor strengths and demonstrating best practice in documentation. This focus has enabled the Case Analysis team to demonstrate to staff; how the Safe & Together Model and principles can be applied to practice and support case management teams to consider how they could partner with the survivor and hold a perpetrator accountable for their behaviour and decisions.
This presentation will provide a case example to demonstrate how this team have integrated theory to practice and are supporting the broader workforce to strengthen the agency’s response to family violence.
“The Last Drop”: A Sci-Fi Film Designed to Educate Young People About Coercive Control
The Last Drop is a short sci-fi film about relationship abuse inspired by the memories of real survivors. A young woman links minds with her boyfriend to relive their favorite shared memories— but when she spots overlooked signs of abuse, she must escape before he can manipulate her memories in his favor. The film is designed to fill the glaring gap in educational material about coercive control for young people. Ruth Reymundo Mandel, the Safe & Together Institute’s Communication and Strategic Relationship Manager, and writer/director, Adam Joel, discuss the ground-breaking elements of the film, including:
– the power of storytelling to connect and empower survivors. Writer/Director, Adam Joel, will share the communal storytelling method he used to combine his own experience as a survivor with input from other survivors and experts.
– the innovative choice to use science fiction to reach younger audiences and highlight the hidden signs of coercive control.
– the partnership between S&TI (an Executive Producer of The Last Drop) and the filmmakers to distribute this film to the people who need it most.
Join us to learn how The Last Drop could be a powerful learning tool and conversation starter for your work in the field of abuse prevention, education, social work, and more!
Using the Web-Based Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool to Embed Safe & Together into Your Agency
Heidi Rankin, Safe & Together Institute
For years, practitioners have depended on the Safe & Together Institute Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool to change practice and change lives of adult and child domestic violence survivors. In the past, access to the tool required attendance in our CORE training. No longer. After a two-year development process, the Safe & Together Institute has launched a web-based version of the tool that is immediately accessible online to any practitioner. This workshop will provide an overview of the new version of the tool and its applications. The workshop will highlight how key aspects of the tool, including new content, built-in coaching and fidelity checks; and how its use supports the implementation of the Model and systems change.
Where to from here? System transformation as an iterative process
Bec Shearman, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, QLD
Michele Robinson, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)
This workshop brings together leaders in DFV research and policy to explore how a series of ANROWS research projects that used the Safe & Together framework have influenced the implementation of evidence-based child safety policy and practice reform in Queensland. The current changing policy landscape in Queensland, as well as the context and agenda set by The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, offers a unique moment to reflect on how this transformation has shed light on new gaps and challenges.
Through an exploration of the experience in Queensland over the last five years, this workshop will highlight emerging challenges, and ask participants to share experiences from other jurisdictions. These include:
- Recruitment of skilled professionals and attrition of trainers
- Resourcing and support of ongoing coaching and mentoring (beyond training)
Working in a system that is historically calibrated to default to a focus on the non-offending parent – particularly when the non-offending parent is more accessible and engaged
- Expanding the Safe & Together framework and learnings to other relevant service system areas, in recognition of the wide range of possible points of intervention with the offending parent
After discussion with participants, the workshop will conclude with a turn to the future, by considering other evidence that can complement and support the Safe & Together model in its application in local, changing contexts.
MATCLA (Multi Agency Triage & Case Lead Allocation) and WWD (Walking With Dads), NEXT STEPS
Leanne Downes & Peter Thorpe, Dpt of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, QLD
Priscilla Thorpe, Integrated Family & Youth Services
ATCLA (Multi-Agency Triage & Case Lead Allocation) and WWD (Walking With Dads) NEXT STEPS: A systems & perpetrator accountability behavioural disruption model focuses on
• Delivering risk management/fathering plans that are adult and child victim/survivor-led, via a cyclical feedback process.
• Enhanced perpetrator accountability through increased use of collaborative responses
• Increased confidence in sector to engage perpetrators at various touchpoints
• Increased use of community and kin networks to disrupt behaviours, hold fathers accountable, and maintain ongoing risk management
• Work to create change with fathers who perpetrate violence, decrease risk, and increase safety WWD have developed a “NEXT STEPS” approach forming a partnership with the local Integrated Service Response model on the Sunshine Coast, MATCLA.
The Safe & Together framework underpins WWD and the MATCLA model. MATCLA member agencies participated in CORE Safe & Together training in 2020 to enhance coordinated domestic violence-informed integrated service responses. The MATCLA model is designed to coordinate the Sunshine Coast service system with a particular focus on perpetrators to manage and reduce the risk they pose to adult and child survivors/victims. The model is also designed to strengthen culturally safe responses to all family members and prioritise children as primary victims of domestic violence by focusing on perpetrators and how they impact children’s lives. The Next Steps Project seeks to change the narrative of perpetrator work to centre on the mother and child where the victim/survivors’ voices, views and wishes are sought and centralised throughout the intervention.
Safe & Together, ISR and a youth mentor programme – weaving together a multi-agency response to family violence
Zara Robson & Val Carter, Home and Family (NZ)
This interactive workshop will demonstrate how the model has enabled effective and consistent practice for Home & Family’s front-line team, with a deeper dive into how it influenced the development of a mentor programme for children and young people using violent behaviour within the family. Referrals to this programme come via the Integrated Safety Response (ISR). ISR is a multi-agency intervention designed to ensure the immediate safety of victims and children and to work with perpetrators to prevent further violence. ISR intends to take a whole-of-family approach, putting the risk and needs of family at the centre of the response. The operational delivery of ISR is hosted by Police as part of the broader Government work on family and sexual violence. Key features of ISR include dedicated staff, funded specialist services for victims and perpetrators, daily risk assessment and triage, family safety plans, an electronic case management system and an intensive case management approach to collectively work with high-risk families. Zara has been awarded a Safe & Together Champion Award for Case Practice.
