Workshops – 6th December 2017

Delegates can purchase a ticket to attend the workshops on Wednesday 6th December 2017. The workshops are an additional cost and are not included in the full registration or day registration fee. Tickets can be purchased from the registration form.

Delegates can choose one workshop from each time slot (9.00am – 10.30am and 11.00 – 12.30pm).

Workshop 1 (9.00am – 10.30am)
Ms Tori Cooke, Manager, Justice & Family Services, Ruah Community Services

Compassion Fatigue Workshop: Burnout Prevention and Resiliency Planning


This 90 minute workshop offers a pragmatic guide through understanding burnout prevention management based on Stamm’s Professional Quality of Life (ProQol) model.  Working in the field of family and domestic violence requires building significant resilience and tenacity.  Burnout can negatively affect individuals, teams and organisational culture which can impact on our professional work with clients and ability to function well in teams.  Burnout prevention strategies that are regularly undertaken in organisations both large and small can make the difference for staff in noticing early symptoms and implementing resiliency planning.  Taking a preventative approach to staff support can address concerns about long term exhaustion leading to burnout and the more serious issues associated with vicarious trauma.

Participants will leave with a valuable toolkit assessing both self and organisation for burnout prevention with key strategies for resiliency planning.


This interactive workshop is designed for those working directly in the helping professions, first responders and managers keen to develop proactive burnout prevention strategies.

Intended Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Have a well-developed understanding of burnout and secondary trauma
  • ‘Recognise the difference between work related stress, burnout and secondary trauma (sometimes referred to as vicarious trauma)
  • Self-assess for signs of distress associated with burnout – compassion fatigue
  • Begin to access individual and organisational resources earlier (burnout prevention)
  • Develop more insight to identify and implement self-care needs
  • Begin reflection on what might be needed for introducing strategies in formal supervision to support ongoing staff wellbeing (supervisors, coordinators, HR staff and managers)

Workshop 2  (9.00am – 10.30am)
Mrs Lyn Worsley, Clinical Psychologist, The Resilience Centre

A Resilience Response to Domestic violence

Often a victim of domestic violence is caught in an exclusive relationship where the perpetrator can control and exclude other people from connecting to them. The victim can then be easily manipulated and controlled, in both their thoughts and the beliefs, making it seem easier to stay than to go. So, as a result when working with victims of the violence, workers are faced with what seems to be a helpless response and an apparent resolve to stay in the situation.

The Resilience Doughnut is a dynamic model showing the factors needed to build resilience.

The premise of the doughnut indicates there are three external factors needed to build the resilience mindset to help people when times are tough. It has been shown that when these three strength are activated that there is a change in self efficacy, self-esteem and the awareness of available resources.

In applying the Resilience Doughnut model to working with people in violent situations, activating three strengths means working with strengths away from the violent situation. This may seem that the violence is not being addressed however the premise of activating more helpful resources which help the victim gain a perspective outside of the controlled dynamic can have an empowering effect.

This hands on, practical workshop will demonstrate the use of the Resilience Doughnut with several cases. Participants are invited who work with victims and their families and to bring a case to consider during the workshop.

Workshop 3  (9.00am – 10.30am)
Ms Nicola Palfrey, Director, Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network

Going beyond platitudes: how do we acknowledge, honour and understand the experiences of children and help families to thrive?

Children who have lived with domestic violence are often painted as passive victims, or less flatteringly as aggressive mini-me’s of the perpetrator. The complexity and sophistication of the strategies they have developed to manage living with violence are often unexplored and misunderstood. Their comprehension of the power balance or imbalance within the home is also often ignored; this can lead to unexpected issues once the violent perpetrator leaves the family home. The power vacuum this creates, and the grief associated with the departure can leave families in turmoil. This can be devastating for mothers who expect the worst to be over, only to experience an increase in aggression, anger and distress this time from her own children.

Research with children about their experiences has illustrated the level of agency and resilience they foster to cope with an unsafe homelife. They protect siblings, have strategies for de-escalating parents and manage terrifying situations on their own. They often have been told their mother is weak, incapable. Yet, now she is in charge. Many children find this prospect terrifying. Some children attempt to step up into to adult role. This behaviour is often characterised as bossy, aggressive and inappropriate, they are told to ‘go play, be a kid’. What if this behaviour was seen as a strength, these skills valued and channeled into positive contributions to family life.

