International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – it’s a big day for inspiration and change.

The Turnbull Government is continuing to deliver better outcomes for women in Chisholm and across Australia.

Here’s a summary of some of the Turnbull Government’s achievements for women.


Women’s Safety Package

  • $100 million was announced for a Women’s Safety Package in September 2015 (all announced and being implemented through 16 activities across six Commonwealth agencies).

Funding includes:

  • $59 million for practical immediate action to keep women and children safe, including:
    • $16 million (3 years 2015–16 to 2017–18 DSS) to support women and their children to stay in their homes when this is safe. New and emerging technologies (such as CCTV, alarms and smartphone applications) are supplied and installed under Keeping Women Safe in their Homes.
      • As at 31 December, there were 2,997 clients across each state and territory who received 16,190 sessions under this measure.
    • $2.1 million (3 years 2015–16 to 2017–18 Office of the eSafety Commissioner) for the development of the eSafetyWomen website, to empower women to take control and use technology positively to safeguard themselves and their children from technology facilitated abuse.
      • This website has been visited over 160,000 times since it was established (as at November 2017).
      • Over 3,500 workers (since June 2016) have received training on technology-facilitated abuse and received up‑to‑date skills and knowledge to support women and families.
    • $36 million to support and train frontline services to deliver high quality services when women are in need, including:
      • $13.5 million (3 years 2015–16 to 2017–18 DSS) to expand DV‑alert, which provides free, accredited training to non‑specialist frontline workers in recognising, responding and referring clients experiencing domestic and family violence.
        • In 2016-17, over 5,600 people in total received face-to-face training through DV-alert.
      • $23.4 million (3 years 2015–16 to 2017–18 AGD) for the establishment of five health justice partnerships to train health professionals at hospitals and community health centres to identify signs of domestic and family violence, and to support victims to access on site legal support. This funding also supported the introduction of 12 Specialist Domestic Violence Units to provide integrated legal and other services to vulnerable and disadvantaged women affected by domestic and family violence.
        • 3,468 clients have been assisted (since early 2016).
      • $5 million for the best educational resources to change attitudes of young people and prevent the cycle of violence.
        • Resources to support respectful relationships education from Foundation to Year 12. Resources will be freely available online to all Australian school communities, including parents, teachers, and students.

Implementation of the Third Action Plan

  • A further $100 million over three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 was committed in October 2016 to the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (all announced and being implemented across seven agencies as they undertake 54 projects or programs).

Funding includes:

  • $20 million for preventative strategies and cultural change to stop violence before it starts, including:
    • $1.9 million (3 years 2016–17 to 2018–19 DSS) for a toolkit to provide local governments with practical information and resources to help them partner with their communities and prevent violence. This is being trialled in five local government sites across Australia.
      • These sites are Parramatta City Council (NSW), City of Charles Sturt (SA), City of Mandurah (WA), Mackay Regional Council (QLD), and Latrobe City Council (VIC).
    • $4.5 million (3 years from 2016–17 to 2018–19 DSS) additional funding for The Line campaign, to encourage young people (12–20 years old) to have respectful relationships, especially regarding image based abuse.
  • $15 million to ensure frontline services are able to keep women safe so they can leave a violent situation, including:
    • $1.4 million (3 years from 2016–17 to 2018–19 DSS) for an intensive education and employment program to empower adult refugee women to get back on their feet if they are experiencing, or at risk of, violence. The program is being trialled in four locations across NSW and Queensland.
    • $1.5 million (3 years from 2016–17 to 2018–19 DSS) to train targeted at the disability workers on recognising, responding and referring women and their children who are experiencing, or at risk of domestic and family violence. Eight workshops are planned for 2017–18.
  • $10 million to prevent forms of sexual violence, including the non‑consensual sharing of intimate images, including:
    • $4.8 million (3 years 2016–17 to 2018–29 Office of the eSafety Commissioner) to develop a national online complaints portal for people affected by non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
      • A pilot portal was launched in October 2017 and the full scale portal will be launched early in 2018.
      • At December 2017, the portal website had 35,000 views and 60 reports had been received about 120 URLs where intimate images were being shared without consent.
    • $25 million to address family violence in Indigenous communities where far too many women and children experience violence all too frequently, including:
      • $20.4 million (three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 – PMC IAG) for services to be delivered in high risk communities to address Indigenous family violence. Fourteen Family Violence Prevention Legal Services will build capacity to deliver trauma informed approaches to their legal assistance and victim support services. Through the Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, women receive integrated legal, social work and other services when they are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic and family violence.
    • $30 million for front-line legal assistance and family law services including:
      • $18.5 million (3 years 2016–17 to 2018–19 AGD) in funding for states and territories to enable them to deliver integrated duty lawyer and social support services in family law courts. Services have been established in 16 locations across all states and territories.

