Inform | Influence | Shape

Provide expertise and leadership on all matters relating to family violence and the family violence service system in the Barwon Area

Who we are

Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee

The BAIFVC provides leadership, advocacy and specialist expertise to strengthen, integrate and improve the family violence response system and help end family violence across Victoria’s Barwon Area. It is one of 13 regional family violence committees or partnerships that exist across Victoria. Family Violence Regional Integration Committees are local governance structures that were established in 2006 to improve the integration of services that respond to family violence. For more information about regional integration across Victoria, see the factsheet.

Our vision

Our communities are free from family violence and the fear of family violence; our people are equal, respected and thriving.

Our purpose

BAIFVC exists to drive family violence system integration and improvement to achieve safety, choice and accountability. We do this through our leadership, influence, collaborations, partnerships and innovations.

Our values









Our role and function

  • Provide expertise and leadership on all matters relating to family violence and the family violence system in the Barwon Area. Strive continuously for system integration and improvement across the Barwon Area.
  • Advocate on behalf of our family violence system and its unique contexts. Influence system designers and decision makers so that state-wide initiatives coming to the Barwon Area are articulated and delivered in a way that maximises benefits for our community.
  • Communicate the inherent value articulation of our role in system integration and improvement, and in facilitating the statewide reform agenda as initiatives roll through the Barwon Area.
  • Partner with the Victorian Government and others as initiatives of Ending Family Violence are implemented in the Barwon Area.
  • Ensure evidence-informed design, sound planning, collaborations and linkages take place, to integrate and improve Barwon Area’s family violence system.

Our history

The BAIFVC was formally established in January 2014. Prior to 2014, the BAIFVC was part of a larger Barwon South-West Integrated Family Violence Committee (BSWIFVC). The BSWIFVC was impacted by structural changes that occurred within the then Department of Human Services divisions and geographic boundaries which resulted in the creation of two separate areas: the Barwon Area, and the Wimmera-South West Area.

The Barwon Area

The Barwon Area is defined by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DFFH), and comprises four municipalities located to the south-west of metropolitan Melbourne. These are the City of Greater Geelong, Colac-Otway Shire, Surf Coast Shire, and the Borough of Queenscliffe.

There is a considerable variation between the four LGAs, for example Queenscliffe is the smallest LGA in the state and also one of the oldest. Greater Geelong comprises the majority of the population in the region (81.4%). The total population for the region at the time of the 2016 census was 286,658.

Our members

BAIFVC membership spans a variety of services and sectors, reflecting the cross-sector nature of the family violence service system. Committee members are all senior leaders involved in strengthening the family violence system and ending family violence in the Barwon Area. Member organisations include:

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation
Adolescent Family Violence Service
Agency Performance and System Support (DHHS)
Barwon Orange Door
CALD service
Child & Family Services Alliances
Children’s Resource Program
Community Correctional Services (DJCS)
Community Legal Service
Dhelk Dja Regional Action Group
Disability agency
Family Relationship Centre
Family Violence Investigations Unit (Victoria Police)
Housing & homelessness service
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
Men’s specialist family violence service
Regional health service
Respectful Relationships (DET)
Specialist family violence and sexual assault service
Specialist reintegration organization
The Orange Door
Victims Assistance Program
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Police

Barwon Community Legal Service
Barwon Health
CatholicCare Victoria
Colac Area Health
Department of Education and Training, Barwon Area
Department of Fairness Families and Housing, Barwon Area
Department of Justice and Community Safety, Barwon South West
Dhelk Dja Regional Action Group (Barwon South West)
Family Safety Victoria
Geelong Family Violence Investigations Unit, Victoria Police (Western Division)
Geelong Magistrates’ Court (Geelong)
National Disability Insurance Agency
The Salvation Army
The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre
Victoria Legal Aid (Barwon office)
Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative
Women with Disabilities Victoria

Our structure

The work of the Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee is supported by a Leadership Group, Independent Chair, Principal Strategic Advisor and working groups

Leadership Group

The key focus of the Leadership Group is on ensuring the maintaining effective  governance of the BAIFVC, overseeing the Strategic Plan and actions, developing and maintaining linkages with other governance structures, monitoring the BAIFVC budget, and strengthening BAIFVC governance processes and functions.
The BAIFVC Leadership Group comprises representatives from the following specialist family violence organisations:

  • Meli
  • The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre
  • Colac Area Health
  • Family Safety Victoria (The Orange Door, Barwon)
  • Victoria Police
  • Department of Health and Human Services

Independent Chair

The Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee is led by an independent Chair. The key role of the Independent Chair is to provide strategic leadership to the BAIFVC by assisting the Committee identify its strategic priorities, and develop, implement and monitor the progress of its strategic plan. The Chair chairs the quarterly BAIFVC meetings, supported by the Principal Strategic Advisor, as well as the monthly Leadership Group meetings.

Principal Strategic Advisor

The Principal Strategic Advisor (PSA) provides expertise, leadership and oversight of the work of the BAIFVC. The role of the Principal Strategic Advisor involves:

  • Providing strategic leadership and advice
  • Coordinating capacity building and workforce development initiatives
  • Providing insight into local system issues and opportunities.
  • Developing links between the local family violence system and peak bodies and government.
  • Supporting local implementation of key family violence reforms
  • Service coordination and partnership brokerage
  • Governance and operational support to the BAIFVC

Working Groups

The BAIFVC has convened four working groups to progress its strategic objectives:

  • System Integration and Improvement Working Group
  • Workforce Capability and Capacity Working Group
  •  Data & Evidence Working Group
  • Effective Governance (this function is undertaken by the BAIFVC Leadership Group)

BAIFVC Strategic Plan 2020-2023

Our strategic priorities at a glance

System integration and improvement

Workforce capability and capacity

Data and evidence

Effective governance

Acknowledgement of victim-survivors

The BAIFVC acknowledges the strength and resilience of all victim survivors of family violence regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and ability. We remember those who did not survive, and acknowledge friends and family members who have lost loved ones. We recognise that our efforts must be informed by the voices and lived experience of victim survivors. We also keep forefront in our minds all those who are experiencing family violence today for whom we undertake this work.

9B Strong St
South Geelong

The Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee acknowledges the First Nations Peoples and traditional custodians of the land and waterways across Barwon, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation, and the Gulidjan and Gadubanud people of the Eastern Maar Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the Barwon Area, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. We recognise the leadership of Aboriginal communities and Elders in Victoria in preventing and addressing family violence, and improving outcomes for Aboriginal people, children, families and communities.