Challenge DV has an audacious goal: to create a world without domestic and family violence. But with domestic and family violence affecting more than 3.6 million Australians every year, the social enterprise needs to engage, empower, and educate as many people as possible to make that goal a reality.
"It's an enormous, enormous mission," admits Keith Tracey-Patte, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Challenge DV.
One of the important ways Challenge DV builds education and advocacy is through workplace programs that educate managers and employees on domestic and family violence. So, when the opportunity arose to develop training for the Queensland Government, the team at Challenge DV knew they had an unparalleled chance to make an impact – but, for a small organization, they were facing a big task. Fortunately, they had a trusted partner in Go1.
Domestic and family violence is, understandably, an incredibly sensitive and challenging topic to provide education on. It was for this reason that Challenge DV had traditionally focused on face-to-face and live virtual training sessions. "There has to be a really careful construction of the content," says Keith. "We want to make it really safe for people, so that they don't complete the learning and then not know what to do next."
The increasing move to digital, however, as well as the opportunity to reach significantly larger numbers of people in a consistent way meant that the social enterprise knew it had to make the transition to online learning. But, as Keith notes, "it was a real shift", with team concerned about how the training would translate to an online environment.
As Keith Tracey-Patte from Challenge DV explains: “In this new world of virtual and digital, our partnership with Go1 has been an essential way for us to harness workplaces and teams across Australia and more to learn more about domestic and family violence and the ways that they can respond, refer, and make a difference in their workplaces and their wider community.”
As Challenge DV's partner since 2017, Go1 has been critical to the process, working with Challenge DV to develop and deliver online training content – and, in 2021, even providing a grant and resources through the Go1 Social Impact program. "With Go1, we've been able to bring our training programs to life online in a way that we probably didn't think was possible when we started," says Keith. "We cannot sing their praises more highly. We have just been so grateful for the exceptional customer experience they've delivered."
He goes on to add: "It's enabled us to let go of those initial fears we had about it not landing properly or safely, because we can see that we can make even more of an impact. It really is a good news story, how education technology is transforming the charity sector, and the way in which impact can be amplified and accelerated through platforms like Go1."
For the Queensland Government, domestic and family violence has been a focus since a 2015 taskforce led by Dame Quentin Bryce prepared the Not Now, Not Ever report, which resulted in the development of a suite of reforms. A key priority? Creating a comprehensive workplace response to domestic and family violence that would build both awareness and capability.
Online learning plays an important role in the Queensland Government's workplace strategy, with Challenge DV and Go1 being tasked to deliver two critical eLearning modules: the Recognising, Responding and Referring program, which teaches workplaces to identify the signs of domestic and family violence, and to know what to do if they see those signs; and The Gendered Nature of Violence, which helps people to better understand the experience of the violence.
Go1 and Challenge DV worked closely with the Queensland Government to ensure the modules hit the mark, creating a pilot process that allowed different departments to test the content and provide feedback on the user experience and navigation. The response? Very positive.
Sandra Lerch is Executive Director, Strategic Workforce Futures, in the Queensland Government's Public Service Commission. She points to cost-effectiveness as an important advantage of Go1 and Challenge DV's eLearning program, as well as its ease of use: "It meets the employees' needs, and it can be undertaken anytime, anywhere."
She also notes that, in the era of COVID-19, "it's allowed us to push forward in what has been a very difficult period that's raised a whole range of challenges for people who are affected by domestic and family violence."
If there's one overriding highlight for both the Queensland Government and Challenge DV, however, it's the ability for the eLearning program to drive impact at scale.
"We have about 3,500 government sites across the state. There's a presence in every city, region, and town, and that gives us enormous reach and influence," says Sandra. By empowering employees with the knowledge, education, and tools to support people affected by domestic and family violence, the Queensland Government can make a real difference in every community in the state.
"Queensland public sector employees are embedded in their communities, they have friends and family and professional networks, so Go1 training will play a really critical role in driving community change and broader attitudinal change," she emphasises.
Between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, more than 85,000 Queensland Government employees enrolled in Challenge DV's training. It's a truly phenomenal result, and as Keith notes, "we're really blown away by what a success story this is, and what it means for Queenslanders."
But it's not just the sheer number of people completing the training that's helping to create safer communities. Sandra points to survey data that showed that four out of every five respondents were confident that they could sensitively communicate with a colleague who was affected by domestic and family violence and could refer them appropriately.
It's this sort of outcome that's creating change throughout Queensland. And thanks to Challenge DV's courses now being rolled out across strategic partners including PwC, HCF, and Unity Water, they're making a difference across Australia as whole.
"In this new world of virtual and digital, our partnership with Go1 has been an essential way that we've been able to harness workplaces and teams across Australia to make a difference," says Keith.
And, in doing so, Challenge DV are closing in on their goal." In 2022, we have at our disposal technology, incredible partners, and we're making an impact," says Keith. "I'm optimistic that we can get closer to our goal of ending domestic and family violence, once and for all."
If you or someone you know has been impacted by domestic and family violence, support is available.
Australia: Lifeline 131 114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
USA: NAMI HelpLine 800-950-6264
UK: Samaritans 116 123 or Shout Crisis Text Line text ‘SHOUT’ to85258
Global: United for Global Mental Health Regional Directory
Keen to learn how Go1 can partner with you to deliver impactful employee training in your organisation? Get in touch today and let’s start the journey towards a game-changing solution.