AVI has welcomed today’s release of the final report of the Independent Review into the Practice and Response of ACFID Members in the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM).
Whilst we acknowledge the many positive findings of the report, we recognise the numerous improvements identified in the report that will strengthen the sector, in particular ensuring a survivor centred approach.
A proud and long standing member of ACFID, AVI accepts all 31 recommendations of the report, in particular the establishment of a Reportable Conduct Scheme to be managed by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
Not only would a system such as this ensure victims/survivors can report without fear and receive critical support, it would also ensure alleged perpetrators are properly investigated and where substantiated, brought to justice.
Furthermore, an Australian sector-wide reporting scheme would provide access to de-identified data to inform prevention and response measures, a move that would benefit the sector as a whole.
AVI has a zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct, a position clearly laid out in our Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Policy. Our Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct also clearly outlines our strong organisational commitment to the safety, wellbeing and protection of children in all aspects of our work. AVI also recognises the leadership of DFAT in this area.
For this reason, we were pleased to be identified by VIFM as a good practice example in the ‘Organisational culture, leader and governance’ section of the report (page 117) and as a thought leader in the international volunteer sector.
AVI stands united with all members of ACFID to ensure no harm is ever brought to those we work alongside or those we exist to support.
We look forward to working together to take concrete steps and further strengthen the ability of our sector as a whole to respond to sexual misconduct, wherever it takes place.
For any enquiries please contact Alexandra Hooper on 0450 351 058 or [email protected]