Improving workforce capability: what does ‘best practice’ look like now and into the future?

Improving workforce capability: what does ‘best practice’ look like now and into the future?

WorkUP Queensland’s Workforce Capability project is nearing the final stage of development, and we are looking forward to sharing the resulting framework with you soon.

Developed in response to ongoing workforce challenges, the framework is a practical resource to help organisations attract, recruit, and manage staff.

How will it work?

The framework is a foundational piece, highlighting what is core and common across all work settings within the Domestic, Family, Sexual Violence, and Women’s Health and Wellbeing sector across Queensland.

It articulates a shared vision of how individuals and organisations need to adapt, grow, and continuously improve to achieve the highest standards of practice.

It will do this by identifying five high-level capability domains, with supporting capabilities in each. These capabilities are unpacked in knowledge and behaviour statements across four levels of the workforce.

Practical examples of how this resource could be relevant to your work include:

  • creating and revising position descriptions and selection criteria
  • helping to guide and refine interview questions to support recruitment
  • supporting reflective performance development and appraisal conversations
  • identifying learning and development needs and training responses
  • aligning workforce capabilities with organisational strategic planning.

The framework’s implementation and application will be flexible, so you can tailor, adapt, and use what you need, with targeted support, learning, and development along the way.

If you haven’t yet connected to this project and would like to learn more, please visit the Workforce Capability Project webpage or contact

Thank you to our contributors

The development of WorkUP Queensland’s Workforce Capability project has been both a celebration of the sector’s strengths, as well as a shared discovery of what will be needed in the future.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all sector networks, WorkUP’s Reference Group, and various stakeholders who have provided specialist input and helped to shape this significant workforce initiative.

A special mention to the ‘Wise Hive’ project advisory group, who generously acted as critical friends guiding, challenging, and informing the content, look, and feel of the framework.

In collaboration with the sector, alongside Alisa Hall Consulting, WorkUP Queensland engaged in candid, insightful, and sometimes challenging conversations to unpack the nature, complexity, and richness of the sector’s work. These conversations have helped to create a resource that is meaningful, inclusive, and that maintains authenticity by using sector language, and that prioritises practical use by workers, managers, and others. We look forward to sharing it with you soon.

Upcoming opportunities: scholarships and collaborative grants

Upcoming opportunities: scholarships and collaborative grants

Scholarships – round four now open!

Have you been thinking about gaining qualifications that will support you in your work and advance your career?

WorkUP Queensland is offering workers in the Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault, and Women’s Health and Wellbeing sector the opportunity to receive up to $20,000 in scholarship funds.

Funded through the Office for Women, a range of opportunities are available for all staff, from frontline workers to managers.

To apply, tell us about the impact the qualification will have on your role and work within the sector, and how you will share your knowledge with colleagues. Applications must be endorsed by your employer.

Previous scholarships have covered a range of courses, including:

  • Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence Practice
  • Graduate Diploma of Domestic and Family Violence Practice
  • Master of Domestic and Family Violence Practice
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Coaching
  • Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence Responses
  • Graduate Certificate in Facilitating Men’s Behaviour Change
  • Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Trauma and Recovery
  • Graduate Certificate in Men’s Behaviour Change
  • Bachelor of Human Services
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science
  • Bachelor of Psychological Sciences
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Graduate Certificate in Business (Non-Profit and Philanthropic Studies)
  • Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies)
  • Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence Responses
  • Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Neuroscience
  • Graduate Diploma of Counselling
  • Graduate Diploma of Mental Health
  • Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

To find out how to apply click here.  

Apply now for a Collaborative Grant – up to $10 000

Did you know that WorkUP’s collaborative grants are now continuous and no longer include opening and closing dates?

If your service has an amazing idea that helps to support, connect, and retain your workforce in a sustainable way, reach out today.

WorkUP Queensland’s Collaborative Grants are designed to foster collaboration in the sector and to make ideas grow.

