SSFS to launch Toolbox Talks to Construction Industry as recipient of grant from Domestic & Family Violence Innovation Fund.

21 June 2017

On Monday, the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward announced the first successful recipients of the Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund. The Fund, an Australian first, provides financial investment for projects focusing on prevention, early intervention, and crisis response to reduce domestic and family violence in NSW.

Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) was one of the first seven successful applications, and as a result, will launch their “Toolbox Talks” in October 2017 to deliver weekly training talks on job sites to the Construction Industry across the greater Sydney region. As part of the grant arrangements, SSFS will also partner with Singleton Family Support Service, and will co-produce the program for the Mining Industry in the Hunter Valley region.

Building on Sutherland Shire Family Services’ Pull Ya Head In Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign (, which focuses on educating men on their influence over their mates in stopping domestic violence, the Toolbox Talks will provide information on domestic and family violence, and outline alternative options and conversations that men can have with their peers around violence. Referrals to support services will also be made where appropriate.

Sutherland Shire Family Services have established themselves as one of the leading Domestic Violence Support Service organisations, not only in the Sutherland Shire, but also the greater Sydney region, with many successful projects in the DV education space building on their established track record in delivering high quality, trauma informed practices in supporting children and families impacted by domestic violence by casework, referrals to specialist services, therapeutic programs and more.

“For 30 years, we have been supporting families impacted by domestic violence” said Manns. “Being there to provide support is an essential service we provide, however, it is no longer enough to tackle this problem. We need to do more, and so educating the wider community about the types, causes, and conversations around Domestic Violence is so important.”

“Many men see behaviours from their mates they know aren’t respectful, but traditionally, don’t want to get involved. “ said Manns. “We want to see a shift. These won’t be theoretical talks. We will be giving practical information and role playing conversations, that while difficult, have an incredible opportunity to save lives.”

SSFS already has relationships with developers PAYCE and Capital Bluestone, and will commence the Toolbox Talk rollout on their job sites across the greater Sydney region in the coming months. The project aims to improve understanding of the dynamics, impacts and complexities of domestic and family violence.

“I am excited about what these projects offer the community and victim-survivors of domestic violence,” Ms Goward said

“Being awarded this grant is a wonderful recognition of the in-house expertise, quality of programs, and substantial work that Sutherland Shire Family Services does in building awareness within the community about the various types of domestic violence, and providing support to families”, says Diane Manns, CEO of SSFS.

The Fund forms part of the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform 2016-2021: Safer Lives for Women, Men and Children. More information is available at