Bringing a mental health perspective to the prevention of violence against women

Bringing a mental health perspective to the prevention of violence against women

7 June 2024

Orygen Senior Research Fellow Dr Zac Seidler has joined an expert panel convened by the Australian government to conduct a rapid review into best-practice approaches to end violence against women and children.  

Dr Seidler, who is also Global Director of Men’s Health Research at Movember, is one of six members of the new panel, which brings together a diverse mix of skills, experience and perspectives. The panel will consult with other experts and those with lived experience, tabling a report to government at the end of August. 

Dr Seidler said he was honoured to be a panel member and was hopeful that the group could begin a national rethink of violence prevention using evidence-based, targeted and practical measures. 

"If we are going to truly end violence against women and children within a generation, we need to urgently rethink our approaches,” Dr Seidler said. 

“As a member of the panel I will bring what I know about men and boys to the review, how to call them in and engage them in this crucial conversation, because it's vital that men are part of developing solutions to end violence. 

“I will also bring a mental health lens to engaging with men and boys most at risk of perpetration.” 

Dr Seidler said the attention on violence against women in Australia, and the demand for immediate action, only seems to be growing, and there has never been a more pressing time to find solutions. 

"We know this is an extremely complex problem, and while we need education, more respectful relationships and awareness campaigns, we also need to understand how the police, the justice system and the healthcare system can all unite and work together towards the common goal of ending this violence,” Dr Seidler said. 

“We also need to make men and boys accountable in a movement for change, and respond to risk with effective, early intervention.  

“I don’t take lending my voice to this panel lightly, and we will be sure to bring the experience and expertise of many in the sector together to drive reform.” 

The Panel will be co-convened by Australia’s Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner, Ms Micaela Cronin, the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Office for Women, Ms Padma Raman PSM, and the Secretary of the Department of Social Services, Mr Ray Griggs AO CSC. 

The Panel includes: 

  • Jess Hill – journalist, author and educator  

  • Dr Zac Seidler – researcher and men's health expert 

  • Dr Todd Fernando – diversity and inclusion consultant  

  • Dr Anne Summers AO – author and journalist  

  • Elena Campbell – lawyer and policy expert 

  • Dr Leigh Gassner APM - Assistant Commissioner at Victoria Police  

Several roundtables and briefings will be held with First Nations communities, people with lived experienced of violence, prevention organisations, frontline services, academics, health professionals and data experts.