The Safe & Together Book – interviewing survivors and practitioners
David Mandel, Safe & Together Institute | Deb Nicholson, Deb Nicholson Consulting
When David Mandel first envisioned writing the Safe & Together book – “Stop Blaming Mothers and Ignoring Fathers” – he couldn’t imagine not including the voices of survivors who have been impacted both by perpetrators’ behaviours and the response of systems. Nor could he leave out the voices of practitioners whose work has been transformed by the Safe & Together Model and who are championing its game-changing approach around the world. David believes that the Model is nothing without the practitioners who practice it, nor can its effectiveness be truly measured without hearing from survivors impacted by professionals’ use of the Model. Early in the book’s development, David decided to interview practitioners and survivors to hear their stories and their impressions of the Model. Over a period of three months during 2022 Deb Nicholson interviewed practitioners and survivors from Australia, the UK and the USA. In this workshop, David and Deb discuss the methodology and results of the interviews, and what this might mean for future development of the Model.
Creating Ecosystems of support for Survivors & Perpetrator behaviour change using Safe & Together Tools
Ruth Reymundo Mandel, Safe & Together Institute
“Still to come”
Nobody said it was going to be easy – Shifting to family violence-informed organisational practice
Taran Dhillon, Anne Tidyman & Emma Shaw, Odyssey House Victoria
Odyssey House Victoria (OHV) provides alcohol and other drugs (AOD) treatment across metropolitan and regional areas in Victoria. In the last four years, OHV started embedding family violence-informed practice in AOD clinical work. This was spurred on by the Victorian state-wide family violence reforms along with the Safe & Together Model. OHV employs over 200 AOD clinicians, and the work is spread across a wide stream of programs which includes child and family, community-based treatment and residential rehabilitation services. OHV’s work intersects with multiple sectors, including family violence, mental health, child protection services, criminal justice, housing and disability. This space has provided OHV with an opportunity to bring a family violence lens to risk assessment and management, treatment planning, care team meetings and broader advocacy to recontextualise family violence in a client’s presentation. The journey so far has presented peaks, pits and multiple challenges. However, a laser-focused vision of practice that is ethical, partners with adult survivors, keeps perpetrators accountable and is child-centred has led OHV on the journey to grow towards family violence-informed proficient practice. Join three practice leads who have been at the centre of shifting practice across OHV for a candid conversation that reflects on the last four years of promoting organisational change using the Safe and Together Model in AOD work.
Practice Developments from ESTIE: documentation and new resource
Cathy Humphreys & Margaret Kertesz, University of Melbourne
Cherie Toivonen, Director, CLT Byron Consulting
In this workshop, we draw from the ESTIE research (Evidence to Support Safe & Together Implementation and Evaluation) to focus on the issue of documentation and the broader range of practice issues that emerge at the intersection of DFV with AOD and MH. In addition to a short presentation, a panel will discuss the ways in which documentation is a core practice in addressing patterns of coercive control and an important aspect of an ethical service response. The learnings from the ESTIE project are encapsulated in a practice resource and quick reference guide that will also provide further touch points for participants interested in the nuances of practice where complexities are evident not only for family members but also the traditionally siloed service system. The ESTIE project funded by the Ministry of Health, NSW was an action research project exploring work at the intersection of DFV with AOD and Mental Health. Managers and senior practitioners in Local Health Districts worked with researchers and S&T consultants to explore practice developments informed by the S&T model. Communities of Practice with practitioners from DFV, AOD, and MH formed the heart of the project bringing their practice experience to shape the practice-led learning at the intersection of DFV with these complex issues. A senior Aboriginal consultant bought her cultural wisdom and expertise to the second stage of the project to highlight the importance of cultural safety in all practice responses.
Post-separation coercion – unpacking testimonial injustice and weaponisation of traumatic experiences of victim-survivors.
Ancy Dsouza & Tara Lees, Desert Blue Connect
Leaving a violent relationship should signify the beginning of safety and autonomy for victim-survivors and their children. Unfortunately, for many victim-survivors, it provokes new and often imperceptible patterns of control whereby perpetrators manipulate and weaponize the very systems meant to facilitate safety in their continued coercion and exploitation of victim-survivors. Utilising the Safe & Together Model mapping tool, perpetrator patterns of post-separation coercion and manipulation have become more identifiable to practitioners within Desert Blue Connect, a family violence service located in the Midwest of Western Australia. Within this service the comprehensive assessment of perpetrator patterns of behaviour coupled with exploring victim survivors’ power-threat-meaning-response has highlighted ongoing systemic injustice experienced by victim-survivors in their challenge to create safety for themselves and their children. Three case studies will be presented that highlight victim survivor’s experiences of post-separation coercion and systemic injustice. Each case study demonstrates diverse and nuanced examples of how perpetrators and systemic ideologies continue to exert trauma on victim-survivors. The ongoing manifestation of victim survivor’s trauma and threat responses can further exacerbate the epistemic and testimonial injustice they experience in seeking separation and safety.
Giving Sound to the Silenced. Using Lived Experience to Expose Failures in our Family Law System!