Projects that target 50% of the Domestic Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Women’s Health and Wellbeing sector in their grant application are eligible for consideration.

To learn more, contact Rona Scherer on 0498 443 551 or at

Welcome to our Sector: free online training for new workers

Welcome to our Sector: free online training for new workers

Have you recently been joined by new team members? Are you looking to recruit new staff in the near future?

If so, WorkUP Queensland, in consultation with the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (QCDFVR), has developed the Welcome to our Sector induction program to upskill new workers.

Delivered online from 13-20 June, this free, three-part series will support new workers to become a powerful driver of change in ending violence against women. It sets workers up to succeed by supporting them to join the dots across a large and complex sector, understanding the context and the principles that underpin our work.

The series evolved from conversations across Queensland, which identified the need for greater opportunities for new workers to connect with each other and increase their understanding of the sector’s purpose, practice, and resources. It equips new workers with the foundational knowledge and connections to get started and supports workers to identify next steps in their learning journey.

The program consists of three two-hour modules:

  1. Purpose
  • Recognise the gender-based nature of violence against women
  • Identify your role in the gendered violence ecosystem
  1. Practice
  • Recognise structures, context, and boundaries within which you will work
  • Identify practice considerations for people with diverse lived experience
  1. Resources
  • Identify directives that guide your work
  • Recognise resources that inform and support your work

We encourage workers at any level, at any stage of their career in the Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault, and Women’s Health and Wellbeing sector across Queensland to participate. Register here to secure your spot.

If you are interested in getting involved in co-delivering the induction program in your community or region, please reach out to Theresa Kellett

Following on from this induction, WorkUP Queensland will be delivering foundation courses that will provide a deeper level of knowledge and skills required for working across the sector. Click here to be involved in consultations for new foundation courses.

New symposium series – Solidarity: Safety, Justice, Wellbeing

New symposium series – Solidarity: Safety, Justice, Wellbeing

WorkUP Queensland is excited to announce our 2022 Symposium Series ‘Solidarity: Safety, Justice, Wellbeing'.

The series follows last year’s highly successful ‘Daring, Inclusive, Feminist Leadership’ series, in understanding how different services can better work together to create meaningful change in ending violence against women.

Last year, participants told us they valued allyship within and across the sector and viewed this as a powerful mechanism for change, reporting that the symposium series was a fun and practical way to connect.

This year’s symposiums will include keynote speakers, practitioners, and academics sharing evidence and experience in integrated and collaborative service delivery, within and across sectors.

WorkUP Queensland will facilitate peer group learning experiences, which will dive deeper into key topics and provide a forum for creative thinking and brainstorming about implementation opportunities.

Facilitated by Jan Archer of Archersfield Management and Consulting, the series will combine practical wisdom, emerging evidence, and outside thinking, all with the aim of reducing friction and frustration within the system, for the benefit of service users and the workforce itself.

Aligning with Principle Seven of the Domestic and Family Violence Services Practice Principles standards and guidance – ‘Services collaborate to provide an integrated response’ – this series is designed for specialist and mainstream services and will be particularly useful for those in leadership or decision-making roles.

Download the brochure here, or register to attend one or more symposiums and peer groups here, noting that if you would like to participate in the peer groups, you will need to attend all symposiums.

When you register for peer groups, WorkUP Queensland will send you a few questions so we can design the right structure to meet your needs, such as when you would like to meet and what you would like to gain from participation.

We will be releasing more details about speakers throughout the year. Subscribe to our newsletter below for the latest news, or contact to learn more.

FREE practical and targeted support for services implementing DFV standards 

FREE practical and targeted support for services implementing DFV standards

Did you know that WorkUP Queensland offers free, confidential, and practical support to implement the Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Services Practice Principles, Standards and Guidance?

This service is designed to work with you to identify strengths and specific areas where assistance may be required to support your service in complying with the principles.

