Victim support extended to regional Victoria!

Victim support Hume

Published Sep 15 2016

We’re pleased to announce that the Victims Assistance Program has been extended to the Hume Region, with the program launched in Wangaratta on Thursday 15 September 2016.

The victim support service will be provided by Merri Health over 12 municipalities, in addition to the already existing seven local government areas in northern metropolitan Melbourne.

Team leader of program, Vivianne Woska said the service had seen a rapid increase in demand since Merri Health commenced service delivery on the 1 July 2016 in Wangaratta, with the team ready to provide this much needed support to rural areas.

“This will be the first time Merri takes this service beyond the metropolitan catchment, extending support all the way up to the New South Wales border. It provides us the opportunity to build synergies between metro and rural approaches to victim’s assistance.

“We have a strong team and practices that will allow us to provide the right support across the Hume region. The clients and their diverse needs are our key priority,” said Ms Woska.

Victims Assistance Program providers supported over 15,000 clients in 2015-2016 and Victims of Crime Helpline responded to over 32,000 calls and e-referrals.

Chief Executive of Merri Health, Nigel Fidgeon said the team understood the need to address client needs and extend beyond traditional service.

“Merri Health has provided the victim support service in the northern metropolitan region since 1999, with many co-located service points from multiple Victorian police stations. We’re ready to take our learnings to new areas,” he said.

Merri Health was awarded the Victims Assistance Program contract for 2016 – 2018 by the Department of Justice and Regulation and will work closely with the Department in its service development.

Quick facts

  • The Victims Assistance Program provides help for people who have experienced violence, to help them cope with the effects of the crime
  • In the Hume region, the service operates from the Wangaratta Government Centre and co-locates at key police stations in Benalla, Shepparton and Wallan