National Council of Women Victoria

Upcoming Event: Student Event 'My Vote My Voice'
 Queens Hall and Legislative Council Chamber 
When: Friday 12 August 2016
Time: 8.30am for 9am start, finishing at 12 noon
Theme: Women in local government - The Right to Vote, the Right to Stand
Cost: Free to students
>>Flyer and registration form to download

June 2016

Women, Faith Communities, Family Violence

Since the Royal Commission on Family Violence delivered its lengthy report at the end of March, the community has been slowly coming to terms with what is involved in implementation of the more than 200 recommendations, including measures to enable victims to remain safely in the family home.  Part of the report that hasn’t had much publicity so far relates to the role of the religious organisations a number of which have had long involvement with NCW Victoria.

Yet as the report says  “Faith leaders and organisations have direct and influential contact with many members of the Victorian community, and their guidance and intervention are often sought when family violence is being experienced” As a body that brings together women of diverse backgrounds, NCW Victoria needs to be attentive to the  RCFV recommendations specific to faith communities. We have been following with interest for some years now the Think Act program initiated by Dr Ree Bodde of Anglicans Helping to Prevent Violence against Women. This program has been acknowledged as an excellent model of the way that building a culture of equal and respectful relationships can work in organisations and local churches, signalling the way primary prevention can reduce the prevalence of violence.

Now the RCFV having met with leaders from faith groups - including Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian groups such as Anglican, Catholic, UCA and some Orthodox communities - has recommended that the OMAC (Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship) Multifaith Advisory Group and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, to develop training packages on family violence and sexual assault for faith leaders and communities within three years; That the Department of Health and Human Services consult with the OMAC Multifaith Advisory Group, the VMC and women from faith communities as part of its review of standards for specialist family violence service providers (including men’s behaviour change programs), to ensure that these standards take account of the needs of people in faith communities who experience FV within two years; and that faith leaders and communities establish processes for examining the ways in which they currently respond to family violence in their communities and whether any of their practices operate as deterrents to the prevention or reporting of, or recovery from, family violence or are used by perpetrators to excuse or condone abusive behaviour.

There seems to be limited data on the prevalence of family violence in particular faith communities; however it is agreed that such violence is causing concern among those communities and their leaders… As the RCFV report noted   “Spiritual abuse and the use of faith to support or condone violence are concerns in some communities”. 

(We acknowledge the report on this topic prepared by Mark Brolly for The Melbourne Anglican

Sheila Byard, President


Mission Statement

National Council of Women of Victoria, NCWV, is a non-party-political, non-sectarian, not-for-profit, umbrella organisation with broadly humanitarian and educational objectives. It seeks to raise the awareness of women as to their rights and responsibilities as citizens and encourages their participation in all aspects of community life.


Work for the empowerment of women and families and to promote equal status for women in law and fact.
Develop policies and responses on behalf of women on a state-wide basis.
Act as a voice on issues and concerns of women at state and regional levels.
Link with the women of Australia and the International Council of Women through the National Council of Women of Australia and contribute to the implementation of their plans of action and policies.


Our 2015 theme is 'Working together'

Who’s under our Umbrella?

National Council of Women of Victoria membership comprises organisations (affiliates), eligible organizations of women or men and women, and individual members approved by the Council.

>> List of organisations (affiliates)

NCWV Office Bearers and Committee 2015-16


Sheila Byard


Dr. Pamela Williams OAM


Benjie Perryman

Vice Presidents

Barbara Brown  & Bronwyn Badham

Regional Vice President:

Janice Latham, NCWV Geelong Branch

Standing Committee Co-ordinators:

May Hu JP

Five elected members:

Elisabeth Newman
Freda Kaufman
Guosheng Chen 
May Hu JP 
Gauri Kapoor

Convenor of the Individual Members Group:

Barbara Brown

Geelong Branch:

Janice Latham

Central Gippsland Branch:

Jan Baxter

Immediate Past President 2013-14:

Jennie Russell OAM

Non-voting member

Archivist Janet Galley OAM
Barbara Latham