Our objective is to relieve the suffering, distress and helplessness of vulnerable and disadvantaged people so as to enhance their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
Our vision is for positive, safe and respectful relationships for couples, families, schools, workplaces and communities.
RAV provides services from 15 centres in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. The corporate support team is based in Camberwell.
We focus on providing effective services to strengthen relationships and social connections for individuals and families, and in schools, workplaces and communities across all life stages. We aim to provide high quality and comprehensive services that assist families and children to overcome challenges, grow and thrive.
In 2018/19 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Relationships Australia Victoria – a milestone in our history. The organisation has evolved significantly since our beginnings as the Marriage Guidance Council in 1948 and we're proud to have assisted more than half a million Victorians over our 70-year history.
As part of our celebrations, we have produced a short, three-minute video on our organisation's history, available to watch online and below. A longer version of the video is also available online here.
View our short video which shows the driving forces behind the work of Relationships Australia and the importance of investing in all relationships.
RAV's focus is to provide effective services that strengthen relationships and social connections for individuals and families, and in schools, workplaces and communities across all life stages.
Our work includes:
RAV has its roots in the marriage guidance movement which was developed in Melbourne in 1948. The early organisers were community-spirited people, clergy, doctors and professionals and 'some persons of high social rank' in the philanthropic and charitable areas.
In the early years in Melbourne, activities were based in the homes of the organisation's members, moving to rented premises as the organisation expanded. It was not until October 1964 that the Council bought its first home at 46 Princess Street, Kew, which remains RAV's largest centre.
The name Marriage Guidance Council of Victoria was adopted in 1952 reflecting the organisation's growing statewide focus. At different times there were regional committees at Albury, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, the Goulburn Valley and Sunraysia. Counselling was provided in these areas as well as at Kew, Coburg, Horsham, Stawell, Doveton-Dandenong and Warragul.
The late seventies and early eighties saw increasing professionalisation of services. This resulted in the recruitment of paid professional staff, the phasing out of trained volunteer counsellors, and the reluctant closure of some centres because of significantly increased costs.
The eighties and nineties was a period of growth through successful securing of government funding for new programs including the family dispute resolution services, specialist family violence services and counselling services for problem gambling.
In the 2000s, family law reform saw RAV undergo further growth. We successfully tendered for four Family Relationship Centres (FRCs).
In the last decade, RAV has continued to grow, introducing a range of new services including Redress Support Services, headspace Bairnsdale and online counselling. RAV has also increased provision of Men's Behaviour Change Programs (MBCPs) and Family Safety Contact Services, and is now the largest provider of these services in Australia.
From an organisation delivering primarily "marriage guidance", we have evolved to one that provides a diverse mixture of professional services to suit the needs of an increasingly complex and diverse community.
Structurally, RAV is part of a national federation of eight state and territory Relationships Australia organisations, which while being independent of each other, share common objectives.
RAV's services include individual, relationship and family counselling, family dispute resolution, Family Relationship Centres, family violence prevention, support and recovery services, mental health services, professional training, and relationship education.
We provide our services from 15 centres in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, as well as additional outreach locations.
We are very active in the area of family relationship services through Family Relationship Centres (FRCs), established by the Australian Government as part of reform of the family law system in 2005.
RAV runs accredited training and development Professional Training for those seeking to acquire or enhance their skills to provide relationship support and family dispute resolution services. We are a registered training organisation.
RAV employs a dedicated team of highly-skilled and qualified professionals with expertise in counselling, family dispute resolution, skills development and training.
Our frontline staff are supported by corporate services in a range of areas including human resources, financial management and administration, communications and marketing, and information technology.
Together, we focus on ensuring our clients' needs are at the forefront of everything we do.