New practice studios to improve DV support for refugees and migrants 

New practice studios to improve DV support for refugees and migrants 

Evidence suggests that women who have resettled in Australia face a range of distinct barriers that can hinder access to violence-specific services. WorkUP’s Multicultural and Settlement Services Supporting Women Experiencing Violence (MuSeS) project provides evidence about the current and potential role of settlement and multicultural services in supporting migrant and refugee women experiencing violence.  

WorkUP Queensland is excited to announce two new practice studios that will focus on implementing the findings of the MuSeS project.

Key recommendations emerging from this research include: 

  • recognising multicultural and settlement services as an integral part of the family violence system 
  • buildng the bilingual/bicultural workforce within the family violence sector 
  • embedding protocols for risk assessment within multicultural and settlement services
  • ensuring training for staff and volunteers
  • addressing stress and staff turnover 
  • strengthening collaboration between the family violence sector and the multicultural and settlement services sector.

Practice studios are small projects, funded through WorkUP Queensland, that aim to increase our knowledge of what it takes to implement evidence in practice. 

DV Connect and Children by Choice will be exploring different ways of implementing MuSeS recommendations. The team at DV Connect will be working with multicultural and settlement services in Queensland to improve ways of responding to culturally and linguistically diverse people, who represent about 17% of all DV Connect clients. In turn, DV Connect will support the same services to enhance their capacity to respond to people who are experiencing violence.  

Sophie Cashin from DV Connect was thrilled to find out that their proposal was successful: 

“Our staff on the DV Connect crisis lines have for a long time been interested in approaching aspects of the integrated service system differently, so that we are more accessible to individuals from multicultural backgrounds, and better positioned to respond collaboratively with services across different sectors so that we can achieve improved community outcomes that prioritise the safety of women and children from diverse backgrounds. It is wonderful to be in a position where we can have resources dedicated to working on this over the next 12 months.”  

Children by Choice will build on the work they have done developing reproductive coercive control resources to ensure they meet the needs of everyone in our community. They will work in collaboration with multicultural and settlement services to ensure they meet the needs of different groups and carry relevant messages and images.  

Bec Jenkinson at Children by Choice shared her thoughts about the practice studio: 

“Bringing together community members and advocates to exchange knowledge and co-design culturally appropriate resources is an important step in improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse women and people who may become pregnant. We are excited to be partnering with WorkUP on this project.” 

Congratulations to both organisations. WorkUP is very proud to be supporting this important work.  

Click here to learn more about practice studios and how your organisation can get involved, or contact Theresa Kellett at  

We will be holding an event in the coming months to explore and discuss the MuSeS project and recommendations. 


‘Our Talk’: new monthly networking sessions

‘Our Talk’: new monthly networking sessions

Due to the impacts of intergenerational trauma, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a disproportionate level of domestic violence and hospitalisationsIt is therefore essential that the sector has aAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce that understands and is responsive to the complex needs of their clients’ communities, in addition to be being well-equipped to provide the necessary professional and cultural support. 

Considering the need for adequate workforce representation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the sector has recognised that the numbers are considerably low compared to other sector workforce populations 

As part of WorkUP Queensland’s ongoing commitment to the sector, we will present a series of monthly seminars, called ‘Our Talk’ to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence workers to develop new understandings, and add to their current knowledge of, issues within the domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health sector.  

The series will also generate discussion about practice issues in communities and seek to supplement any professional development gaps in current training opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence workers.   

We aim to do this by: 

  • facilitating conversations and connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence staff to establish and maintain networks throughout the regions
  • facilitating sharing of practice knowledge from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence workers 
  • supplementing current on-the-job training and professional development opportunities available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector staff with relevant or new topics.  

The series will inform WorkUP Queensland’s future professional development events for the sector.  

‘Our Talksessions will commence on 11  February and run for two hours each month. They will conclude on 11 November.

We invite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence workers to register, reconnect with your peers and indulge in some of ‘Our Talk’.

To find out more, please contact Lee Fagan on 0447 108 086 or email  

You can also register for other WorkUP Queensland professional development events here.  

Intersectionality – helping us to become better advocates for our clients

Intersectionality – helping us to become better advocates for our clients

This year WorkUP Queensland is focusing on intersectionality. Intersectionality considers how power relations arise and interact from social location including, but not limited to, race, class, gender and ability.

An understanding of the theory and how it works in practice is important to the gender-based violence sector because it may increase capability to work with at-risk populations. American lawyer and academic Kimberlé Crenshaw is largely credited with coining the term:

Women working in the field of domestic violence have sometimes reproduced the subordination and marginalisation of women of colour by adopting policies, priorities, or strategies of empowerment that either elide or wholly disregard the particular intersectional needs of women of colour. While gender, race, and class intersect to create the context in which women of colour experience violence, certain choices made by “allies” can reproduce intersectional subordination within the very resistance strategies designed to respond to the problem.
- Kimberlé Crenshaw

Intersectionality can help us to become better advocates for our clients by looking at the ways intersecting forms of discrimination shape people’s experiences of violence. It allows us to explore complexity by understanding how multiple types of oppression can act at the same time.