Post violence families need to support to navigate the new world, children need explicit messages about who is in charge, and this person’s capacity to take charge. They also deserve recognition for the work they have done in keeping the family together and their strategies for this need compassion and understanding not judgement

This workshop will explore ways to support families post-violence to repair bonds and form new ways of being together in safety.

Workshop 4 (11.00 – 12.30pm)

Ms Kai Noonan, Coordinator – Domestic and Family Violence Project, ACON
Co-authors: Matthew Parsons, Research Operations Manager, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society

The Dark Side of the Rainbow – LGBTI experiences of Domestic Violence

Research shows that same sex attracted & gender diverse (LGBTQ) Australians experience intimate partner violence at similar rates to cisgender, heterosexual women.

However, within the dominant heteronormative discourse, domestic violence is synonymous with ‘Men’s Violence Against Women’. Consequently, LGBTQ intimate partner violence is often not recognised by the very professionals who are responsible for providing support nor by LGBTQ persons themselves.

Furthermore, research shows that a lack of understanding LGBTQ intimate partner violence can result in negative experiences when LGBTQ people do seek help from domestic violence services. In turn, these negative experiences can contribute to LGBTQ people remaining in abusive relationships. Many domestic violence services are interested in providing safe and inclusive services for LGBTQ people, but struggle to see how this is possible within the heteronormative framework that dominates the sector.

This workshop, co-facilitated by leading organisations from New South Wales & Victoria, will provide participants with a new way of understanding domestic violence that includes all genders and sexualities. They will participate in activities that enable them to shift from a hetero-gendered, feminist understanding of domestic violence to one of intersectional anti-oppression that includes LGBTQ people.

The workshop will present research highlighting the similarities and differences between LGBTQ people’s experiences of abusive relationships and those of heterosexual cisgender people, as well as similarities and differences in abusive relationships among different sexuality and gender identities

The workshop will provide participants with Information and strategies aimed at making domestic violence services safer and more inclusive of LGBTQ people. It will also enable participants to begin to develop their own strategies for improving their service’s response to LGBTQ intimate partner violence.

Working together we can shine a light on the dark side of the rainbow, and work to end intimate partner violence for all genders and sexualities.

Workshop 5 (11.00 – 12.30pm)

Ms Loren Days, Senior Policy Advisor, Intersectionality, Our Watch

Understanding and applying an intersectional approach to preventing violence against women in policy and practice

Our Watch is a national not-for-profit organisation established in 2013 to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and their children. In partnership with VicHealth and the ANROWS, Our Watch led the development of Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.  Released in 2015, Change the story brings together international research and nationwide experience on what drives violence against women and what works to prevent it.

An intersectional understanding of violence against women acknowledges that while gender inequality drives violence against women, it is not the only or most important factor in every context. It acknowledges that violence is often experienced in combination with other forms of structural discrimination and oppression – such as racism, colonisation, ableism, and homophobia –  which intersect with gender inequality to exacerbate violence among women. Applying an intersectional approach to prevention policy and practice is critical to effectively address the root causes of violence against women for a diverse range of groups and achieve gender equality for all women.

The workshop aims to strengthen participant’s knowledge and confidence to apply an intersectional approach to their work addressing violence against women. This workshop is relevant for individuals from a range of sectors, including family violence and preventing violence against women practitioners, policy makers, those working on other social policy issues and specialist services.

Through presentations and interactive and participatory activities, this workshop will introduce:

  1. The drivers of violence against women and why a prevention approach is critical
  2. Intersectional theory, its origins and key concepts
  3. The importance of an intersectional approach to prevention and achieve gender equality for all women
  4. The Our Watch approach to applying intersectionality in policy and practice
  5. An interactive group exercise to support attendees to consider how an intersectional approach can be applied to their work in practice to prevent violence against women.


Workshop 6 (11.00 – 12.30pm)

Mr Adam Blanch, Psychologist, Evolving Violence

Beyond the Rescuer: Escaping Karman’s Triangle

This workshop explores the themes of power and powerlessness, and how they so often impact and disable the victims, perpetrators and practitioners in domestic violence. Using systems theory, we consider how our typical responses to violence can prevent us from intervening effectively in the dynamics of family violence, and how we as practitioners can become caught in our own ‘role’ in the cycle of violence, which can render us nearly useless in being of real assistance to our clients. We also explore the underlying schemas that keep people trapped in these roles and how to address these hidden barriers to change.

Adam Blanch is a psychologist specialising in trauma, complex trauma, personality disorders and recovery from violence. He has worked in family services, corrections and private practice. His specialist areas of interest and research are identity and gender.

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