Stop it at the Start

  • Stop it at the Start is a $30 million (3 years 2015–16 to 2017–18 DSS) national campaign to stop the cycle of violence by addressing young people’s attitudes.
    • It was launched in April 2016 in partnership with States and Territories 2016 (announced and being delivered by DSS).
  • The campaign targets the ‘influencers’ of young people – people like parents, friends, teachers, and sports coaches – to help them change their actions and attitudes to violence against women and make sure that young people grow up respecting men and women equally.
  • This campaign has impressive reach:
    • 43 million online views of the television commercial,
    • 753,000 visits to the website from over 509,000 users, and
    • 39,000 downloads of key influencer resources (at February 2018).

 Domestic Violence Order Scheme

  • In December 2015, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to introduce a National Domestic Violence Order (DVO) Scheme – a significant step to help police protect women and their children.
  • For the first time DVOs issued in one jurisdiction will be automatically recognised and enforceable across all Australian jurisdictions.
  • The interim scheme was launched on 25 November 2017.
  • A dedicated national system is due to be launched in 2019–20.

Family Law and Legal Assistance

  • The 2017-18 Budget provided $55.7 million (3 years 2017–18 to 2019–20 AGD) for legal assistance services to give women faster and easier access to legal advice. Funding was provided to states and territories through the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020:
    • $39 million (3 years 2017–18 to 2019–20 AGD) was committed for Community Legal Centres, to be prioritised for family law and domestic violence matters (announced and implemented);
    • $16.7 million (3 years 2017–18 to 2019–20 AGD) was committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (announced and implemented).
  • The 2017-18 Budget also provided $26.8 million for family law and family violence services to streamline family law processes and reduce the complexity of the system, including:
    • $3.4 million (2 years 2017–18 to 2018–19 AGD) for six new specialist domestic violence units, now a total of 18 units, which bring together legal and other services in one place so women don’t have to go from service to service (announced and in implementation);
    • $12.7 million (4 years 2017–18 to 2020–21 AGD) for Parenting Management Hearings, a new forum to help parents resolve less complex family law disputes without lawyers (announced, legislation introduced and referred to Committee).
    • $10.7 million (4 years 2017–18 to 2020–21AGD) to employ 17 more family consultants in the family law courts. Cases involving vulnerable families will be dealt with sooner because courts will have earlier access to independent assessments of family issues. Family consultants will also receive training about domestic and family violence (announced and being implemented).
  • The Government is commissioning the Australian Law Reform Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the family law system (announced and underway).
    • The review will provide a roadmap to improve the family law system, including the Family Law Act, to ensure it meets the contemporary needs of families and effectively addresses family violence and child abuse.
    • This report is due in 2019.
  • The Government introduced the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2017 in December 2017. It will amend the Family Law Act 1975 to improve the family law system’s response to family violence and the intersection of the federal family law and state and territory family violence and child protection systems (introduced, not yet passed).
    • For example, these changes will mean that breaching a personal protection order is a criminal offence, and it will remove self-induced intoxication as a defence against charges of domestic violence.
  • The Government is preparing legislation to ban the direct cross‑examination of victims by perpetrators who abused them to make sure that women can’t be hurt again by the perpetrator (exposure draft released).