While it is possible to approach one type of discrimination at a time, for example, sexism, intersectionality is about exploring all the potential barriers to equality.

To be more effective in the gendered violence space, we can study intersectionality to enhance our understanding of the way violence shows up differently across class and cultural contexts. This means the experiences of victims, perpetrators and communities are shaped by their structural and social locations. Intersectionality views characteristics like race, class and gender as an intersecting process that sits within a historical context.

An intersectional lens can be applied in a ‘both and’ way, whereby we acknowledge systems of ‘power over’ and the corresponding opportunities for empowerment that spring from it. This can be seen in the various forms of activism that exist and at times, overlap across the sector.

If you are keen to take a deeper look at intersectionality, join us for an interactive and stimulating series of half-day courses to assist professionals to explore the topic of intersectionality and how to respond to diverse populations.

The four workshops will use an applied lens to specific populations including:

  1.  Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (30 April),
  2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (28 May)
  3. LGBTIQ populations (21 June).
  4. Bringing it all together using a lifecourse frame (26 July)

The workshops will focus on practical applications for working with specific populations with the option to attend the ones that interest you.  An applied approach to understanding theory in practice will be delivered through the lens of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, LGBTIQ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

You can register for one or more of the following sessions:

Learning Objectives:

  • To engage in this challenging topic to critically reflect about diverse populations.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of how to bring the theory of intersectionality into their practice.

These objectives align with the Department of Child Safety Youth & Women’s revised Practice Principals Standards & Guidance

  • 3.1 Services are Evidence informed.
  • 5.1 Ensuring Cultural Safety
  • 6.1 Services are client centred and accessible to all.

Who should attend

This is for workers in the domestic and family violence, sexual violence services and women’s wellbeing sectors.


Save the date! Daring, feminist, inclusive leadership – bringing our best into 2021

Save the date! Daring, feminist, inclusive leadership – bringing our best into 2021

The impact of the global pandemic has been significant for family violence and women’s health services. Throughout 2020, organisations have had to completely rethink the way they support women, do their work, connect with partners, facilitate integrated service systems and lead their teams.

What we have heard loudly and clearly from the sector during this time is that you do not want to let go of the leadership that has been enacted during 2020, but want to build on and strengthen it, carry it forward into 2021 and beyond.

We have also heard that you want to be inspired and challenged, to hear from a range of diverse voices and to connect with your peers through flexible, high-quality professional development.

WorkUP Queensland’s 2021 leadership program, ‘Daring, Feminist, Inclusive Leadership’, is designed to meet these needs.

Who should attend and what does it mean to be a leader?

Is it about a role, a skill set, a qualification or length of service to the sector?

For this program, we would like to invite people who identify with Brené Brown’s definition of leadership to take part. Brené defines a leader as ‘anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.’

The program will explore what daring, feminist and inclusive leadership looks and feels like and how these qualities are being and can be enacted in the workplace and broader community.

There are two components to this flexible program:

1. Three leadership symposiums

Online on 19 March, and in Brisbane on 30 July and 3 December, these symposiums will introduce women in various roles in the sector and wider community who are enacting daring, feminist, inclusive leadership.

2. Facilitated peer networks

These small groups will connect people across the sector and support them to work together to delve deeply into key themes. They will share how the qualities of daring, feminist, inclusive leadership are and can be enacted in their own organisations and communities.

Dates will be scheduled with participants.

To get the best out of this program, we encourage you to engage in both components, although you can register for the symposiums only if you prefer.

Please save the dates and in the meantime, we hope you will help us to shape our speaker line-up by letting us know:

1. Who are the daring, feminist, inclusive leaders of our sector?
2. Who are the daring, feminist, inclusive leaders of Australia?

View the Daring, Inclusive, Feminist Leadership Flyer

If you have any questions, would like to register for updates or to provide speaker suggestions, please contact Christine at

Help us to increase diversity in the workforce

Help us to increase diversity in the workforce

A diverse workforce is one of the most important ways to ensure innovative ideas, skill sets and solutions. WorkUP Queensland is embarking on a new Grow the Workforce project by mapping the many different pathways into working in the domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing sector.

The project will provide resources to assist in reaching out to and recruiting people from outside the sector. To do this, we need your help!

Your employment path into the sector 

We are in search of examples from staff in the sector who have come from a range of backgrounds, such as a different discipline or part of the community sector. If this is you, or someone you know, we would love to hear from you! 

While we are looking for real case studies that show how rewarding it can be to work in the sector – and the range of skills and disciplines that can be used to succeed in this work – we are flexible about using names and images. 

Student placements 

Student placements can help trainees to develop a passion for work in the sector and can assist organisations to find staff.

If you have had positive experiences of student placements, please let us know. We would love to share positive stories of student placements that have supported your workforce development.

If you can help, please reach out to Georgina at WorkUP at