Prevalent and preventable: conference reflections

21 Dec 2016

The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) and Our Watch, supported by the Women’s Service Network (WESNET), held a three day conference on violence against women at the Adelaide Convention Centre, in September 2016. The conference aimed to:

• Explore the challenges for responding to violence against women in rural, regional, and metro areas and in communities with limited services;

• Engage in conversation and knowledge-sharing from the Asia-Pacific, Australia and beyond;

• Learn from overseas and local examples of improving capacity in challenging situations;

• Explore community-driven approaches to prevent and respond to men’s violence against women and children;

• Identify ways to ensure women’s safety and perpetrator accountability;

• Examine coordinated and integrated approaches; and

• Strengthen strategies for building local and international movements for change.

The conference organisers structured the conference around four concurrent thematic streams. This structure was intended to promote issues-focussed presentations and participatory workshop-style discussions. The four streams were complemented by plenary presentations and a number of key note speeches.

The ten key themes outlined in this reflection report emerged from analysis of participant feedback both within and across streams. Conference participants were invited to provide their reflections and feedback via Twitter and an evaluation survey. The value of the conference was not only in the speakers’ presentations and the panels that were held, but also in the conversations generated, both during and after the conference.

While we acknowledge that it is difficult to faithfully capture the full depth and breadth of the discussions that were had over the three days, we hope these reflections provide a taste of the complex ideas, challenges, and opportunities that were raised.

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