Listening for Change

Project Details

This project will contribute to the primary prevention of, and early intervention in response to, family violence against refugee and asylum seeking women and their children. In collaboration with Foundation House, we run workshops with women from refugee backgrounds in Victoria in order to:

  • increase understanding of women’s perspectives on effective approaches for preventing family violence in refugee communities
  • identify their priorities for family violence prevention and early intervention
  • build women’s capacity to confidently share their experiences and priorities in decision-making forums, and
  • create opportunities to support refugee women’s leadership in the prevention of family violence.

In addition, the project brings together refugee women, policy-makers and service providers to inform family violence prevention policy and practice development and increased understanding of refugee women’s perspectives and priorities in preventing family violence. This will contribute to the limited evidence base on the prevention of family violence, and contribute to ongoing developments in Victorian efforts towards the prevention of family violence that continue to evolve, following the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The research is particularly timely, and the methodology (particularly bringing refugee women, service providers and policy makers together) is inclusive of the priorities and experiences of refugee communities. The collaborative methodology in this project is innovative and will support the generation of evidence that is directly relevant to family violence prevention policy and practice.

The project builds knowledge about dialogical and culture-centred participatory approaches to research, making a methodological and theoretical contribution to social science disciplines. Furthermore, as a seed-funded project, this approach to participatory research on preventing family violence with a group of refugee women will allow for a methodological test that can be refined and replicable in other settings.


Professor Cathy Vaughan
Associate Professor Karen Block
Ms Sarah Khaw
Dr Odette Kelada
Dr Ana Dragojlovic


Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children (MAEVe) under the auspices of the Melbourne Society Equity Institute (MSEI).

Research Group

Gender and Women's Health Unit

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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