Jane Matts, Sister’s in Law Project
This presentation will focus on the work of the Sister’s in Law Project (SILP), a national organisation, explain how intelligent and brave women, protective parents, have survived terrible injustices in our Australian family law system. It explores how they manage life before and after their family law events. So many are silenced, traumatised and cannot explain their experiences because of the legislative constraints of s121 of the Family Law Act,1975. This paper will use scenario-based examples with end-to-end results of survivors in the family law system, incorporating failures of the Magellan process and the limitations of the Light House project. This presentation uses the same case reporting style as applied by Jess Hill in her award-winning book ‘See What You Made Me Do’. There are lessons to be learnt as the presentation will explore the difference between the espoused values of the court versus reality. Lack of knowledge by participants in this system, the mismanagement of trauma, the poor management of child protection matters and the gaslighting of players in this adversarial system are noted. The paper acknowledges some positives observed of the family law system but recommends better processes for keeping women and children safe, and the dire need for safer legal conduct by all professionals in this jurisdiction.
Self Care for Practitioners: Using the Concept of Partnering with Survivors to Promote Worker Health and Well-Being
David Mandel & Ruth Reymundo Mandel, Safe & Together Institute
Working with domestic violence means professionals come into contact daily with complex & challenging trauma. The Safe & Together Model’s concept of Partnering with Survivors offers an efficient, effective, ethical and safe way to engage protective parents. Working with domestic violence survivors may confront professionals with their own prior experiences, uncover where their strengths or needs were not acknowledged and can even trigger their own experiences of trauma.
In this workshop, participants will:
Learn the six steps of Partnering and discuss the following questions:
- What is my experience with being partnered with in my own life?
- What are the values, practices and personal responsibilities associated with partnering?
- What strengths do I bring to the partnering process?
- What judgments do I have that get in the way of partnering?
- What beliefs and experiences have I had that make it hard for me to partner with survivors?
- What do I need to change in my attitudes and beliefs so I can most effectively partner with survivors?
As a result of this workshop, participants will be better prepared to partner with survivors, and also learn how the partnering process can support the healing and nourishment for practitioners and workers as well.
Safe & Together and the Family Court: creating a shared narrative of family violence
Joanna Pettett & Celia Conlan, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA)
With an ever-increasing majority of parenting matters involving issues of Family Violence, The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) sought out a framework to better understand and respond to this important issue. Enter the Safe & Together Model, providing a foundation of shared understanding and shared language regarding Family Violence for Judicial Officers and social scientists alike to draw on to support their work with families at all stages of the Family Law Pathway.
This presentation will follow the journey of a family as they progress through the Family Law Pathway. It will highlight how the Safe and Together Model guides and assists the decisions and assessments of different Court professionals and supports a shared language and understanding of Family Violence between them; the outcome being a more informed and responsive Court.
Clinician perspectives on domestic violence-informed child-centred practice: key learnings, challenges and opportunities in supporting child safety and wellbeing
Victoria Marshall & Chad Chan, Berry Street
This presentation will share key learnings, challenges, and opportunities in supporting child safety and wellbeing from the perspectives of clinicians working therapeutically with victim-survivors of family violence.
The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence established in 2015 highlighted the lack of specialist therapeutic family violence services supporting children and young people. The Northern Healing and Recovery Program (NHARP) program arose in this context and works therapeutically with victim-survivors of family violence, including infants, children, young people, and their caregivers, while maintaining a focus on their safety. Clinical practice in NHARP incorporates key principles from the Safe and Together model, including child-centred practice, partnering with the non-offending parent, healing from trauma, and keeping the person using violence in view.
NHARP clinicians undertake complex work involving risk assessment and management, therapeutic assessment and intervention, and systems engagement and advocacy. The perspectives of clinicians working in this relatively new and highly innovative program responding to the needs of victim-survivors of family violence offer key learnings for the sector in relation to domestic violence-informed child-centred practice. From the perspective of clinicians on the front line, how is best practice evolving in this space, what challenges have been encountered, and what opportunities are identified for the future? What systemic changes are needed, and what kinds of strategies might be adopted in pursuit of these? This presentation will make a valuable contribution to local and international dialogue that aims to develop and strengthen domestic violence-informed child-centred practice.
The invisible made visible. Using documentation to highlight domestic violence and shift responsibility back to the perpetrator
Grace Hong & Stephanie Phung, Barnardos Australia
Separation can be one of the most dangerous times for survivors of domestic and family violence (DFV). Children and young people continue to experience and be exposed to DFV after the perpetrator no longer lives at home. Children and young people are often being targeted or used as a weapon of the perpetrators’ ongoing coercive control during custody battles. Our Australian legal system often puts victim-survivors of domestic violence at greater risk where these behaviours have not been identified and effectively documented.
Barnardos Australia has adopted the Safe & Together (S&T) model as an organisation-wide strategy and framework driving our approach to child safety and wellbeing in the context of DFV since 2019. In the last 12 months there has been a strong focus on this model, with training put in place for caseworkers. Our implementation of the perpetrator pattern-based approach has guided caseworkers to clearly map out the perpetrator’s patterns of violent behaviours; to highlight the protective efforts of the non-offending parent; and to describe the impact of the violence on the children and family functioning. An internal support guide and an array of documentation templates were developed to support new and existing caseworkers on how to write these documents. This promotes documentation using a DFV-safe approach.
This workshop will showcase two in-depth case studies highlighting use of the support guide and documentation template, which resulted in very positive outcomes for the children and adult survivors in Family Law Court proceedings and their ongoing needs.
