As the Victorian Government announced the acquittal of all recommendations from 2016’s Royal Commission into Family Violence, we reflect on the landmark achievements and progress made in the past seven years and set our sights forward on the continued commitment and investment required to realise the Royal Commission’s vision: a Victoria free from family violence.

Since the Royal Commission published its 227 recommendations in March 2016, we have seen unprecedented investment into Victoria’s family violence system.  

Based on a robust and comprehensive evidence base, the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations cemented Victoria as a world leader in the prioritisation of eliminating family and gender-based violence. It provided the Victorian government, specialist family violence sector and the broader community a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change the way we respond to family violence and improve the safety and wellbeing of all victim survivors. 

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Kids are at the heart of many family law disputes.  The “best interests of the child” are enshrined in our family law legislation as the paramount consideration when making parenting arrangements.

Over the past decade, there’s been much debate about whether or not our family law system really listens to how children feel about arrangements that are made for their care. How well are children’s voices heard in family law matters that affect them?

And there’s consensus that reform is needed to how our family law system operates, in order to produce better outcomes for children.  The only real question now is: how will change be practically achieved?

When the recent spate of Government family law inquiries was completed, various recommendations and official responses were made on many different aspects of the family law system, including the subject of children’s participation.

Several recommendations on this were made for the Government to consider, and in turn, in its responses the Government flagged the intention to bring about reform in this area, but cited the need for more research to guide policy.

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