Year 2 Workforce Surveys extended to 8 July

Year 2 Workforce Surveys

We invite you to have your input into our Year 2 workforce surveys before Wednesday 8 July.

The surveys provide an opportunity for us all to better understand the workforce across Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Women's Health and Wellbeing services in Queensland.

Last year’s survey provided us with a baseline.  We used this to inform our workforce planning with data on the profile of the workforce such as age and qualifications, as well as information on issues of attraction and retention, length of employment and skills requirements.

The more participation by both individuals and organisations the more robust the results will be and in turn the more useful for the whole sector.

This year we will also be building an understanding of the wellbeing across the sector. This addition has come from requests by the sector.

Workforce data is one of the ways we can tell a story of the sector. So, we are asking each worker in the sector to complete the individual survey and one person from each organisation complete an organisational survey.

Download the Year 2 Workforce Survey flyer here 

Organisation survey:

Individual survey:

Closing date for survey responses has been extended to Wednesday 8 July, 2020.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us:

Knowledge Circles

Knowledge Circles

Indigenous communities have utilised the framework of knowledge sharing and exchange for thousands of years. Knowledge systems have ensured that community structures remained strong. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have always shared wisdom and knowledge through their stories.

Knowledge was gained through interaction with the environment, totems and ceremonial groups, ensuring community leadership was shared and the system of knowledge transfer did not rest in one person. Community members had responsibility for certain knowledge relationships thus reinforcing shared leadership and responsibility.

Knowledge circles enable an equal and collaborative way of working.

They do not presume that your knowledge is greater than mine but open a possibility of sharing and respecting how we build our knowledge system together, strengthening our understanding and ensuring equal responsibility for an outcome.

They enable an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander world view to be enacted by supporting the strengths of cultural wisdom and systems to be reinstated and this strengthens participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives.

Virtual Knowledge Circles

In response to the lockdown conditions throughout Queensland, WorkUP Queensland went online and continued engaging the sector Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Women’s Health services via online web seminars.

These webinars resulted in Virtual Knowledge Circles that brought together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Women’s Health workers from around the State to a virtual space to participate in the Knowledge Circles.

The series commenced in April with the first Virtual Knowledge Circle themed “Responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Sector” and opened the door to successive Virtual Knowledge throughout April, May and concluding in June.

The following series of Virtual Knowledge Circles were titled:

  • “Responding to people experiencing intergenerational trauma triggered by these events.” (24 April)
  • “Strategies for engagement in behaviour change programs when face to face groups aren’t possible.” (7 May)
  • “Understanding and responding to increased risk of DFV in disasters through shared knowledge and practice Self-care strategies for staff.” (24 May)
  • “Self-Care strategies for Staff.” (4 June)

The circles were held in conjunction with the Healing Foundations Director of Programs, Sarah Boyne who provided valuable insight and support into many of the themes including healing, response, support and practice.

The series attracted over 30 participants, which utilised virtual breakout rooms to encourage the open and respectful discussion for the sharing of knowledge and practice application within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector.

Closing the Circle

Once  sessions were concluded, the circles were ‘closed’  and summaries of the key learnings sent back to the circle participants.

Some the stand out themes have included:

  • The need to understand trauma to connect with other people’s trauma.
  • Understanding what is culture” and how habits can become a part of one’s culture.
  • Practices and learnings that help to break down the shame and stigma of violence in our communities.
  • Services continue to be client focussed and strengths based.
  • Have yarns instead of chats with clients.
  • Clients still value check ins, regardless of it being phone, emails or agency visits during lockdown.


Despite being a new medium in which to facilitate a conventional process, Virtual Knowledge Circles proved to work well in connecting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence sector.

Based on the participation rates and feedback to date, we are anticipating that the sector would like to continue with the Virtual Knowledge Circles in developing a network and communities  of practice through the sharing of their regional knowledge and practices.

Future Knowledge Circles both face to face and virtual will look to identify emerging trends and practices through this network of communities and relationships developed during these knowledge circles.

Language matters - celebrating diversity and holding and enacting a vision of inclusion

By celebrating diversity and holding and enacting a vision of inclusion, we create services that respect and are accessible to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  

This was one of the takeaway messages from Dr Brodie Evans’ keynote address at the Same Same but Different inclusion forum, focusing on the importance of inclusivity for people who identify as Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & queer/questioning (LGBTIQ) 

Dr Evans is the Men’s Program Coordinator at Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (BDVS) an activity of Micha Projects. Dr Evans is also a Visiting Fellow with the Queensland University of Technology’s ‘School of Justice’ where he works as a teacher and a researcher focusing on discourse, law and public policy, and political activism, as they relate to issues of social and criminal justice.  

The forum explored discourse and our choice of words that can positively impact clients who identify as LGBTIQ.  One practical way we can use language is to ask about and use a person’s preferred gender pronouns. 

Our need to work in structures can reinforce the view that domestic violence is a problem exclusive to heterosexual relationships?  In reality gendered violence is experienced in the context of intimate and kin relationships irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.  

A practical way that organisations can support diversity is by being intentionally inclusive of LGBTIQ people in the development of policies and marketing materials.  The language and imagery we use in these materials can provide clues to potential workers and clients that the service is inclusive and that they will be welcome.  For example, websites that reflect equality in their language and images can send a strong message about inclusion.   