It’s a Child’s Right to be Safe! Incorporating Safe and Together into Practice, Policy, and Advocacy through a Child Rights Lens
Peta Nichol & Cherie Conovan, 54 Reasons | Howard Choo, Save the Children Australia
54 reasons (part of the Save the Children group) will share our journey in implementing the Safe & Together Model in the context of our organisation’s overarching child rights-based approach. As enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child rights approach includes: centering children’s experiences; valuing and respecting children in their own right; responding to children and supporting their development holistically and in the context of their ecologies; taking children and their views seriously; and being accountable to children. The Safe & Together Model is strongly aligned with these principles.
In 2022, 54 reasons commenced the creation of a single operating model to unite our approach to domestic and family violence work across the country, with the Safe & Together framework as the central feature of the model. Although complex due to the wide variety of services this includes, at the forefront is a commitment to ensure that children and young peoples’ experience of domestic and family violence is universally understood and addressed within our practice, policy and advocacy areas as a deliberate and sustained threat to their safety, stability and wellbeing.
Drawing on the insights of our service delivery and practice model enables us to advocate for broader system change. We will share our child rights approach to promoting the principles of the Safe & Together Model through our advocacy for policy reform and system change across domestic and family violence, child protection and family support service systems.
MASTERCLASS 1: Applying a Perpetrator Pattern-Based Approach in Family Court Context
Family courts are charged with balancing child safety with meaningful relationships with both parents. What does this mean in the context of domestic violence? In many instances, courts are not clearly presented with the perpetrators’ patterns and the specifics of the harm it has caused, and emphasis on collaborative parenting can work against the best interests of children in these cases. Drawing on work in family court settings in the United States and Australia, David Mandel, Executive Director and Founder of the Safe & Together Institute, will explore how the Model can be applied in the family court context. This workshop will look at the difference between risk and harm frameworks; the importance of understanding post-separation coercive control and the targeting of professionals and systems as part of perpetrators’ patterns; how to best understand and contextualize protective parenting behaviors; the centrality of a behavioral approach to objectivity and neutrality; and how to increase accountability for perpetrators as parents in the family court context. (This is not an introductory class. While not required, prior knowledge of the Safe & Together Model is beneficial.)
MASTERCLASS 2: Using coaching to increase effective practice and system change?
This session is for Safe & Together Model™ Certified Trainers
Coaching can dramatically increase individual practitioners’ capacity for applying learned skills and tools in their day-to-day practice, as well as help to create a shared language, framework, and practice across agencies, which promotes systems change. In this workshop, specifically designed for Safe & Together Model™ Certified Trainers, participants will learn how to take their expertise in domestic violence-informed practice from the classroom to one-on-one and small-group consultations within their agencies.
Participants will learn to promote practitioners’ critical thinking, risk and safety assessment, appropriate case planning recommendations, and overall best practices in domestic violence cases.
The workshop will also focus on how Certified Trainers can coach workers in using Safe & Together Model™ tools, such as the Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool and the STIM Protocol, in advancing skill and knowledge development that can be applied across a range of cases as well as support practitioners in complex cases with high levels of trauma and safety issues.
MASTERCLASS 3: An Introduction to the Safe & Together Model™
In this masterclass, participants will be introduced to the Principles, Critical Components, and other key aspects of the paradigm-shifting Safe & Together Model. Participants will learn how the Model’s concepts, skills and tools can transform individual practice, agencies’ culture and systems, and cross-sector collaboration. Learn about partnering with survivors, keeping children safe and intervening with perpetrators as parents. Participants are guaranteed to leave the session with new practices they can implement immediately. This session is appropriate for professionals from any sector.
Before the Conference Special!
March 6 & 7 in Melbourne, Australia
Caring Dads Facilitator Training Event
We’re thrilled to announce a special partnership with the Caring Dads organisation!
This is your next opportunity to join the leading international network of clinicians working at the nexus of gender-based violence and fatherhood. Register today and take the first step to become a Caring Dads Facilitator. Receive a 10% discount on the Safe & Together Model 2023 Asia Pacific Conference when you register for the Caring Dads Facilitator Training Event.
Join us as a Sponsor or Exhibitor … click here for more information
Adam Joel - Last DropFilmmaker, co-founder of Aggressively Compassionate production company
Adam Joel is an impact-driven filmmaker and a survivor of relationship abuse. He is the Writer and Director of The Last Drop a short sci-fi film about relationship abuse inspired by the memories of real survivors. Adam is leading an international campaign using this revolutionary film to help people identify and react to the lesser known forms of abuse that tend to occur BEFORE a relationship turns violent. To make The Last Drop as impactful as possible, he consulted dozens of other survivors and an Advisory Board of experts in the fields of abuse prevention, education, and social work, including The One Love Foundation and The Safe & Together Institute, who are designing custom discussion guides to accompany the film. Adam is providing this project as a tool to help educators, advocates, and community groups lead meaningful conversations about relationship safety all across the world.
Ali TrewhellaDirector, Practice Development and Training, ACT Government
Ali holds a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) from Monash University and has worked in a variety of roles over the past 15 years; including in hospitals, child protection and youth justice. Ali is the Director of Practice Development and Training for Child and Youth Protection Services in the ACT. Ali has a strong interest in embedding research in practice and designing best practice initiatives that develop the capability of the sector. She has a strong knowledge base of the child protection system from her experiences working directly with children, young people, and families with complex needs both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. More recently, Ali has co-developed and implemented a therapeutic trauma informed service for children in the ACT and a Foundational Program which prepares new child protection practitioners for operational work.
