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Partnership update – The SAFV Centre and Emma House

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre (The SAFV Centre) and Emma House Domestic Violence Service (Emma House) have agreed to merge, with Emma House to become part of The SAFV Centre.

Renee Fiolet, The SAFV Centre Chair and Gabrielle Toscan, Emma House Chair, said the special resolution vote by Members of Emma House was declared in favour of the merger last night, marking the approval required following earlier decisions by the Boards of both organisations to proceed with a merger, after four months of consultation and due diligence. We will now present the merger business case to our governing bodies for final approval.

“Together, The SAFV Centre and Emma House will provide a stronger and sustainable future for women’s services across our regional locations, with robust governance, trauma-informed client services and cohesive leadership.”

“For clients, it is vital that women and children in the South West area continue to receive specialist family violence services and that the future of Emma House is secured for women and children for generations to come. As one organisation, we will provide enhanced access and coordinated responses across the Barwon, South West and Wimmera for women and children impacted by family violence.”

“This decision confirms our commitment to our clients, staff and the community to provide long-term benefits and support.”

“Both organisations have long and proud histories dating back to the late 1970s and were established by passionate women leaders in their community, offering support to women experiencing violence when no other services existed. We are proud to preserve our combined histories and strengthen our future through this merger.”

“There is a significant amount of work required to transition into one organisation. Both The SAFV Centre and Emma House will continue to operate as normal, including operating under our existing organisation names, during this transition and remind those impacted by violence that we are open and here to support you.”

Our joint recommendation to governing bodies is the final approval step before merger. We hope that the merger of the two organisations will be finalised by 30 June 2023.

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land we stand on. We are committed to working toward creating a community where all people indigenous and non-indigenous are safe, connected and empowered to live well. The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre recognises the diverse needs of our community and we ensure our services are inclusive of all children, young people and their families including those who are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who identify as LGBTIQ and persons living with disability. We work collaboratively with people and partner organisations who also support our diverse client group. Interpreter and translator services are available to all our clients upon request.

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