In 1980 a State wide telephone crisis service for women in need of support, advice and assistance as a result of Domestic Violence was established by the then Department of Communities Crisis Care program and the telephone number 1800 811 811 has been in operation ever since… subsequently it was run by the Domestic Violence Telephone Service Inc, a non-government community agency.
In 2002 DVConnect were successful in tendering to the Department of Communities and commenced the operation of DVConnect Womensline and DVConnect Mensline.
A 2003 amendment to the Domestic Violence Act saw the inclusion of family violence (extending to elder abuse and informal care relationships) as a core component of the domestic violence telephone service, which broadened the scope of service delivery throughout the funded services of the sector including DVConnect.
In 2009 and with funding through the then Department of Health DVConnect took on responsibility for the State-wide Sexual Assault Line.
New legislation was enacted in September 2012, giving clearer definitions and offering Queenslanders affected by Domestic or Family Violence further protection and recognition of its prevalence and wide reaching affects. DVConnect continues to respond to the growing and diverse needs of Queenslanders affected by Domestic and Family Violence, as well as those affected by Sexual Assault.
Annually, DVConnect takes in excess of 58,000 calls across all lines and provides crisis intervention across a number of key services. This is in the form of emergency telephone support, evacuation and crisis accommodation placement for families affected by abusive relationships, counselling for men, women and victims of sexual assault, education and support for men, prison and court support, homelessness support network, community education and care for pets of families experiencing domestic violence.
The framework from which DVConnect operates is that, where there is Domestic and Family Violence it is most often perpetrated by men against women; and that perpetrators of this violence are fully responsible for their actions.
To enable seamless passage from violence to safety by delivering a range of support services to those in crisis as a result of domestic and family violence.
A Queensland free from Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence
What we value
The right of all people to live free from violence and abuse. – The health and safety of staff and clients- Planning and decision making that reflects justice, equity, integrity and collaboration. – Recognise the diverse needs of marginalised and disadvantaged groups.- Responsiveness, adaptability, innovation, creativity and an openness to change when attempting to address the needs of those affected by domestic and family violence
Our charity status and funding
DVConnect Limited is a registered company (ABN: 66 101 186 476), is registered as a Public Benevolent Institution and has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Taxation Office, we also have Authority to Fundraise in Queensland
How we are funded
Womensline and Mensline – Our core funding comes from the Violence Prevention Team of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. Our contract comes under the Community Service Act 2007 which replaced the Family Service Act of 1987.
Sexual Assault Helpline – Funding for the Sexual Assault Helpline is through the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
Mensline Court Support – This program is funded by LPITAF (Legal Practitioner Interest on Trust Accounts Fund) and administered by Legal Aid
Board of Directors
DVConnect is currently controlled by a Board of Directors whose primary purpose is to provide strong governance and strategic framework that will guide and support the professional management team in the development and financing of the company’s activities.
It also acts as a reference point for specific issues that require expertise beyond the core capability of the company’s professionals. The Board undertakes its duties and obligations as required by the Corporations Act, the Service Agreement and other funding service delivery guidelines issued by the Department of Communities.
Shaan Ross-Smith (Director/Acting Chair)
Shaan Ross-Smith is the Director of the MATE program at Griffith University. The MATE program is a leadership program focused on the bystanders role in preventing violence against women.
Prior to her transition to Griffith University Ms Ross-Smith performed in managerial roles within Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) and the Department of Justice and Attorney General for a period of over 16 years, across a comprehensive range of positions including Regional Programs and Training Officer, Probation and Parole Officer, Supervisor and Assessment Unit Officer. In 2013, Ms Ross-Smith accepted an opportunity to work with the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre as the Integrated Response Manager. This role required the collaboration of significant Government and non-Government providers to coordinate the management of high risk domestic violence matters. Shaan credits this diverse experience as providing her with a rich professional perspective of the criminal justice system and its interface within the broader community.
Upon returning to Queensland Corrective Services, she acted in the role of Director, Offender Rehabilitation and Management Services, overseeing three distinct portfolios, namely Offender Intervention, Offender Management and Education and Re-entry. In late 2015 she undertook a review of internal processes related to Domestic Violence across Queensland Corrective Services before returning to her substantive position as District Manager within Probation and Parole to implement the specialist Domestic Violence Court at Southport.
Ms Ross-Smith holds a degree and postgraduate degree in Psychology through Griffith and Bond Universities. She is a guest lecturer and key note speaker across Australia on the topic of gender based violence and inequality.
Linda Dreghorn (Director/Company Secretary/Audit, Risk and Finance committee member/Audit, Risk and Finance Committee Acting Chair)
Linda Dreghorn was appointed as Company Secretary on 22 February 2005. Linda was also appointed as a director on 20 July 2010.