Ancy DsouzaFamily Violence Intervention Officer, Desert Blue Connect
Ancy Dsouza is a passionate and skilled Social Work practitioner who brings a wealth of experience to the family violence sector. Ancy’s education and experience of working with victim-survivors in India has positioned her well to be aware and sensitive to complex cultural, family, community and political issues that might impact on the perpetration and experience of family violence. Since 2017 Ancy has effectively managed an increasingly high and complex case load across two different service roles in Desert Blue Connect (both Family violence Counsellor and Family Violence Intervention Officer in Barndimalgu Court). Ancy has successfully advocated for changes in the court system to have a positive impact on women and children’s safety.
Anne TidymanManager, Child & Family Services
Anne Tidyman has a background in nursing, public housing, community development, out-of-home care and alcohol and other drugs and family services. She has volunteered and worked in the community sector for over 20 years with a special interest in working with vulnerable families and communities. Anne has presented at many Child/Family, AOD and Family Violence-related conferences and forums in Australia and overseas about AOD, Family Violence and/or innovative practice with children/families experiencing trauma. She has publications with Dr Menka Tsantefski (Griffith University and formerly University of Melbourne) and has completed specialist training in family violence, she is an Accredited Parenting Under Pressure Therapist; Group Facilitator for Caring Dads and My Kids and Me. Anne is a certified trainer for Safe & Together. Anne manages Child and Family Services, at Odyssey House Victoria.
Bec Sherman DFV Practice Leader, Office of the Chief Practitioner, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs QueenslandBec ShermanDFV Practice Leader, Office of the Chief Practitioner, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs Queensland
Bec Shearman holds a BA (Psych), and Bachelor of Social Work. Bec has worked in multiple roles across the DFV and child safety sector, in both NGO and government organisations. Bec is currently the DFV Practice Leader at the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs. Her leadership roles have encompassed worker supervision & support, service delivery program management & development, training and education, consultation & submissions, informing strategic direction & governance, oversight of internal operations and HR processes. Experience includes:
-member of the Ministerial Advisory Council to advise on the roll-out of the Qld Strategic Plan to address DFV
-co-convenor of the Qld DV Court Assistance Network for 5 years
-member of the Women’s Legal Service Management Committee for 5 years
-overseeing implementation of the HRT in both Ipswich and Brisbane.
-oversaw implementation of the revised DFV Practice Standards, the development of the DFV Regulatory Framework, refreshed Perpetrator Intervention Program Requirements and the current state analysis phase of the DFSV Data Project.
Cathy HumphreysProfessor of Social Work, University of Melbourne
Cathy Humphreys is Professor of Social Work at University of Melbourne. She specialises in applied research. Four projects in the past 5 years have worked with the Safe & Together Institute using practice-led, action research through facilitated multi-stakeholder workshops and Communities of Practice. This approach reflects a profound interest in knowledge translation to ensure the support of practice through research. Her research focuses on DFV and child abuse. She has a long-term interest in the intersection of DFV with other complexities including mental health and AOD. Professor Humphreys is a well published author of more than 140 journal articles. She worked at the University of Warwick for 12 years leading a domestic violence and child abuse research centre before returning to Australia in 2006. For 15 years she worked as a social worker.
Celia ConlanSenior Judicial Registrar
Celia Conlan is a Senior Judicial Registrar in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. She has honed her expertise in Family Law over 20+ years, working as a Barrister and Independent Children’s Lawyer. Celia holds a Masters of Applied Family Law from the College of Law, as well as a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University. In her current role, Celia hears Family Court matters daily, exercising powers to make interim parenting orders, vary and set aside property orders and make location orders and recovery orders.
Chad ChanNHARP (Northern Healing and Recovery Program) Restoring Childhood Clinician
Chad Chan (they/she) is a Social Worker currently practicing as a Clinician with Take Two in the Northern Healing and Recovery Program. N-HARP offer a therapeutic response to infants, children, young people and caregivers with experiences of family violence, using trauma-informed modalities including Child-Parent Psychotherapy, EMDR, and narrative and play-based approaches. Chad’s previous work includes Specialist Family Violence triage and response to L17 police referrals, Specialist Family Violence case management, community development, facilitation with young people around sex, respect and consent in the primary prevention space, and caring for young people in Out of Home Care. Their practice centres the experiences of children and young people, and is informed by principles of decolonisation, transformative justice and response-based practice, honouring the many different strategies that people use to survive and resist violence and oppression.
Cherie ToivonenDirector, CLT Byron Consulting
Cherie Toivonen is an independent researcher working in the violence, abuse, and neglect space. Cherie has over 20 years’ experience working in research and evaluation across a range of projects including: integrated service provision; domestic violence, child protection and mental health collaborative approaches; domestic violence service evaluation and responses; and community development and social inclusion initiatives. Whilst employed at the University of Sydney she managed two complex multi-agency ARC funded research projects and was the Senior Researcher for the NSW component of three ANROWS funded multi-state research projects. At ANROWS, she led the project that developed the National Risk Assessment Principles for Domestic and Family Violence and held the role of Acting Director of the Research Program.
Danielle WilsonTL Kids in focus Program, Odyssey House Victoria
Daniella has a background in Child Protection and AOD Specialist Family Services and has worked in the AOD sector for the past 5 years in the KIF team and as KIF Team leader for the past year. Within the team Daniella also has responsibility for the Child Sexual Abuse secondary consults.
