Up to 4,000 more victims every year will have their call for help answered thanks to a new partnership between QSuper and Australia’s busiest domestic violence hotline, DVConnect.
Announcing the partnership today, QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said the State’s largest super fund would provide financial support for the hotline to employ an additional full-time telephone support officer for the next three years, to meet ever-increasing demand.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman congratulated QSuper and DVConnect on the new partnership.
“This support from QSuper means more calls for help can be answered and could lead to more lives being saved,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“DVConnect do an extraordinary job helping Queenslanders affected by domestic and family violence, but they rely on government funding and other fundraising to get by.
“Having a company like QSuper lend a helping hand will make a huge difference to their organisation.
“I’d like to congratulate Michael and his team on this initiative. Not only will it lead to greater assistance for domestic and family violence victims, but it will increase awareness of the problem across the community.”
Mr Pennisi said domestic violence took a significant social, emotional and financial toll on its victims, who are predominantly women.
“Women make up almost two-thirds of QSuper membership and more than half of our workforce.
“With 1 in every 3 women1 falling victim to physical and/or sexual violence by someone known to them – we felt a great responsibility to act.
“This new partnership with DVConnect - a tireless, not-for-profit, Queensland organisation – will make a tangible difference to the frontline services available to support victims and their families,” he said.
Mr Pennisi said the partnership was not only about ensuring that every call for help could be answered quickly, but also acknowledged the work of many QSuper members in supporting victims and families.
“Every day, thousands of our members either directly or indirectly support victims of domestic violence and their families – police, nurses, emergency services, teachers, child safety and legal officers, to name a few.
“We want to mirror their commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable Queenslanders, and this partnership with DVConnect is demonstration of that,” he said.
DVConnect CEO Di Mangan welcomed the announcement, citing investment in frontline services as the greatest gift the service could receive.
“At DVConnect, we never say no to a woman in need, but as demand grows so-to does the pressure on our hard-working team,” Ms Mangan said.
“In just the last two years’ alone, demand has peaked at up to 300 calls a day - up from 100-150 calls a day in 2014.
“This can mean some women’s calls for help can be held up in a queue, and knowing we can’t get to them straightaway takes its toll on our Support Officers.
“QSuper’s support will enable us to employ an extra resource to relieve this pressure and that is an extraordinary gift – not only to the Queensland women that so desperately need our services but to the DVConnect team who answer their calls day-in and day-out.
“We are honoured and grateful to have them come on board as partners in the fight against domestic violence,” she said.
Mr Pennisi said the partnership would also include the offer of in-kind support such as fundraising, volunteering and engagement with affiliated organisations.
"At QSuper, we make a commitment to our members, to be their trusted financial partner throughout their lives and ultimately help them reach their retirement goals. But more than this, we will support our members and their communities in the work they do and the issues they face,” he said.
Domestic violence does not discriminate between gender, age or ethnicity and QSuper is proud to partner with DVConnect, which provides support to men, women and families affected by domestic and family violence.
QSuper is currently only open to current and former Queensland public sector employees and their spouses.
Changes to legislation to enable QSuper to become an open fund and offer membership to members’ family and friends are currently before the Queensland Parliament, with a view to take effect by 30 June 2017.
1. ABS Personal Safety Survey 2012.
QSuper is Queensland’s largest superannuation fund and manages in excess of $65 billion in funds for more than 550,000 members. It is the SuperRatings Fund of the Year 2017i.
DVConnect is the only Queensland hotline offering a free service to anyone affected by domestic or family violence, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, taking calls from over 8,000 women every month.
Media enquiries Brendan Connell / Premier’s office / 3719 7000
Belinda Taylor / QSuper / 0418 429 866 / firstname.lastname@example.org
i. SuperRatings does not issue, sell, guarantee or underwrite this product. Go to www.superratings.com.au for details for its ratings criteria. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.