Technology Facilitated Abuse

  • Technology facilitated abuse is a growing type of violence against women. It is an insidious form of violence that demands the Government’s action.
  • The Government has established the e-Safety Commissioner, whose role is to promote online safety for all Australians.
  • In addition to the complaints portal funded under the Third Action Plan (see above), the Government has also:
    • Introduced to Parliament the Enhancing Online Safety (Non‑Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2017 in December 2017. This bill prohibits posting, or threatening to post, an intimate image online without consent and establishes a complaints and objections system that will be managed by the eSafety Commissioner, including powers to issue removal notices or remedial directions (introduced, not yet passed)..
    • Along with the states and territories, endorsed a National Statement of Principles on Criminalisation of Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images, to ensure nationally consistent criminal offences for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. This was endorsed on 19 May 2017 through the then COAG Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC) (completed).
    • The Prime Minister has also indicated he is open to considering the introduction of a specific Commonwealth Criminal Offence to address the non‑consensual sharing of intimate images. This would be in addition to existing Commonwealth, state and territory offences (under consideration).

COAG Priorities

  • Reducing violence against women and their children is a standing item on the agenda of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
  • Australian, state and territory governments are collaborating to reduce violence against women:
    • The Family Violence Working Group established under the Council of Attorneys-General to improve the interactions between the federal family law system and state based family violence systems.
    • Housing and Homelessness Ministers’ meetings. This forum sets housing and homelessness policy, including how to support women escaping domestic violence in the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
    • Women’s Safety Ministers’ meetings. These informal meetings of Australian, state and territory Ministers monitor implementation of the National Plan, Third Action Plan and the National Campaign.
  • COAG has agreed to hold a second Summit on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children in 2018-19 to align with the development of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. The first Summit was held in October 2016 in Queensland.

Housing and Homelessness

  • $1.5 billion per year (over 3 years 2018‑19 to 2020–21, for State and Territory governments) for a new housing and homelessness agreement (announced, due to be implemented July 2018).
    • Women and children experiencing domestic and family violence remain a funding priority because that violence puts them at high risk of homelessness.
    • As part of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, the Government will provide an additional $375.3 million (3 years from 2018–19) for ongoing homelessness support services, and funding will be matched by State and Territory governments (announced, due to be implemented July 2018).

Funding for Mainstream Services

  • The Government has invested $322 million since 2015 to directly reduce violence against women and their children.
  • This is only a fraction of what is spent in total. Women and children experiencing domestic and family violence also use Government funded services available to all Australians, such as health care, housing and social security payments.

Economic Security

Gender equality in the workforce

  • Women’s employment now stands at 5,837,700 persons. (ABS Labour Force, Australia, January 2018 (cat. no. 6202.0), persons aged 15 years and over, seasonally adjusted data)
  • Women’s workforce participation has been rising incrementally since late 2016 and reached a new high of 60.5 per cent in December 2017. It is currently at 60.5 per cent in January 2017.
  • Since the Coalition came to office in September 2013, there have been 563,956 jobs created for women in the Australian economy (‘Jobs created’ calculated as the difference between employed women in September 2013 and January 2018.) 58.1 per cent of all jobs created went to women.
  Male Female Total
Jobs Created 407,534 563,956 971,490
Share 42% 58%  
  • Australia’s gender participation gap has been trending down over the long term. It reached a record low of 9.7 percentage points in January 2018 (persons aged 15-64).[i] This means Australia is two thirds of the way towards meeting the G20 25 per cent by 2025 goal. Announced at the 2014 G20.
  • Additional Government measures to improve gender equality in the workforce include:
    • investment of $13 million over five years in getting more women into science, technology, engineering and maths under the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). No legislation was required for any of the NISA women in STEM measures. They were all announced as part of the NISA announcement in December 2015. They have all been put into effect:
    • Science in Australia Gender Equality – agreement signed in May 2016, no formal announcement of entering agreement
    • Male Champions of Change for STEM – agreement signed in May 2016, no formal announcement of entering agreement
    • Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Grants program – announced opening of grants round in August 2016.
    • In February 2018, the Government announced an increase the number of participants in the Superstars of STEM program from 30 to 60 women, and expanded the program for a further 4 years.
    • shining the light on pay equity through the work of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). WGEA is legislated through the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.
  • While we are pleased to have exceeded our target, we are not complacent:
    • In 2016 we set a more ambitious target of women holding 50 per cent of Australian Government board positions. This is an unlegislated policy commitment, announced 8 March 2016.
  • The Government is partnering with corporate Australia, as the largest employer of Australian women, to increase the number of women in leadership positions.
    • We have invested over $1 million under the Women’s Leadership and Development Program in board scholarships for women through the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This was most recently announced by the former Minister for Women on 4 September 2017, as part of the media release for Equal Pay Day.
    • We have also funded two Harvard scholarships on Authentic Leadership for senior women in service to the public, particularly targeting those in non-traditional fields of work, and two INSEAD The Authentic Leadership scholarships were published on the Chief Executive Women website on 20 April 2017. The INSEAD scholarships were published on the Chief Executive Women website on 22 June 2017. There was not a formal announcement by the Minister for Women.


