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QSuper CEO Mr Michael Pennisi says organisations have a responsibility to take an active role in tackling domestic and family violence, both within their workplaces and the broader community.
In 2016 QSuper into a three-year partnership with DVConnect. The not-for-
profit is Queensland’s leading crisis response service to domestic violence and the partnership provides funding to employ an additional full-time telephone support officer.
QSuper is pleased to announce that the partnership is being extended for an additional three years.
“There is only so much that governments and not for profits can do to overcome issues such as domestic violence. More and more it’s up to organisations to work collaboratively to help tackle domestic violence in our communities,” said QSuper CEO, Michael Pennisi.
“Domestic violence takes a significant social, emotional and financial toll on its victims, who are predominantly women. With women making up almost two-thirds of QSuper membership and more than half of our workforce we feel a great responsibility to act.”
“As an organisation with over 575,000 members and around 1,500 staff, we can play a role in calling out this abhorrent behaviour and letting the community know that we don’t tolerate domestic and family violence,” he said.
“Bring financial abuse into the open.”
Family violence campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty explains to QSuper the ways in which finances can be used as a form of domestic abuse.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer congratulated QSuper and DVConnect on the continued partnership, which means that more calls for help can be answered.
“I’d like to congratulate Michael and his team on their continued support of DVConnect.
“Not only will it boost the capacity of DVConnect to help people who are experiencing domestic and family violence, but it will also help to increase awareness of what domestic and family violence is, that it’s never okay, and importantly, that there is help out there.
“It’s vital that organisations take up the challenge of addressing domestic and family violence, whether that’s through introducing policies and education to support their employees, or through partnerships with organisations like DVConnect.
“We all need to work together to stamp out domestic and family violence in Queensland communities.”
“Tackling violence against women top priority”
Queensland’s State Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer, tells QSuper tackling the horrific issue of domestic violence remains the top priority to advance gender equality.
DVConnect CEO Rebecca O’Connor welcomed the continued support, citing the impact an additional resource has on meeting their demand is significant.
“The additional support officer means about an extra 4,000 calls per year can be answered from Queensland victims. Being able to answer more calls could lead to more lives being saved,” she said.
Mr Pennisi said QSuper’s commitment wasn’t just about providing funding but looking for opportunities to educate customers and employees about the prevalence of domestic violence, and what they can to take an active role in combatting the issue.
QSuper offers in-kind support to DVConnect, as well as fundraising and volunteering by employees. The Fund offers 10 days domestic violence leave and provides training to employees to identify and refer victims to appropriate services.
“If every organisation in Queensland took some small steps to raise awareness and help provide support to anyone experiencing domestic or family violence it could have a huge impact in the community.
“As the State’s largest superannuation fund we want to take an active role in improving the lives of vulnerable Queenslanders. Our continued partnership with DVConnect is a demonstration of that,” he said.
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