As May is the month for raising awareness about domestic and family violence prevention, we are profiling a member who works in that field this month.
Gabrielle Borggaard is CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC) in Ipswich with a mission to be a passionate leader creating freedom from gender violence.
“The Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC) has a long history in providing high quality services to women, children and young people who have experienced domestic and family violence in the Ipswich, Toowoomba and surrounding regions. DVAC works from a feminist perspective. We have a gender analysis of domestic violence that understands that domestic and family violence is a result of systemic power imbalances and inequalities. We acknowledge the many barriers that exist for women and their families as they seek safety and support, and that women from diverse backgrounds can face particular and unique barriers. We are strong advocates for change on all levels. We actively stand against all forms of oppression (including racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and multiple other forms of oppression) and believe in the right of justice, equality and fairness for all.
“We regard women as the experts over their own life and we see our work as a partnership that is respectful, transparent and accountable. We work from a relationship-based approach where we are committed to sharing information, validating choices and ensuring we provide a safe space that is non-judgemental and at all times supportive.
“We aim to consistently apply the same set of values and principles to all levels of our work – with clients, with colleagues in our organisation, and in our valued relationships with other workers and organisations within the service sector. We aim for a high level of integrity in all aspects of our work and we welcome feedback and input from all those involved with our service.
“Through high quality service delivery combined with education, training, awareness raising and activism against violence in all its forms, our hope is to use our passion as leaders to create a world free from gender violence.”
It is clear that Gabrielle is driven by a strong belief in human rights for women and young people.
“I believe in fundamental human rights for women, children and young people. It is my hope that I will one day be passing on a world to the next generation that is free of domestic and family violence (DFV) and sexual violence (SV), where women are treated as equals and where we can all be safe on the streets and in our homes.”
Gabrielle would like to see a system, both legal and service delivery, that support women, children and young people to be safe and that also keeps perpetrators of violence accountable.
She would like to see, “Queensland becomes a world leader in innovative responses to DFV and SV so people who need support are empowered to make choices for themselves and their families. Further, I hope we can change our culture towards a space where we can all be supported to be who we want to be and not bound by concepts like gender stereotypes.”
Supporting women with immense courage and resilience and working with a talented team is what Gabrielle describes as the best part of her job.
“It blows my mind every day how amazing women and their children are! Also, working with all the people at DVAC. They are all incredibly skilled, compassionate and ethical and DVAC would not be the service we are without them!”
You can learn more about DVAC here.