Daniella has worked in the sector for 15 years and is passionate about working with families who have multiple vulnerabilities to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children.
Dave Kwame ArthurSenior AOD Clinician, Odyssey House Victoria
David Kwame Arthur is a Ghanaian/Australian and a AOD Senior Clinician who has been working in the sector for the past 5 years. Dave’s background includes employment services, youth mentorship, sport development and administration. Dave has a special interest in men’s health specifically the intersection of positive fathering and alcohol and other drugs. Dave is an Accredited group facilitator for Caring Dads and was the first AOD co facilitator in the KODY project. Dave is a proud father of 4 and an avid fan of afro beats, soccer and comedy.
David MandelFounder and CEO, Safe & Together Institute
With over almost 30 years’ experience in the domestic violence field, David’s international training and consulting focuses on improving systems’ responses to domestic violence when children are involved. Through years of work with child welfare systems, David has developed the Safe & Together™ Model to improve case practice and cross-system collaboration in domestic violence cases involving children. He has also identified how a perpetrator pattern-based approach can improve our ability to help families and promote the development of domestic violence-informed child welfare systems.
David and the Safe & Together Institute’s staff and faculty have consulted to United States’ child welfare systems in a number of states including New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Oregon and Ohio. In the last five years, their work has expanded outside the United States with research, training and consultation in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other countries. The Safe & Together Institute works closely with domestic violence advocates, in the United States and abroad, to help them more effectively work with child protection systems and better advocate for child welfare-involved adult and child domestic violence survivors. David has written and published online courses which has launched a new Safe & Together Model Certified Trainer initiative that will increase the Institute’s ability to support sustainable implementation of domestic violence-informed practice in the US and abroad.
David has written or co-written journal articles on batterer’s perceptions of their children’s exposure to domestic violence, domestic violence case reading tools, and the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare practice. His chapter on “Batterers and the Lives of Their Children” was published in the Praeger Series Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships.
Deb NicholsonWriting Assistant, Deb Nicholson Consulting
Deb Nicholson has worked in the domestic violence / violence against women field in Australia and the UK for over three decades as a front line worker, leader, project manager, trainer and consultant. Qualified in social science, welfare practice, coaching and training, Deb has most recently earned a MA in Creative Writing & Wellbeing, and brings a combination of skill and experience to the work of supporting David Mandel to write his first book about the Safe & Together Model. Deb is trained in the Safe & Together CORE.
Dr Emma KatzAssociate Professor in Sociology, Durham University
Dr Emma Katz, Ph.D., is an internationally-renowned expert in domestic abuse and coercive control, whose work has influenced legislation in the UK and overseas. Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse where perpetrators use a pattern of threats, humiliation and intimation to control and dominate their partner and children, depriving them of independence and isolating them from support. Because coercive control does not always involve physical violence, it has often been under-reported and under-recognised. It was recognised as a criminal offence in England and Wales in 2015.
Emma’s research with mothers and children who have survived coercive control has transformed understandings of domestic abuse. Children’s experiences of coercive control were largely invisible prior to Emma’s work, which found that children were affected by many forms of abuse beyond physical violence against their mother, including imprisonment, deprivation of resources, and isolation from the outside world. Emma’s research findings on children and coercive control have been used to train professionals internationally.
Her book, Coercive Control in Children’s and Mothers’ Lives (2022, Oxford University Press) is described as a ‘pioneering work’ that ‘will change how we understand and response to children’s experience of domestic abuse’ (Evan Stark, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University).
Dr Emma Katz gained her Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham, UK and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University, UK.
Grace HongCentre Manager & Stephanie Phung, Family Support Worker, Barnardos Australia
Grace Hong is a trained social worker. She has over 18 years of frontline and leadership experience in the field of child protection and early intervention. Her career as a social worker has been dedicated to child welfare and childrenâ€™s rights as well as advocacy focused on systematic change in the DFV area. Currently, Grace works as a Centre Manager at the Auburn Childrenâ€™s Family Centre at Barnardos Australia. Grace was part of the first 4 days core training provided through Barnardos in 2019 and has since been the S&T Champion within the organisation. Her role is to support the implementation of the S&T model as well as guiding her employees to embed the principles in everyday frontline casework.
Howard ChooAustralian Policy and Advocacy Lead, Save the Children Australia
Howard Choo leads Save the Children’s and 54 reasons’ policy and advocacy agenda across Australia. In this role, he leads advocacy for policy reform and system change to promote children’s rights, safety and wellbeing. This spans child protection, domestic and family violence, youth justice, child development through disasters and adversity, educational engagement, child rights governance and institutional reform, and other key child-related policy domains.
Previously, Howard held senior leadership roles in the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the Department of Premier and Cabinet, spanning policy reform, law reform and high level governance, with a focus on strategic policy and system reforms to improve social equity and address disadvantage. Howard is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC), the peak body representing school-age students in Victoria and a student-led organisation supported by an adult Board and staff team.
Jac Dwyer Safe and Together Certified Trainer; Training and Capacity Building Lead, Northern Specialist Family Violence Service, Berry StreetJac DwyerSafe and Together Certified Trainer; Training and Capacity Building Lead, Northern Specialist Family Violence Service, Berry Street
Jac Dwyer (she/her): Safe and Together Certified Trainer; Training and Capacity Building Lead, Northern Specialist Family Violence Service, Berry Street. For over 10 years Jac has worked in community services across homelessness, health, disability, forensic and specialist family violence workforces supporting both victim survivors and perpetrators of family violence. Jac is passionate about supporting best practice responses to family violence and contributing to a resilient and robust workforce and community that prioritises safety and recovery for adult and child victim survivors and keeps perpetrators in view and accountable. Alongside her role at Berry Street, Jac has a private practice offering group and individual supervision for specialist family violence and related sectors to explore accountability, solidarity and sustainability in their work.
