Charitable grant to support family violence prevention initiatives

Professor Kelsey Hegarty, Chair of Family Violence at the Women's and University of Melbourne with Collier Charitable Fund executive officer Wendy Lewis and trustee Peter Kelly.
12 March 2019 | Family violence | Research and clinical trials

The impact of a hospital-based family violence program is the focus of a new research study, thanks to a generous grant from The Collier Charitable Fund.

As a result of the Collier philanthropic grant, evaluation of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) program will be conducted by the Royal Women’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne across ten Victorian hospitals.

The $500,000 grant will help to build a robust evidence base for what approaches work in supporting and responding to patients and hospital staff who disclose their experience of family violence.

The Collier grant provides an opportunity to leverage the success of the five-year SHRFV program, potentially increasing the impact and application of the program across more health services, benefiting thousands of people.

Joint Chair in Family Violence Prevention at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital, Professor Kelsey Hegarty will lead the work, which is expected to commence in July 2019.

“This grant provides a unique opportunity for a large-scale research initiative that will influence and create lasting social change in relation to how hospitals can best support women and children who experience family violence,” Professor Hegarty said.

“The research will look at data related to early identification, response, and referral of patients who experience family violence. It will also investigate hospital systems and support structures for staff who are victim/survivors.”

The hospital’s Chief Executive, Sue Matthews welcomed the Fund’s generous grant.   

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant from The Collier Charitable Fund in support of this important project,” said Sue Matthews.  

“It is visionary philanthropic support like this that can transform our community.”  

This special grant has been made by Collier to honour the significant contribution of the three Collier sisters, Edith, Alice and Annette, who established the Collier Charitable Fund upon their deaths in the 1950s. 

In 2018, Collier reached a significant milestone, exceeding $100 million in philanthropic grants across Australia since its commencement.

About the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence

Since its inception in 2014, the SHRFV program has been implemented across Victoria to include 88 metropolitan, regional and rural hospitals and health services.

Over 28,000 hospital staff have participated in the program. In the 2018-2019 financial year, the Victorian Government committed $13 million to the roll out of the SHRFV program across the state, which is being led by the Royal Women’s Hospital and Bendigo Health.