Ms Dreghorn is also currently Company Secretary for Green Cross Australia, and Manager, Business Performance – Governance at Arts Queensland. Her previous roles include Company Secretary and Legal Counsel for Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd, General Manager of Brisbane Festival 2006, Secretary and Director of the Secretariat of the Queensland Law Society Inc., Co-ordinator of Due Diligence for SunWater’s acquisition of major water infrastructure and Lecturer in Law at the Queensland University of Technology.
Ms Dreghorn has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma in Company Secretarial Studies and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She practised as a solicitor in Queensland for over 20 years.
Heather Castledine (Director)
Heather Castledine is a proud Kamilaroi-Kooma (aboriginal) woman and is actively involved with many indigenous organisations in Queensland. She is the Aboriginal Chair for Reconciliation Queensland Inc., committee member for The Logan Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Elders and Board for Murrigunyah (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders for Women a Sexual Assault service), and a Director of YFS (Youth & Family Service).
Ms Castledine works as an Indigenous Cultural Consultant to a team of clinicians for the Child & Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) of Queensland Health. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work, Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership, Diploma of Community Services, Certificate of Attendance to Attachment Theory & Practice Relevance for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Peoples, Statement of Completion A&TSI Cultural Awareness Facilitator Training, Outstanding Achievement for Reconciliation Learning Circle Kit, Certificate of Participation in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills & Statement of Attainment Senior First Aid & Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people Mental Health First.
Wilhelmus Kerkhof (Director/Audit, Risk and Finance Committee Chair)
Will Kerkhof has over 20 years of experience in supporting departments and non-profit organisations to successfully plan, deliver change, implement new ventures and measure performance.
Mr Kerkhof is a dedicated change manager and reporting professional with an exceptional in-depth knowledge of the public and social services sector in a range of areas including health, housing, disability, aged care, child protection, indigenous affairs and multicultural affairs.
Professor Heather Douglas (Director)
Heather Douglas is a Professor of law based at the T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland. Professor Douglas researches in the areas of domestic and family violence, child protection and criminal law.
Professor Douglas is the co-ordinator of the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book, a national resource for judicial officers dealing with matters involving domestic and family violence.
Professor Douglas holds a PhD in law from Melbourne University. She has practiced criminal law in Victoria, the Northern Territory and in Queensland.
Glenn Henderson (appointed 19 September 2016)
Glenn Henderson is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of experience in commerce (both private and ASX listed), government related organisations and the accounting profession.
Mr Henderson’s qualifications include Chartered Accountant (Australia New Zealand) and he has a Business (Accounting) Degree from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
He has worked predominately in senior financial management positions in the services industry and has been involved in growing businesses both organically and through acquisition.
Leigh Tabrett (appointed 20 February 2017)
Leigh Tabrett PSM has worked as a secondary teacher, a university administrator, and senior public servant in Education, and the Arts. She has served on numerous state and national policy and co-ordinating bodies and government-owned companies, has been an advisor to both State and Federal Governments on higher education and on arts and cultural policy, and has led policy, organisational and legislative reform agendas in both areas.
Ms Tabrett now works as a company director, business coach and consultant. She is Chair of Bleached Arts Ltd, and serves on the boards of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Community Services Industry Alliance and Currency House Ltd. As a Director of One Mind Ltd, Ms Tabrett is part of the team leading the development of the Women of the World (WOW) Festivals in Australia, including the staging of WOW in Brisbane 2015, and in 2018 as part of the cultural festival for the Commonwealth Games.
Enid Hughes (appointed 21 August 2017)
Enid Hughes is a partner of Deloitte. She leads Human Capital Consulting for Public Sector in Queensland with a key focus on organisational transformation and talent management, through leadership and emerging technologies.
Ms Hughes is focused on the workforce of the future and assisting her clients to navigate digital disruption to not just adapt and adopt, but to excel in the digital world. She is passionate about human resources and workforce technology and the delivery of a more engaged workforce and enhanced business outcomes through the adoption of new technologies and transformational change.
Fiona Maxwell (appointed 18 September 2017)
Fiona Maxwell’s career has spanned the non-profit, government and university sectors in Australia and the USA.
Prior to her current role as CEO of the Brisbane Powerhouse, Ms Maxwell was Queensland Manager for Philanthropy Australia, establishing the Brisbane office and supporting philanthropists and non-profits alike to grow the sector. Her role as Queensland Manager, Artsupport Australia encompassed growing cultural philanthropy as well as supporting the non-profit sector to build stronger and more sustainable relationships with its supporters.
Prior to this role, Ms Maxwell was Executive Director of the Next Wave Festival. She has been Chair and board member of organisations including industry service and peak bodies, an internet start-up and philanthropic grant-making committees.
Ms Maxwell holds a Bachelor of Arts from QUT, and a Masters from the University of New South Wales.