When you contact us, the WorkUP team will link you with a DFV specialist who will then facilitate a structured conversation with you to reflect on your service’s engagement with the DFV Practice Principles, Standards and Guidance.

This conversation might reveal that you’re doing well and don’t need any further support, or it may indicate that one-on-one targeted support or links to professional development would be helpful. Either way, starting this conversation is an opportunity to reflect on and articulate your practice and build confidence for engaging with future workplace audits. All services are different, and the support provided will be designed to meet your needs.

WorkUP can provide support to:

  • enhance practice manuals
  • review policies and procedures
  • identify professional development needs
  • build skills in a range of areas
  • practise explaining what you do and why.

“It’s been about starting a conversation, opening up questions, keeping it simple and not overthinking.”

“It’s been invaluable to look back at practices and processes and make simple improvements that help us and the women we work with.

“Fantastic opportunity, so lucky to have the support, feel heaps more confident.”

- Former program participants

Click here to find out more or request support.

Community of Practice

As part of this program, WorkUP Queensland has created a Community of Practice specifically for people working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in mainstream DFV services.

Each online session is facilitated by Gabrielle Borggaard and Rona Scherer and will explore 1-7 DFV Practice Principles, Standards and Guidance areas. Sessions are designed to be a safe learning space where people can share their practice and challenges and learn from one another.

Contact to find out more, check your eligibility, or sign up today!

Join us for the ‘Walking Together, Learning Together’ mentoring series

Join us for the ‘Walking Together, Learning Together’ mentoring series

Would you benefit from having someone to talk to, who understands your everyday work, who could provide you with insight and advice related to your career path? Are you a service manager with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff who may be interested in being a mentor or a mentee?

Join us this year in our continuing ‘Walking Together, Learning Together’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mentoring Program, where First Nations workers in the Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Women’s Health and Wellbeing sectors come together to share knowledge, skills, and wisdom with those new to working in the sector.

The program includes opportunities to build skills and confidence, exploring topics like:

  • communication skills
  • emotional intelligence
  • social and personal growth.

Working in this sector can be both rewarding and challenging. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers, this can mean juggling job expectations with cultural, community, and family responsibilities or obligations.

Now is the perfect time to consider team members who may benefit from mentoring, or those whose work, life experience, and work ethic would make them a great a mentor for someone new to the workforce.

Register for an online information session on 11 March at 9:00 am -10:00 am or email to learn more.

“Coming into the program I was very focused on my weaknesses. Now I’m much more focused on my strengths.”

- Workshop participant

Sessions will be facilitated by Eileen Heywood, lead consultant, and co-hosted by Rona Scherer of WorkUP Queensland.

Walking Together, Learning Together has been designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander frontline workers of services funded by the Department of Attorney General, across Domestic Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Women’s Health and Wellbeing sector.


Creating opportunities for change in 2022

Creating opportunities for change in 2022

This year WorkUP Queensland is continuing to work with communities to build partnerships, deliver work in meaningful ways, and create opportunities for real change.

Reforms continue to impact the sector at national and state levels, as the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 and recommendations from Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce Hear her voice report are implemented.

The sector has made contributions to these reports and will continue to provide input through consultations and submissions to key projects – including the current discussion paper on women and girls' experiences across the criminal justice system as survivors of sexual violence and also as offenders.

This year WorkUP Queensland will also be implementing a statewide workforce plan and delivering a workforce capability project, practice studios, a mentoring program and other key events.

The workforce capability project clarifies the knowledge and behaviour that is needed at different levels of the workforce and sets out how individuals and organisations can adapt, grow, and continuously improve to achieve the highest standards of practice. It will be flexible and adaptive as needed, rather than a mandatory framework, and is driven by workers’ aspirations and insight into the core capabilities across our diverse sector.   

WorkUP Queensland will continue to develop and refine the workforce capability resource using flexible and inclusive engagement approaches. Input from more than 120 individual sector stakeholder contacts will inform the resource’s development.