BoardLinks program

  • BoardLinks is a Commonwealth Government program (launched on 7 November 2012), administered by the Office for Women, aimed at increasing women’s representation on Government boards by building a database of board-ready and qualified women seeking appointment to a Government board.
  • BoardLinks is key in supporting the Government to achieve its target of women holding 50 per cent of Government board positions overall and women and men each holding at least 40 per cent of Government board positions.
  • In September 2016, the BoardLinks website was rebranded and technical improvements made to make it more user friendly. The new website was launched by the former Minister for Women on 28 September 2016.


Launch into Work program

  • The Government has committed $10 million for the new Launch into Work program in the 2017-18 Budget, which will fund pre-employment partnerships that provide training, mentoring and work experience to assist job seekers to become work ready.


  • The program is targeted at women and builds on the successful 2016 partnership between the Department of Employment, UnitingCare Australia and the Office for Women to design and implement pre-employment projects to help women into the workforce within UnitingCare agencies.
    • Three pilot projects were delivered in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. All three projects had a 100 per cent completion rate.


Women’s Money Toolkit

  • The Office for Women and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have partnered to create the Women’s Money Toolkit, which was launched in May 2015.
  • The Women’s Money Toolkit is a free online resource to provide women with knowledge and confidence to manage their finances and achieve their financial goals.


Budget 2017‑18 measures

  • Contributing almost $430 million to support universal access to pre‑school for all children in the year before school from July 2018.
    • On 3 February 2018, the Government announced a further $440 million for preschool education in 2019. This is in addition to the $428 million announced as part of the 2017-18 Budget to continue support for preschool throughout 2018. This funding will be provided through an extension to National Partnership arrangements.
  • Investing an additional $2.5 billion in funding for child care under the Jobs for Families child care package, which will benefit around one million families. The Jobs for Families Child Care Package was legislated on 22 November 2017 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017A00022.
  • Investing $263 million for a national rollout of ParentsNext, to support vulnerable parents, mostly women, overcome barriers to employment. ParentsNext does not require legislation. A trial was introduced by the 2015-16 Budget and is currently operating in 10 areas. From 1 July 2018 ParentsNext will be expanded to include 20 additional areas (this was announced in the 2017-18 Budget).
  • Providing $33 million to boost the local care support workforce. This 2017-18 budget measure does not require legislation. A consortium led by Ernst & Young has been appointed via tender process to implement the initiative. This was announced in January 2018.
    • Investing in increasing support for training and reskilling older Australians. Programs to support training and reskilling include:
    • The Career Transition Assistance Program – part of the Government’s $110 million Mature Age Employment Package announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, and aims to help mature age job seekers become more competitive in their local labour market, through a six to eight-week program.
      • The Program will be trialled in five locations from 2 July 2018, ahead of a national rollout scheduled in 2020.
      • A Request for Proposal to deliver the Career Transition Assistance (CTA) Trial 2018-2020 was released 22 January 2018.
  • The Pathway to Work Pilots will commence progressively from 1 July 2018 in selected growth industries and/or large infrastructure projects.
    • The Pilots, announced in the 2017-18 Budget, will assist people looking for work, particularly those facing barriers such as mature age Australians, to prepare and train for vacancies in specific industries.
  • The Government is investing $9.6 million on an expansion of the National Work Experience Programme to provide more work experience opportunities for people looking for work. The changes include:
    • The number of places will increase to 10,000 per year from the current 6,000 places
    • Payments will be made available for providers and host businesses to encourage take up of the program
    • $300 incentive payment for host businesses
    • $400 outcome fee per completed placement of at least two weeks for jobactive and Transition to Work providers.
  • Changes to program guidelines and funding deeds will be undertaken in consultation with relevant stakeholders, with the changes to the program taking effect from 1 July 2018.




[i] Department of Jobs and Small Business


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