Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

STEP Program

It is with great pleasure that I stand here today to speak about an outstanding two-year pilot project called STEP, which has been made possible by the Commonwealth Bank through the Women’s Information and Referral Exchange, otherwise known as WIRE. This ground-breaking employment project assists victim-survivors of family violence in finding work and improves their independence and financial wellbeing. Approximately 99 per cent of women that seek out support from family violence services have experienced financial abuse, which can prevent them from working from home or see them forced to sign loans and inherit debt. Working with a cohort of jobseekers who have experienced family violence, this project assists victim survivors in developing job seeking skills and financial capability as well as in preparing to return to work. The initiative is also trialling a set of workplace guidelines and guidance materials to help employers implement trauma-informed hiring practices and better support employees who have experienced family violence. Applications for the second pilot of WIRE’s STEP initiative for women and non-binary and gender-diverse people across Victoria, including Ballarat, are now available. Weekly group courses will continue to be held online from 11 October until June next year, providing tools for job searching, managing a new workplace and reaching financial goals. WIRE offers free assistance, referrals and information on any topic to all Victorian women and non-binary and gender diverse persons. I encourage anyone seeking assistance to go to for more information on this outstanding initiative.


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