A violence prevention program by a not-for-profit aged care provider and a community-based organisation for women of immigrant and refugee backgrounds has been given a boost, thanks to a grant from the Victorian Government through the Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention Program.

Southern Cross Care (Vic) and the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) will receive a grant for their partnership project, Equality@Work, which aims to develop and implement a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) specific workplace model to prevent family violence and other forms of violence.

Executive Manager of Workforce and Culture at Southern Cross Care (Vic), Danielle Rose, said the grant will enable the organisation to further develop its gender equality and violence prevention model.

“Women account for over 88 per cent of our total workforce of 1400 employees, of which, more than 60 per cent are from a CALD background,” she said.

“Through our partnership with MCWH, we want to provide opportunities for women from a non-English speaking background to take a leadership role in championing gender equality and violence prevention, and to be involved in the engagement and development of a shared action plan that is meaningful to them.”

The partnership project will also build on the existing relationship between the organisations.

In 2013, Southern Cross Care (Vic) introduced a women’s health education program across the organisation followed by a women’s leadership program, both facilitated by MCWH.

The Equality@Work project which began earlier this month will be co-designed with staff at two locations – Southern Cross Care (Vic)’s community services office in the north/west region and aged care home in Springvale.

Once the model is developed, it can be adapted and implemented across all Southern Cross Care locations in Victoria. The project is expected to be completed in 12 months.

“We are proud to partner with Southern Cross Care again, to build on previous and current initiatives that will further empower women and give them a stronger voice in the workplace,” said Adele Murdolo, Executive Director of MCWH.

“Workers from CALD backgrounds are a growing and increasing dominant cohort within the Australian aged care workforce. As such, they are of critical importance to the sector’s viability in terms of addressing the need to care for Australia’s ageing population, which is expected to quadruple by 2050,” Ms Murdolo said.

 

“As an accredited White Ribbon Workplace, we are committed to ending the cycle of violence against women,” Ms Rose said.