A central component of the Tara Costigan Foundation’s strategic plan was to hold a National Domestic Violence Summit in early 2016.
Following a call by 2015 Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty for bi-partisan support for a national summit, TCF’s plans were suspended.
With Opposition Leader Bill Shorten supporting the proposal for a summit, a date of October 2016 was identified. The, then, Prime Minister Tony Abbott supported a different approach and said the Federal Government would shortly make an announcement on funding for various domestic violence programs and policies. Within days he was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull and momentum for a National Summit was lost.
Undeterred, the community sector and service organisations rallied together to announce plans for their own National Summit. With TCF taking on primary organisational responsibilities, a large number of individuals and groups have worked together cooperatively and positively to coordinate and hold the National Family Violence Summit.
While initially unsure about the Summit, political leaders of all persuasions and at all tiers of government have now lent their support to the event and joined delegates on both days to contribute and hear proposals first-hand.
Buoyed by the interest, but seeing the need for an ongoing and expansive program, the Summit is now an important annual event.
Held in Canberra, the annual National Family Violence Summit will deliver a report to government that will form the basis for a statement to Parliament by the Prime Minister of the day.
The report is intended to drive policy, programs, debate and cohesion in how Australia defeats family violence.