Email to learn more or get involved, and be sure to join the WorkUP Facebook group for the latest updates.


Walking together, learning together mentoring program

Walking together, learning together mentoring program

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Walking together, learning together mentoring program, delivered by WorkUP Queensland and Heywood Consulting.

The six-month program was tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers in the domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and women’s health sector. It focused on developing personal and professional skills and strengthening the First Nations and Torres Strait Islander workforce.

Informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander terms of reference that were designed by participants, the program shed light on the diverse range of skills, experience, and knowledge in the workforce. There were many robust conversations, and wonderful connections were strengthened.

The final sessions of the program opened with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Deborah Sandy, before participants reflected on what growing a committed, responsive, and resilient workforce means, and how workers can be supported to reach their full potential.

Participants, ranging from Cairns, Mackay, and South-east Queensland, took part in two face-to-face workshops over six months and four online workshops. Each mentoring pair developed their own schedule of regular meetings outside of group workshops, as they worked together to build their skills and move towards individual and shared learning goals.

“For me personally, working in the space in domestic and family violence, this was a great opportunity to take a breath and work on my personal goals, which I achieved, and my self-confidence in believing in myself has made this program successful for me.”

Jasmine from Far North Queensland

Thank you to everyone who attended, and for your commitment to maintaining connections and mentoring relationships into the future.

Watch this space for future programs in 2022.


Save the date: 14 December Improving workforce capability for leaders and frontline workers

Be part of the story Register for Workforce Capabilities Conversations 

14 December

Capability isn’t just about having the right knowledge and skills – it is about using them in the most effective way.

As individuals and organisations adapt, grow, and improve, a capability framework is a great tool to help you achieve high standards of practice. It does this by clarifying the knowledge and behaviour required at different levels of the workforce.

WorkUP Queensland’s Workforce Capability Project builds on existing evidence through meaningful conversations with sector networks and stakeholders.

Get involved

Every conversation is part of the story 

Join us as we work closely with the women’s health, sexual assault and domestic and family violence sector to develop a capability framework that will provide insight into what is needed to work most effectively with women and children now and in the future.

We would love to hear from you at one of our upcoming virtual consultations:

14 December For managers and leaders
15 December For practitioners and frontline workers

As the Workforce Capability Project evolves, it is critical that we hear from all parts of our diverse workforce. WorkUP Queensland will provide diverse, flexible, and easy ways to get involved, including face-to-face and virtual engagement, feedback opportunities, and one-on-one discussions.

If you can’t make it to the workshops above, we’d love to hear from you via our online form, or in conversation with Alisa Hall -

What are some of the benefits of a capability framework?

A capability framework:

  • provides practical support for organisations to attract, retain, and manage staff
  • promotes better pathways and informs professional development and learning
  • supports organisations in meeting demands and standards
  • supports small and large organisations to plan and manage people and processes
  • creates a common language to better support worker mobility across the sector.

To learn more about how a capability framework can improve your organisation click here or contact John Turrisi at

For more information, including an introductory video and the discovery report, click here.

Support for TAFE and VET applicants

Support for TAFE and VET applicants

This year, WorkUP connected with TAFE Queensland to support applicants to the Free Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program offered across the state, which included several qualifications relevant to the family and domestic violence sector. 

Thank you to those who registered with TAFE and noted their interest via our booking platform. This enabled WorkUP Queensland to connect after the RPL process to see what support we could offer to assist students work towards their qualification. 

If we haven’t connected with you already, we’d like to!

If you are enrolled in or have recently gone through the Recognition of Prior Learning process and are interested in additional support to finish your remaining credits please fill out this survey link. 

WorkUP Queensland can offer various types of support including, but not limited to, online peer groups and tutoring sessions.  

We want to ensure that workers in the domestic and family violence sector are recognised for the valuable on-the-job skills they have developed and that they are supported to gain a qualification or pursue further study.