inTouch

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Women, who is also the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, and concerns inTouch, the multicultural centre against family violence. The action I seek is that the minister joins me in visiting inTouch to see firsthand its outstanding work that benefits many from within my diverse electorate. inTouch is a fantastic organisation that provides much-needed services, programs and responses to family violence incidents in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Over the past 30 years inTouch has worked tirelessly to provide support and assistance to women and children who have been through unimaginable ordeals, and does so in a manner that is culturally appropriate and accessible to those who may find themselves isolated or unable to speak English or who are simply too scared to speak up. The chief executive officer of inTouch, Maya Avdibegovic said:

My vision for the next 30 years is to completely eliminate violence to a point where our sector is no longer needed.

In the meantime, for those who are abused and living in fear and pain, we will be there to help them take back their lives, we will continue making families happier and our communities stronger.

Those are very worthwhile words. inTouch has done its work through innovative programs, such as the immigration support program; the first culturally and linguistically diverse men’s behaviour change program; an in-house legal centre, which is the first of its kind in Australia; and the children’s therapeutic book The Empty Jar, which sits on my desk at work. inTouch also puts significant emphasis on education and provides community education sessions for migrant women. Sadly many migrant women are unaware of their legal rights in Australia, and many have come to my office asking for assistance or advice. inTouch provides the support and assistance that those women need to reclaim their lives and begin building new ones.

The Andrews Labor government, and indeed our outstanding minister, are doing a fantastic job in addressing this very serious issue of family violence. Australia’s very first Royal Commission into Family Violence is now well underway and giving everyone the voice and the avenues that for so long have been denied.

The minister also joined with me recently in launching our community’s Say No to Family Violence awareness campaign at Kambrya College in my electorate. It was a great event, and many people have taken great heart from that program. I know that the minister is well aware of the many issues facing women and children from our diverse community. They face many unique and challenging issues that organisations like inTouch are working so very hard to address. I hope the minister will join with me in visiting inTouch in the near future.