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Full Stop Australia is proud to establish the National Survivor Advocate Program.

This philanthropically funded program aims to ensure that survivors across the country who want to have a say in the work of Full Stop Australia, and who want to publicly advocate for themselves, have access to expert trauma-informed, wraparound holistic support.

Currently there is no national body that links and supports survivors of sexual, domestic and family violence across Australia who want to speak out and influence change. The National Survivor Advocate Program would bring together survivor advocates in all their diversity to assist them to have their voices heard to drive visionary changes to policy, practice and law reform in a safe and supported way.

At Full Stop Australia, we know the change which can come from people speaking out about their experiences. However, we also acknowledge the heavy burden placed upon survivors telling their stories publicly. They deserve to be heard in a way that is safe and empowering, including information about different options in making their voices heard and opportunities to contribute to the policy, practice and law reform efforts of Full Stop Australia.

Our current practice is not to contact our clients to request their experiences be used to inform our work or to pursue our law reform objectives. However, through the National Survivor Advocate Program, we hope to support people with lived experience who want to have input into the work of Full Stop Australia including its law and policy reform initiatives, in a safe and supported way.

The program will allow us to formally provide survivors avenues to contribute to law and policy reform submissions made by Full Stop Australia as well as providing them legal advice about their rights and obligations when speaking publicly on their own behalf; support and assistance engaging with government and the media; and wraparound trauma specialist counselling services.

We already provide many survivor-advocates with a whole host of supports. Whether this is counselling support, referrals to pro bono legal advice or more practical support like a venue to host meetings. The purpose of the National Survivor Advocate Program is to provide a more formal avenue for that support.

As part of the program, we will establish a national advisory group of diverse people with lived experience of sexual, domestic and family violence who are passionate about advocating for systemic reform to guide and inform the project based at Full Stop Australia.

Members of the advisory group would be selected through a formal Expression of Interest (EOI) process. Advisory group members would be invited through national networks via survivor and sector forums, and strategic media communications to attract a diverse range of applicants.

Representation would be sought from advocates with a variety of backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, People with Disability, LGBTIQA+, younger and older people, and people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and geographical locations across Australia.

Moreover, advocates with a range of different experiences of sexual, domestic and family violence would be sought, including those harmed in the home, in the workplace, at school or university, in sport, and in religious and other community-based settings.

This project is funded through the Pinnacle Charitable Foundation.

We are currently accepting Expressions of Interest for this program. To learn more or get involved, contact livedexpertise@fullstop.org.au