It is important to note that using the right terms has limits especially when we account for cultures that may not have specific language to describe various identities and expressions. Still, as workers in the sector we can all play a part in challenging the view that to be normal is to be heterosexual and cisgender.  

For further information check out the following: 

Developing LGBTIQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence. 

The “heterosexual face” of domestic violence can disguise the fact that domestic and family violence and intimate partner violence also occurs in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTIQ) relationships. This can leave LGBTIQ people struggling to find and access appropriate interventions, with the problem affecting those seeking support after experiencing violence and abuse, as well as those who wish to change their violent and abusive behaviours. 

Another Closet is a portal of resources for support, referral and information to support LGBTIQ populations who may be experiencing domestic and family violence or for anyone supporting them. 



Learning approaches for big impact

Learning approaches for big impact

WorkUP Queensland is now in the implementation phase of the workforce planning cycle that guides our work.  This means, we are putting your plans to grow and develop your workforce into action!

The professional development that we will deliver over the next twelve months covers a range of topics and purposes.  There are some common elements though that are carefully threaded through all of our learning programs to ensure that they make a significant impact and support transformational change.  These include approaches that are:

  • Self-directed – we will be delivering learning in areas directed by you because adults learn best when they determine what they want to learn.
  • Delivered over time – we will deliver programs that build in time for thinking and practice of new skills because this is what helps to embed learning.
  • Inclusive – we will create learning environments where people feel safe to stretch because it takes courage to question thinking and test new skills
  • Reflective – we will ensure that critical thinking is built into our programs because this will support you to continuously learn and improve your skills back in the workplace
  • Collaborative – we will embed opportunities to collaborate into our programs where possible because trusted peers are well placed to both challenge and encourage you to learn

Learning activities that apply these types of principles can seem like a bigger commitment, and they may be, however they are designed to not only to teach about a topic but to support the development of a learning culture that can be applied within your own organisation for lasting benefit.  We have provided some examples below of learning programs that are happening now or are coming up soon and tick all the boxes in terms of high impact learning.

Mentoring programs are mutually beneficial, flexible, low cost and high impact.  Mentoring programs are directed by the mentoree, they extend over time, offer a safe and supportive relationship for learning and facilitate an ongoing process of practice and reflection.  We look forward to delivering leadership and cultural mentoring programs over the next twelve months.

When two people engage in an action learning program their whole organisation reaps the benefits.  Not only do they explore and learn about a topic of interest in a safe and inclusive learning environment they share their learning across their teams by engaging with them in a cycle of questioning, testing, adapting and improving.  This cycle doesn’t end but aims to be embedded within the organisation setting the scene for an ongoing culture of learning.

Learning Series that extend over time and consists of small learning chunks makes it easy for time poor people to engage in learning.  When reflective activities are built in it helps to put the learning into practice and when groups do this together the impact is even greater.  There are a number of online learning programs that use this approach that are open for registration now and more coming up in the future.  Check out New Ways of Working, or Foundations of DFV Work Practices for examples.

Change makers: working together to end violence

Our workforce is a powerful driver of change towards ending violence 

During the final week of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, WorkUP Queensland held an event in recognition of the change makers that make up our workforce across sexual violence, women’s health and wellbeing and domestic and family violence services.

The Change makers: working together to end violence event launched the groundbreaking regional and statewide plans to grow and support the workforce. The workforce plans developed with the sector over the last 12 months articulate the strategies and actions to be rolled out over the next 12 months.

The event was opened with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Uncle Gregory Duncan a Wakka-Wakka/Wiri, Yirandali and Koa/Gunggari and KuKu Yalingi cultural man. Uncle Gregory encouraged people to connect to one another and acknowledge the impacts on our minds, bodies and spirits. We also recognised the importance of Reconciliation Week.

Next, we heard from ANROWS CEO, Heather Nancarrow about her journey through the DFV sector and her excitement about being involved in a consortium between The Healing Foundation and ANROWS. Heather pointed out that by journeying together as partner organisations, we can create safer communities for women and children.

Fiona Peterson, CEO of The Healing Foundation, spoke next about the importance of the Workforce plans and the importance of making space for voices that tell the truth and recognising that is part of the healing process. Fiona also expressed her excitement to partner with ANROWS and our joint commitment to work together to achieve and sustain workforce growth.

A presentation on Change makers was shared, showcasing staff in the sector who helped to shape the Workforce plans, working with commitment and passion every day on the frontlines to end violence . The Change makers shared their reflections about the opportunities and challenges inherent to their roles with key messages for those thinking of joining the sector.

Attendees then engaged in break out room conversations to discuss how they will bring the plans to life going forward.

The following themes emerged:

  • Let’s take the opportunity of COVID-19 to reimagine what we need to take into the future (as well as what needs to be restored)
  • Commitment to connect and learn across diverse regions and sectors
  • Adaptive peer support models to support supervision across the spectrum including informal and formal processes
  • There is an opportunity to learn from and leverage the sector’s experience with student placements to create stronger entry points and induction processes

Workforce plans demonstrated the capacity of the sector to meet the growing demands it faces with an optimistic outlook.

WorkUP Queensland encourages you to continue the conversation in your workplace. To enable the workforce to grow and develop we will....

You can also visit our website for more information and further explore the workforce plans.