Breakfast Briefing – Reflections on the 2021 National Summit on Women’s Safety.

Catholic Social Services Victoria invites you to join us for a reflective discussion with an incredible panel of leaders coming from a range of perspectives, all who will have attended the National Summit on Women’s Safety on the 6-7th September 2021.

Our panel will reflect on their experience of the Summit, comment on key themes, and reflect on the focus and what stood out to them and may be pertinent to our Victorian context. The panelists will bring Service Provider, Victorian State Government and Peak Body perspectives from their unique positions of leadership.

This briefing will be held via Zoom on Thursday 9th September 2021 from 8:30am – 9:30am (AEST).

Background to the National Summit on Women’s Safety

The former Council of Australian Governments agreed to hold a National Summit as part of the consultations for the development of the new National Plan, and the Summit will bring together a range of experts, including advocates, service providers and those with lived experience of violence, to discuss key issues affecting women’s safety. The Summit’s program was launched jointly by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services and Minister for Women’s Safety and Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women and speakers at the Summit itself will include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, Australian of the Year Grace Tame, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Our Panelists:

Stella Avramopoulous
CEO, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Stella Avramopoulos has been the CEO of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand since February 2018. As the leader of this community services organisation, she is committed to disrupting cycles of disadvantage that hinder the wellbeing of women and families. Since starting in her role, she has overseen the merger of Good Shepherd ANZ and Good Shepherd Microfinance, to create one full-service organisation recognising the interconnected nature of financial insecurity and the wellbeing and safety of women and families.

Prior to taking her appointment at Good Shepherd Stella was CEO of Kildonan UnitingCare for 9 years between 2008 and 2017. There she led the organisation through a period of significant growth and innovation. Stella understands community organisations, having worked through all levels of the sector, and feels passionate about ensuring women and children feel safe, strong and connected. Her experience spans from working in correctional services at the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety to being a case manager for youth and family service and working in local government youth services. Her range of experience provides her with perspective, and she is dedicated to being connected to the communities she serves.

Stella is an influential leader in the community and government sectors. She has been a consultant for Consumer Affairs Victoria as the resident sponsor at the Berkeley Retirement facility in 2017. She has held advisory positions on the Office of Living Victoria’s Environment and Community Taskforce, the Ministerial Advisory Group Addressing Violence Against Women and Children, the Victorian Government’s Community Sector Reform Council and Australian Banking Association Customer Forum. Stella was the President of the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) with her term ending May 2021.  She currently sits on the National Centre for Social Impact Studies Advisory Board.

Tania Farha
CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria

Tania is the CEO of two merging organisations: the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) and Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic).

Before taking up this role, she was the Executive Director for Crime Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism in the Department of Justice and Community Safety. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director for Multicultural Affairs, Social Cohesion and Equality in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. She has also held the role of CEO of the former Office of Prevention and Women’s Equality within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Tania worked at UN Women for over four years as a policy specialist in the Ending Violence Against Women Section and worked for Victoria Police for over nine years, where she was responsible for the implementation of a number of reforms in relation to violence against women and children.

Eleri Butler
CEO, Family Safety Victoria

Eleri Butler has been the CEO of Family Safety Victoria (FSV) since March 2020. FSV is the agency that drives key elements of Victoria’s family violence strategy and coordinates support for families to help them care for children and young people. Eleri previously worked as CEO of Welsh Women’s Aid, a national peak body working to prevent domestic and sexual abuse and deliver national Helpline support for survivors of abuse. Eleri’s experience in Europe includes leading and delivering support and advocacy services for survivors and women in the justice system, violence against women prevention strategy and organisational development, standards development and evaluation, community engagement, policy, training and change management.

Eleri is committed to ensuring women with lived experience of violence and abuse are central to her work, and in 2019 Eleri received an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff University for her work on equality, social justice and human rights. In 2007 Eleri was honoured in the Queen’s New Years’ Honour List for services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Our Chair for the discussion:

Felicity Rorke portrait

Felicity Rorke
Executive Director, Good Samaritan Inn and Chair, CSSV Domestic Violence Working Group

Felicity Rorke has been working in the community services sector for over 25 years and has both a bachelor and master’s degree in social work. She has worked in local government, state government and both local and international not-for-profit organisations. Most of her work has been in providing practice, policy and management in the area of responding to family violence. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Good Samaritan Inn, she was on its Board of Directors. She is a member of the Council of Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV), and is Chair of the CSSV Domestic Violence Working Group.

For more information, contact Lucia Brick.

RSVP as soon as you can to secure your place.

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