EDVOS is the leading specialist family violence service in Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region. Our work is focused across seven Local Government Areas including Boroondara, Manningham, Whitehorse, Monash, Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges. Some of our training, education and primary prevention programs are national.
Our specialist family violence response services are mostly directed towards women, including women from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, children, pets and other animals, who are responding to any form of family violence.
EDVOS is committed to assisting all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and ability within our community and can also provide access to other family violence services that are most suitable to the individual’s unique needs and goals.
A community free from family violence, where everyone feels safe.
To take a collaborative and evidence-based approach to supporting those experiencing family violence whilst also working to prevent family violence before it occurs.
What a year we have all had!
The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how we live as a community. It has also radically transformed the world of work and the way our children learn. New challenges confront many of us: not being able to see family and friends; losing jobs and income; businesses and arts organizations not knowing if they can survive; keeping our elderly safe and worrying about what a COVID normal world will mean.
For women and children living with family violence it’s been even tougher as access to usual supports have been removed. I am so proud of the way our staff have responded. They have shown such flexibility, resilience and determination to do whatever they can to ensure women and children’s safety.
This past year has also been a time of significant other changes for EDVOS. Jenny Jackson left us in October after 4 years as CEO. Liz Billings joined us as Interim CEO until we could recruit Chris Mathieson as our permanent CEO in May. We have a new Constitution and expanded Board.
Following a DHHS Performance Review in 2019, we focussed on a Continuous Improvement Plan which culminated in a final report in September 2020. The outcome of all this work means that we can now focus very much on the future.
We were also proud to be the first organisation to succeed in achieving our accreditation for DHHS and Rainbow Tick standards remotely. This involved an enormous amount of work, especially by the leadership group.
Finally I want to thank:
Every year, our staff work in a focussed and committed way to achieve the EDVOS vision, a community free from violence and where everyone feels safe. However, without question, like so many other human service organisations, 2020 presented unprecedented demands and challenges as a result of the COVID pandemic.
Notwithstanding the stress and restrictions placed on women and children throughout the year, as an organisation we needed to respond swiftly, adapt and innovate to ensure our critical services were uninterrupted and responsive. We achieved that.
Since commencing in the role as CEO in May 2020, I have been impressed by the passion and drive of our staff to ensure that our clients were informed and supported to make the choices they needed throughout the pandemic. I would like to thank our skilled and dedicated team for their flexibility and resilience in responding to the challenges, fluid circumstances and changed working conditions during the COVID lockdowns across Melbourne.
Additionally, the past 12 months presented a variety of other challenges which tested the resolve and resilience of our organisation and pleasingly we navigated those challenges together with a determined spirit and much to be proud of.
As we turn to 2021, we have commenced the development of EDVOS’s new Strategic Plan 2021-24 and associated Theory of Change. Augmenting those important strategic pillars is the development of our first Victim Survivor Framework, underpinning EDVOS’s commitment to ensure we are informed by victim survivors’ voice and focussed on intersectionality and diversity. We look forward to implementing a co-design model to provide authentic opportunities for victim survivors to enhance our work and services.
Finally I would like to thank our Chair Sandie de Wolf AM, the broader Board, Executive Management Team, staff, supporters, partners and stakeholders for the very warm welcome I have received. I look forward to working collaboratively to support those experiencing family violence whilst also working to prevent family violence before it occurs.
As a well connected local family violence service, EDVOS is highly committed to partnerships and recognises that service quality is enhanced through collaborating and developing trust, mutual respect and goodwill. EDVOS has formed partnerships and alliances with other government and non-government services including community health, legal, law enforcement, education, finance, peak bodies, philanthropic bodies and various other expert primary prevention practitioners and policy experts. Including:
With the new Strategic Plan 2021-24, EDVOS will develop a Theory of Change. We will continue to form strong partnerships within and outside the family violence sector including across the community services sector. EDVOS is committed to enhancing integrated delivery of services by building partnerships to drive a shared, consistent and strategic state-wide approach to family violence prevention and working in partnership with stakeholders and maintaining clarity of expectations and service outcomes.
EDVOS thanks our major funder – DHHS, our partners, donors and supporters who have given so generously throughout the year. Your ongoing support has enabled EDVOS to provide the services needed to ensure women and children experiencing family violence are safe and free from harm.