Sutherland Shire Family Services holds free 'toolbox talks' to stop domestic violence

Man to man: Toolbox talks educate about domestic violence. Picture: Supplied
Man to man: Toolbox talks educate about domestic violence. Picture: Supplied

Male-dominated workplaces in Sutherland Shire can sign up for free training sessions aimed at reducing the incidence of domestic violence in the community.

The sessions, delivered by Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS), are free of charge until the end of the year after the organisation received extra funds from the NSW Government as part of commitments to bolster domestic violence support services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Eligible NSW businesses with male dominated workforces can sign up for the free domestic violence awareness sessions delivered by SSFS as part of the Toolbox Talks program it launched in 2017.

Toolbox Talks began as a pilot program delivered on construction sites around Sydney. It has since grown into a national all-industry, workplace-based awareness and training program reaching more than 6000 people.

It educates about domestic violence and bystander responses, promotes worker well-being, and supports diversity and the creation of safe working environments for women.

Toolbox Talks offers two staff programs and a management training session.

One program, "Harnessing the Positive Influence of Men", motivates men to challenge social norms that support violence against women and children and provide them with skills on how to respond if they see, hear or suspect violence.

The second program, "Harnessing the Power of Community", focuses on what people can do every day to make a positive difference in our culture and provide safety for people at work, in the community and at home.

Feedback from the program has been positive, with the initiative seen as a motivational and non-judgmental way to engage men, and the wider community, in discussion about domestic violence, which is on the rise as a result of COVID-19.

The organisation hopes to train 1500 people by the end of the year.

SSFS chief executive Ashleigh Daines said the recent funding boost was "wonderful recognition of the success of the Toolbox Talks pilot" and the substantial work the organisation does "in building awareness within the community about the various types of domestic violence, and providing support to families in need".

One in four Australian women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

The free "Harnessing the Positive Influence of Men" program is available across NSW for up to 400 staff and can be delivered onsite or online.

Eligibility criteria applies.

Details: For information about the program click here or email