Posted on 19. Aug, 2010 in News

The way in which women are portrayed in the media will be improved through increased opportunities for survivors of domestic violence to take on media advocacy roles, thanks to a $300,000 funding boost announced today by the Victorian Government.

Speaking at the annual Premier’s Women’s Summit, attended by more than 200 representatives from the media, business and community, Premier John Brumby said $150,000 would be provided to train women in media advocacy and a further $150,000 would be provided to run the Eliminating Violence Against Women media awards.

Mr Brumby said as the nation approached the end of a five-week campaign which could see the election of Australia’s first female Prime Minister, women in the media was an important and timely issue for the state.

“The Victorian Government is committed to the full and equal participation of women in all aspects of society and this commitment guides the work we do in women’s policy,” Mr Brumby said.

“Part of that commitment means ensuring women are represented appropriately in the media and women who are leaders and pioneers are appropriately recognised.

“That’s why we have the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll and that is why we are investing in increased opportunities for women in the media and the Eliminating Violence Against Women media awards.”

Mr Brumby said the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service would train and resource survivors of family violence so they can take on media advocacy roles.


“Real stories provide a powerful way to illustrate the impact of violence against women and their families and encourage others to seek help,” he said.

“Evidence shows that family violence occurs in all areas, across all socio-economic groups and in all population and ethnic groups but it is often a hidden crime.

“If we are to stamp out family violence we need all Victorians to be more aware and more willing to speak up against family violence and recognise it as the crime it is. The media can play a powerful role in helping to achieve that.

“Our Government is deeply committed to stopping family violence and has introduced major reforms in recent years to improve how domestic violence is dealt with by the police and our courts.

“The next important step is changing community attitudes and stopping violence before it happens and the initiatives announced today will support that change.”

Minister for Women’s Affairs Maxine Morand said the Eliminating Violence Against Women media awards will run over the next three years and recognise excellence in the reporting of family violence and sexual assault in Victoria.

“Entries will be judged on journalistic merit with emphasis on public benefit and the promotion of community awareness and understanding of family violence and sexual assault,” Ms Morand said.

The Eliminating Violence Against Women media awards are open to journalists working in print, television, radio, photography/artwork and online media.

Entries will be open to all journalists and media organisations for media reports produced during the 2010 calendar year.

The awards will be coordinated by Domestic Violence Victoria, No to Violence and the Centres Against Sexual Assault, the state’s peak bodies for family violence and sexual assault services.

Funding will also be used to develop a toolkit and training for journalists on responsible reporting of family violence and sexual assaults.

Ms Morand said this year’s Premier’s Women’s Summit focused on women in the media and explored the complexities around the portrayal of women.

“It is vital we tackle the issue of gender stereotyping in the media and work together to ensure the fair and accurate portrayal of women and the reporting of women’s issues,” Ms Morand said.

Expert media and industry presenters featured at the Summit included:

  • Caroline Wilson, Chief Football Writer, The Age;
  • Fiona Jolly, CEO, Advertising Standards Bureau;
  • Dr Louise North, Head of Journalism, Monash University;
  • Lynne Haultain, former ABC radio presenter; and
  • Luke Waldren, Managing Partner, Grey Group Melbourne.


Ms Morand said funding for the new media initiatives was part of the $14.1 million provided by the Brumby Labor Government to implement A Right to Respect: Victoria’s plan to prevent violence against women.

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