18.53 One of the key recommendations in this Report is Recommendation 15–1, in which the ALRC recommends that the Australian Government should initiate a national education and awareness campaign around family violence and its impact as a work issue. The ALRC suggests that one important component of the national campaign should focus on family violence as a possible OHS issue and the national education campaign will provide an important basis for education, training and awareness raising in relation to family violence as a possible OHS issue.
18.54 One of the objects of the Model Act involves the promotion of the provision of advice, information, education and training in relation to OHS. In light of the ALRC’s recommendations, and in line with this object, the ALRC considers there is a specific need for education, training and increased awareness about family violence as an OHS issue, which builds on the obligations contained in OHS legislation and regulations, and guidance provided in Codes of Practice and other guidance material. It is important that such education and training goes ‘hand in hand’ with the other recommendations made in this chapter.
18.55 Such education and training will ‘equip duty holders with the tools they need to identify potential risks and respond appropriately by developing measures to eliminate risk’. The ALRC reinforces the views expressed in Family Violence—A National Legal Response, that education and training on the nature and dynamics of family violence—in this case for employers, employees and related organisations—will assist in protecting the safety of victims of family violence. The ALRC considers that if a definition of family violence is included in Codes of Practice and other Safe Work Australia material, which is consistent across legal frameworks, this will provide for a common understanding of family violence on which education, training and information dissemination can be based.
18.56 Stakeholders supported a national approach in this area, as well as recognising the particular role to be played by bodies such as Safe Work Australia, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and State and Territory OHS regulatory bodies as well as unions and employer organisations.
18.57 While Safe Work Australia submitted that ‘it is not appropriate that Safe Work Australia be the lead agency to develop this type of material,’ the ALRC is of the view that Safe Work Australia and State and Territory OHS regulators should play a lead role in this area. While not necessarily possessing expertise in family violence, they are clearly the bodies with responsibility for ‘developing and promoting national strategies to raise awareness’ and improve OHS. As a result, as submitted by ACCI, educative ‘materials should be provided by the OHS regulator(s) at first instance’. However, bodies such as FWO could also be involved in the provision of educational material, including on ‘reasonable precautions or protocols that workplaces could implement where there is a possibility that an employee or co-worker may be harmed by a spouse at a workplace’.
18.58 Further, stakeholders recognised the need to involve bodies and organisations with expertise in family violence, such as the ADFVC, as well as ‘the important role that employer organisations play in educating members on OHS issues in some industry sectors’, and considered that ‘ideally, any education initiatives should also be driven by the private sector’.
18.59 As a result, the ALRC recommends that Safe Work Australia should work with the ADFVC, unions, employer organisations, State and Territory OHS regulators and other relevant bodies to raise awareness about family violence and its impact as a work health and safety issue, and develop and provide associated education and training. The ALRC considers that such information should be provided through a range of forms, and be tailored to suit specific industries and workplace types and sizes, and provided in an accessible and culturally-appropriate manner.
18.60 The ALRC also considers that provision of education should be complemented by appropriate training of employees, employers, Health and Safety Representatives and committees, as well as OHS regulators, for example, through incorporation into training modules which focus on workplace violence.
Recommendation 18–2 As part of the national education and awareness campaign in Recommendation 15–1, Safe Work Australia should work with the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, unions, employer organisations, State and Territory OHS regulators and other relevant bodies to:
- raise awareness about family violence and its impact as a possible work health and safety issue; and
- develop and provide education and training in relation to family violence as a possible work health and safety issue.
 Safe Work Australia, Model Work Health and Safety Act, Revised Draft, 23 June 2011 s 3(1)(d).
 AASW (Qld), Submission CFV 17.
 ADFVC, Submission CFV 26.
 Australian Law Reform Commission and New South Wales Law Reform Commission, Family Violence—A National Legal Response, ALRC Report 114; NSWLRC Report 128 (2010), Rec 31–1.
 See Rec 3–1.
 ACTU, Submission CFV 39; ADFVC, Submission CFV 26; Queensland Law Society, Submission
CFV 21; National Network of Working Women’s Centres, Submission CFV 20; ACCI, Submission
CFV 19; AASW (Qld), Submission CFV 17; Women’s Health Victoria, Submission CFV 11; ASU (Victorian and Tasmanian Authorities and Services Branch), Submission CFV 10.
 Safe Work Australia, Submission CFV 115.
 See, eg, ASU (Victorian and Tasmanian Authorities and Services Branch), Submission CFV 10.
Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth) s 6.
 ACCI, Submission CFV 19.
 Safe Work Australia, Submission CFV 115; ADFVC, Submission CFV 26.
 ADFVC, Submission CFV 26.
 ACTU, Submission CFV 39; ADFVC, Submission CFV 26; National Network of Working Women’s Centres, Submission CFV 20. Similar strategies were supported by WEAVE who also submitted that there is a need for employer safety audits: WEAVE, Submission CFV 14.