Jack BulmanCEO, Mibbinbah
Joanna PettettSenior Court Child Expert/Clinical Policy and Practice Officer
Joanna Pettett is the Senior Court Child Expert for Tasmania. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from the University of Newcastle and a Master of Social Work (Advanced Practice) from the University of Tasmania. Joanna’s clinical experience is in working with children and families in an assessment and short term case management context; working with the Child Safety Service for over seven years and with the Court Children’s Service for the last six years. She has recently had experience in the development of policy and practice for the Court Children’s Service as Clinical Policy and Practice Officer. As her experience indicates, Joanna has a particular interest in working in government and involuntary contexts where she believes the skills and values of social workers can have a positive and meaningful impact on the experiences of service users.
Lani Pereira Safe and Together Certified Trainer; Practice Development Manager, Northern Specialist Family Violence Service, Berry StreetLani PereiraSafe and Together Certified Trainer; Practice Development Manager, Northern Specialist Family Violence Service, Berry Street
Lani Pereira (she/her): Safe and Together Certified Trainer; Practice Development Manager, Northern Specialist Family Violence Service, Berry Street. Lani has been working in the community services sector for over 15 years with experience working with young people, homelessness services, arts health, settlement services, bush adventure therapy and specialist family violence work. Lani is committed to supporting the community services sector in their capacity to respond to family violence in a way that increases the safety to adult and child victim survivors and holds those choosing violence accountable and in view. She also is consistently learning from the experiences of front-line practitioners, many of whom are victim survivors in their own right.
Lauren EllertonCase Analysis Officer
Lauren Ellerton holds a substantiative position as a Senior Practitioner and currently works as a Case Analysis Officer for the ACT Child and Youth Protection Service (CYPS). Lauren holds a Master of Rehabilitation Counselling and a Master of Professional Psychology and has over a decade of experience in a variety of roles in the child protection field. Lauren also works as a Provisional Psychologist for a private practice in Victoria supporting victim survivors of family violence, and women and children. Lauren is passionate about trauma informed practice and therapeutic models of care.
Leanne DownesPrincipal Program Officer Walking with Dads
Leanne Downes is a Principal Program Officer for the Walking with Dads Program with the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs. The Walking with Dad’s program was developed in response to the identified need to strengthen the engagement of fathers in child protection intervention and as an approach to implementing the Safe & Together (David Mandel) framework as best practice in understanding and responding to families living with domestic and family violence. Leanne is a Certified Trainer of Safe & Together and has worked in the child protection sector for the past 14 years. Leanne has coordinated and facilitated multiple Community of Practice Workshops supporting the application of the Safe and Together Model into practice change across organisations. Leanne holds a Bachelor of Human Services from University of the Sunshine Coast, a Post Graduate Certificate in Child Protection and has studied in the Graduate Certificate in Family Studies through University of NSW.
Margaret KerteszSenior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne
Dr Margaret Kertesz is a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, with two decades experience in the areas of domestic and family violence, child protection and out-of-home care. Her specific research interests include the impact on children of domestic violence, approaches that promote recovery post-violence, with a focus on evaluation, applied research and knowledge translation, in close collaboration with service providers, to promote good practice and the systems that support it. She has experience of two research projects which have involve the Safe & Together Institute (STACY for Children & The ESTIE project).
Michelle Robinson Director Evidence to Action, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWs)Michelle RobinsonDirector Evidence to Action, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWs)
Michele Robinson has extensive experience in building knowledge partnerships and developing strategies for the translation, application and exchange of research evidence to reduce domestic, family and sexual violence. Michele has provided strategic advice to Australian and international governments and peak bodies on legal, policy and practice initiatives to prevent and respond to domestic, family and sexual violence.
For the last five years in her role as the inaugural Director of Evidence to Action at ANROWS, Michele has led a multidisciplinary team who have had considerable impact on policy and legislative reform in the areas of coercive control, improving police responses to domestic and family violence, and at the intersections between child protection and domestic and family violence services.
Peta NicolPractice Development Manager, 54 Reasons (Save the Children Group)
Peta Nichol is a Practice Development Manager (Family Functioning and Healthy Relationships) within the Practice and Impact Measurement team at 54 reasons. In 2020, she completed the Trainer Certification program for Safe &Together, in 2022 completed an additional supervisor certification, and has been influential in 54 reasons adoption of the framework nationally.
Peta holds qualifications in Psychology and Creative Therapies and has 30 years’ experience working in the Community Services sector in practitioner and leadership roles within family support, youth work, and domestic and family violence fields across urban, regional, and remote locations (including Aboriginal communities). She is focused on building meaningful connections between research and practice and supporting teams to develop strategies that give the best chance of enable respectful engagement leading to positive outcomes with vulnerable children and their families.
Peter ThorpeWalking with Dad’s Program Officer
Peter has worked in Child Protection for 10 years, with the last 5 years in the Walking with Dads program. The motivation to begin, and continue this work, came from 2 questions. Historically, Child Protection have had limited engaged with fathers and father figures 1. why is this? And 2 how can we do this work safely and effectively? If fathers/father figures making parenting choices to use violence and abuse were the problem, then why do we not work with them? To up upskill his engagement with fathers, Peter became a Caring Dads Facilitator, then completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence with Central Queensland University. Peter’s passion is working on projects with the Walking with Dads Team centred on centred on Integrated Service Responses, perpetrators visibility and being led by victim survivors (mother and children’s voices) to support engagement with fathers/father figures.
