31 May 2023
2-minute read

Taking a stand against domestic and family violence

With the current unacceptable rates of family, domestic and sexual violence across Australia, John Holland is taking additional steps to support its workers and community organisations delivering frontline crisis care.

To mark the end of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, John Holland CEO Joe Barr today announced additional support for employees experiencing domestic and family violence, and financial support for crisis services.

“The statistics around domestic and family violence are appalling. We want to give our employees the support they need during challenging times, while making sure first responders in the community can effectively do their jobs,” Mr Barr said.

One in six women and one in 16 men have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former partner since the age of 15.

“As an industry, we can always do more in this space – because domestic and family violence can have devastating effects in our community.”

A refreshed policy is giving John Holland people access to more services than ever before, including financial support in the form of emergency relief vouchers, and up to five nights’ accommodation for employees and their dependents as needed.

This adds to existing initiatives including 10 days’ paid leave, change of workplace location, technology support, and confidential counselling.

John Holland’s Chief People Officer, Sarah Elliott, said the revamped policy aimed to break down barriers. 

“When someone experiences domestic and family violence, they can be reluctant to seek support for a variety of reasons,” Ms Elliott said.

“We want to give people support during difficult times and build confidence that if they do ask for help, people are here, will listen and are trained to respond and that as a business we stand with them.”

In addition to these policy changes, during May and June, specialist and first responder training will be delivered to more than 100 employees across John Holland.

To recognise the incredible work of crisis support organisations, John Holland has made a $50,000 donation to Annie North Inc to boost its crisis support services across Victoria.

Annie North Inc provides crisis and transitional support and refuge accommodation to women and children who are escaping domestic and family violence, or who are homeless due to domestic and family violence. 

CEO of Annie North Inc., Julie Oberin AM, said the donation would go a long way to support people in need.

“This very generous donation from John Holland will give us a significant capacity boost to provide our specialist support to women and children in crisis following family violence,” Ms Oberin said.

“It is well known that domestic and family violence increases after natural disasters. We have now had horrific floods following in the footsteps of the COVID 19 pandemic, and we are still seeing increased need across our local region and across the state of Victoria.

“This grant means we can provide specialist support to this increasing demand for help. The additional capacity also means we will be able to extend our reach.

“Annie North commends John Holland for its stance against family, domestic and sexual violence across Australia.”

Located in Bendigo, Annie North Inc has a state-wide catchment and will use the funds to strengthen its case management capabilities.

John Holland’s support for Annie North Inc adds to its existing partnerships with organisations including McAuley Community Services for Women, Catherine House and The St Vincent de Paul Society – all of which provide support for people experiencing domestic and family violence, homelessness and other hardships.

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John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.