More than 180 practitioners and policy makers from across Australia attended the national symposium convened by ANROWS in Brisbane last week at which two significant research reports were launched by former Governor-General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce. The Child protection and domestic violence: Meeting the challenges of collaboration symposium was opened by Shannon Fentiman, Queensland Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, and also featured presentations from the lead authors of the reports, the University of Melbourne’s Cathy Humphreys, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ Rae Kaspiew.
Commenting on the symposium Professor Humphreys, the lead author of The PATRICIA Project said “I was particularly struck by how significant it is for practitioners to have their Director -General stay all day at an event like this – such a great message to practitioners and the policy workers about the authorisation and importance he puts on this work.” The symposium featured sessions on supporting and validating children, focusing on fathering, learning from the data; and a panel on collaboration in practice, comprised of representatives from the research, child protection, domestic violence and community legal sectors. The overwhelming message was the importance of evidence and file notes that are accurate and respectful in documenting the impact of violence on women and children.
Commenting on the outcomes, Dr Kaspiew, lead researcher on the Parenting and Domestic and Family Violence project said that “ANROWS is a game changer in this field” and noted that “the symposium was a critical opportunity to share the learnings from our research with a diverse range of very engaged policy makers and practitioners.”
The conference was closed by Michael Hogan, Director-General, Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety, and Disability Services who commended ANROWS on commissioning and translating the research for practice and policy reform. The Director-General undertook to continue to drive change in domestic violence and child protection policy, practice and systems in Queensland, based on the evidence provided.