Priscilla ThorpeDFV System Coordinator, Integrated Family and Youth Services
In her position with IFYS Ltd, Priscilla Thorpe coordinates the Sunshine Coast DFV Service System. She has held this position for the past 3 years, prior to which she spent 14 years with community corrections, supervising clients in the community. She is passionate about safer communities through effective perpetrator accountability, partnering with adult and child survivors and strengthening practitioner skills and confidence with the aim of systems to be more responsive in meeting the needs of service users. Priscilla is committed to inclusive, trauma informed and domestic violence informed practice, and maintains a focus on innovation centred on the voices of First Nations people, and those with lived experiences. Through co-location, meaningful partnerships and collaboration with the Sunshine Coast DFV Sector, across Government and Non-Government services, Priscilla believes that real and lasting positive change is possible.
Raelene LesniowskaCaring Dads Clinical Leader, Kids First Australia
Rae Lesniowska has been with KidsFirst Australia for over four years, as a Clinical Facilitator and more recently Clinical Leader of the Caring Dads/KODY (therapeutic family violence) program(s). Rae’s background is in clinical psychology and running trauma-informed parenting programs and projects for six years at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, following 13 years working in public health policy for the Victorian government. She has undertaken research regarding maternal parenting and fatigue, and Koori parenting and fathering in the context of intergenerational trauma, culminating in two published papers and community resources for Koori parents. Rae is passionate about parenting and supporting child and family wellbeing and safety by assisting fathers to work on their change goals and child-centred parenting, via the Caring Dads program, which is closely aligned with the principles and practices of the Safe & Together model.
Shelly Napoletano FlynnTrainer Certification Program Manager, Safe & Together Institute
Shelly Napoletano Flynn, MSW began at Safe & Together Institute in July 2018 as the Trainer Certification Program Manager overseeing the Institute’s Certified Trainer Expansion. Shelly’s professional career includes over twenty years of experience in the field of child welfare with a dual focus on direct practice with children and families and systems-level social work practice. With the focus on children birth through age eight and their families, her career included direct service, case management and administration which included intersections with statutory child protection, juvenile and family courts, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and local crisis response teams.
Shelly’s experience in systems-level practice involved projects such as the evaluation and development of a community’s local capacity to holistically serve its at-risk population of children and families. Additionally, she evaluated and reported on the state-wide supervision practices of Connecticut Certified School Social Workers. As a result of this research, Shelly served on the State of Connecticut Department of Education’s Task Force to develop and implement properly aligned and discipline-specific evaluation standards for school-based social workers in the State of Connecticut. Additionally, her work in systems practice led to the honor of being invited to present on local capacity development of a Birth through Age Eight Children and Family Initiative to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in Washington DC.
Sue Hermans Safe & Together Certified Trainer; Clinical Team Leader, Take Two and Restoring Childhood, Berry StreetSue HermansSafe & Together Certified Trainer; Clinical Team Leader, Take Two and Restoring Childhood, Berry Street
Sue Hermans (she/her): Safe and Together Certified Trainer; Clinical Team Leader, Take Two and Restoring Childhood, Berry Street. Sue is a social worker and family therapist. She has been working with children, families and support systems effected by trauma and violence for 30 years providing therapeutic interventions. Sue has been with Take Two since 2010 assisted DFFH to establish the Child Protection Principal Practitioner role in the Mallee in 2017 before returning to Take Two in a leadership role for the Mallee. Sue lecturers in Family and Systemic Therapy Masters program and has a passion for integrating theories of practice.
Tara LessOperations Manager, Desert Blue Connect
Tara Lees is Operations Manager at Desert Blue Connect; a non-government agency situated in the Midwest region of Western Australia.
Tara is a social worker with over 20 years’ experience working in various contexts of welfare rights, health, palliative care and with families and children.
Among Tara’s social work interests are how social policy influences non-government operating contexts, as well as intersections between the socio-political environment and counselling therapies.
Taran DhillonPrograms Coordinator
Taran Dhillon works at Odyssey House Victoria as the Program Coordinator in the North West Catchment. She has 22 years of experience working across community AOD treatment agencies, addiction medicine departments, family services, schools and prisons. Taran’s current work includes working with parents with AOD issues who are working towards reunification with their children and forensic AOD group work. Her current interest lies in working at the intersection of AOD and family violence.
Val CarterChief Executive, Home and Family (NZ)
Val Carter is the Chief Executive at Home & Family, a child focused not-for-profit based in Christchurch New Zealand. Val attended the 2020 conference in Melbourne before undertaking virtual training and making the decision to implement the model throughout Home & Family. Val co-delivered a workshop at the 2022 Asia Pacific conference and is now focussing on supporting other agencies to adopt the model.
Zara RobinsonFamily Harm Practitioner
Zara Robson is Team Leader for Home & Family’s Whānau Safety team and a Family Harm Practitioner. Zara has been at Home & Family for 4 years and has been instrumental in developing child-focussed responses to family violence for the agency. Zara has also helped lead the incorporation of Safe & Together model as a way of working at Home & Family and has recently completed the Train the Trainer programme. This year, Zara will become training lead within the agency and wider Integrated Safety Response (ISR) collaboration.