Introducing Mrs Maya Avdibegovic
Mrs Maya Avdibegovic joins us at the upcoming STOP Domestic Violence Conference in Brisbane this December to discuss ‘inLanguage, inCulture, inTouch: Social, legal and health professionals working together to improve access and achieve better outcomes for CALD women experiencing family violence’.
In 2012 inTouch, Multicultural Centre against Family Violence, established an in-house Legal Centre, the first legal service of its kind in Australia. Its unique model has been developed around the concept of culturally sensitive lawyering which allows Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women experiencing family violence to be supported by social workers and lawyers simultaneously under the same roof within a trusted environment. The Legal Centre advances inTouch towards its long-term goal of becoming a multi-disciplinary service,’a one-stop-shop’, for CALD victims of family violence.
In September 2014, inTouch Legal Centre received funding from the Legal Services Board to expand its operation by replicating the model to Dandenong, the most culturally diverse locality in Victoria, and to enhance its multidisciplinary service by establishing a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) model. The model is based on a successful USA Medical Legal Partnership model – a healthcare delivery model that integrates legal assistance as a vital component of healthcare. Today, in the USA, there are 155 hospitals, 139 health centres and 126 legal aid agencies with MLPs, 34 medical schools and 52 law schools that include MLP education and 64 pro-bono law firms and corporate legal departments that support MLPs.
Since it started, the project has formed strong partnerships with health, legal, education, community and corporate partners including Monash Health, the largest public health service in Victoria. An outpost was established at the Dandenong hospital with inTouch lawyer on-site once a week. More than 500 hospital staff have been trained on how to improve their responses to CALD women experiencing family violence.
This presentation will provide an overview of the project and demonstrate how bringing the innovation and cultural expertise together increases safety and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable clients.
Maya Avdibegovic is the CEO of InTouch, Multicultural Centre against Family Violence. InTouch is a statewide service, which provides services, programs and responses to issues of family violence in CALD communities.
Maya was born in Bosnia and graduated from Sarajevo University. She fled war-torn Bosnia in 1992 and lived in Germany for three years before migrating to Australia in 1995. Maya has qualifications in education, accounting and business management. Since she joined inTouch in 2009, the agency has expanded its work across the continuum of family violence and implemented a range of innovative initiatives leading inTouch towards its long-term goal of becoming a multi-disciplinary service ‘a one-stop-shop’ for CALD victims of family violence. Being a refugee and a migrant herself, Maya is passionate about supporting migrant women and their families to settle in Australia and have equitable access to services.
The 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will be held on 5 – 7 December at the Mercure Brisbane, QLD. For more information on the conference and to secure your registration, please visit the conference website.