connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support

RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.


Relationships Australia Victoria to work collaboratively to provide interventions to family violence perpetrators in Dandenong

Relationships Australia Victoria to work collaboratively to provide interventions to family violence perpetrators in Dandenong

3 May 2017

Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has been selected as the lead agency for a newly announced headspace centre in Bairnsdale in Victoria.
The new centre will provide early intervention mental health services to young people aged 12 to 25 years in East Gippsland. They will have access to free or low cost and confidential mental, general and sexual health services as well as education and employment, and alcohol and other drug support services. The comprehensive suite of services will include therapeutic, financial, and drug and alcohol counselling, psychiatric consultations, vocational guidance, help with job seeking and health and wellbeing services for Aboriginal young people.
With more than 68 years’ experience, RAV provides family and relationship support services to help Victorians to achieve positive, safe and respectful relationships.
RAV Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Bickerdike, said RAV had a strong history of providing mental health services and supporting young people and families with issues affecting their wellbeing and relationships.
“We have established relationships with headspace centres in Hawthorn, Greensborough and Knox, and provide an existing family mental health support service for children and young people in East Gippsland,” Dr Bickerdike said. “We know how important early intervention mental health services are and we welcome the opportunity to continue to support young people in a dedicated way through the headspace centre in Bairnsdale.”
With a focus on meeting the local needs of the rural community, the centre will be supported by contract manager Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) and operated in partnership with a consortium of local services: Latrobe Regional Hospital, within Australia, Australian Community Support Organisation, Latrobe Community Health Service, Gippsland Lakes Community Health, MIND Australia, Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Operative, and Advanced Personnel Management.
Ms Marianne Shearer, Chief Executive Officer of Gippsland PHN is excited to see the development of headspace in Bairnsdale. Ms Shearer said “it will be of great benefit for the community offering youth focussed mental health services. The East Gippsland community have passionately advocated for a service for their young people and it’s fantastic that we are able to assist it to come to fruition.”
Dr Bickerdike said that a Youth Advisory Group had also been established to enable young people to have direct input into the development of the centre and to ensure that the services are provided to young people in a welcoming, supportive, accessible and inclusive way.
“We’re pleased to have a group of enthusiastic and energetic young people involved in establishing the centre, and we look forward to working closely with these young people, our consortium members and the East Gippsland community in providing the headspace Bairnsdale centre.”
headspace has 95 centres currently operating across Australia and also operates an online and telephone service, eheadspace. More than 270,000 young Australians have come to headspace for support, guidance or help over the past 10 years.

Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has joined the Dandenong Multidisciplinary Centre (MDC) and will provide coordinated interventions to perpetrators of family violence from 3 May 2017.

The Dandenong MDC was established in 2014 to provide a justice response and support service for victim-survivors of sexual crimes. On 21 April 2017, the Minister for Police, Hon Lisa Neville, announced the expansion of the centre to include specialist family violence police and community service responses.

RAV’s specialist Family Violence Practitioners will participate in case coordination meetings with Victoria Police, Child Protection and other services to prioritise the safety and protection of victim-survivors of family violence, sexual assault and child abuse. They will also provide a range of other services to perpetrators of family violence, including initial telephone contact via the Dandenong MDC and further case work at RAV centres in southern metropolitan Melbourne. This approach will provide timely interventions to perpetrators to prevent further violence, while also ensuring that the MDC remains a safe and confidential environment for victim-survivors of family violence and sexual assault.

With nearly 70 years’ experience providing family and relationship support services, and as the largest provider of Men's Behaviour Change Programs and family safety contact services in Victoria, RAV is acutely aware of the importance of providing systemic responses to family violence.

RAV Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Bickerdike, said that RAV welcomed the opportunity to join the centre and to provide important family violence support services.

“Relationships Australia Victoria is committed to stopping family violence in our communities. We look forward to collaborating with partner services at the Dandenong MDC to enhance family safety. We will provide interventions for, and work with those who use violence, to take responsibility for changing their behaviour.”

For more information on RAV’s family violence services, visit:

Media Contact:
Erika Owens
General Manager State Services
PH: 0427 855 682

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