Annual Report

Our Work

Eastern Metropolitan Region

What we do

EDVOS is the specialist family violence service in Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region (EMR). Our work is focused across seven Local Government Areas including Boroondara, Manningham, Whitehorse, Monash, Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges.

We work across the continuum of family violence including primary prevention, early intervention, response and recovery. The reach of our training, education and primary prevention programs extend throughout the EMR, Victoria and Australia.

Our specialist family violence response supports and services are mostly directed towards women, their children, pets and other animals, who are responding to any form of family violence. We provide support, information, case management, risk assessment, safety planning, community education, programs for pet safety and a strong network of referral pathways to other services.

EDVOS is committed to assisting all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and ability within our community and can also provide access to other family violence services that are most suitable to the individual’s unique needs and goals.

Chair Report

It’s been another challenging year for all of us, as our community continues to grapple with COVID. We are all living in a time of great uncertainty - when we will be able to see family and friends, when kids can expect to be at school, when businesses can reopen and we can all return to some expectation of ‘normality’.

Not surprisingly, the impact is not spread evenly and for some of us it’s been especially tough and, at times, devastating. This includes many women and children who have suffered abuse and violence and haven’t been able to access their usual supports.

The pressure on our staff has been immense. Not only are they juggling their own personal situations, but they have been dealing with the trauma of these women and children on the phone, mostly on their own, without on the spot access to support from their teams.

As a board, we are so grateful for, and proud of, their commitment and determination to do whatever they can to keep women and children safe.

It’s been a busy and productive year for our board. We welcomed a number of colleagues to our meetings – Jill Gardner, Deputy Secretary, and Keith Smith, Executive Director, Outer Eastern Melbourne Area, DFFH, Eleri Butler, CEO, and Kelly Stanton, Executive Director Program and Service Development, Family Safety Victoria. We also had presentations from Grant Thornton on our Workforce Capability Project, Impact Co on our Strategic Plan and Theory of Change and from staff about The Orange Door.

With our new constitution, we had one vacancy and the opportunity to recruit two co-opted members. Our first priority was to bring in women with Lived Experience. After advertising, we appointed two fabulous young women, Kelly Shay and Chloe Symes. We were also delighted to further diversify our skill base with the appointment of Gary Trytell and Simona Gory.

The board used the VCOSS Governance Health check tool to review our performance and a number of directors completed a brief AICD course.

Developing our new Strategic Plan and Theory of Change gave the board the opportunity to build our shared understanding of how we want to lead EDVOS and the impact we want for the future. Together with our Workforce Capability project and improved finance capability, we have created such a strong foundation for the future.

Finally, I want to thank:

  • all our board for so generously sharing their skills knowledge and time.
  • I especially want to thank Margaret Hodge and Fay Daniel who will be retiring from the board in November 2021. They were there at the ‘birth’ of EDVOS 27 years ago and have maintained their deep commitment to the organisation. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude, especially over the last couple of years. We will miss them but know they will remain connected.
  • the great leadership from our CEO, Chris Mathieson, whose vision, focus on impact, care for our staff and collaborative style make her such a pleasure with whom to work.
  • all our staff for their continued commitment and flexibility.
  • our colleagues for their understanding that we must work together for all those who turn to us.
  • and the community who share our commitment that family violence must stop and support our work.
Sandie de Wolf AM


Sandie de Wolf AM
Margaret Hodge
Deputy Chair  
Tony Pititto
Prue Monument
Quality and Risk Chair
Sue Campion
Fay Daniel
Denise McLaughlin
Sonia Sharp
Kelly Shay
Simona Gory
Chloe Symes
Co-opted Director
Gary Trytell
Co-opted Director

CEO Report

The past year has been challenging for EDVOS and the community. The pressures and risks placed on women and their children during COVID and lockdown periods in particular, has seen increased risk and complexity for women, which regardless of circumstance is unacceptable. In turn our responses, services and supports have adjusted to meet these demands and our dedicated, loyal and passionate staff have been unwavering in their commitment to ensure service continuity, build safety and continue to drive our efforts in promoting gender equality and a primary prevention and education focus.

Our new Strategic Plan 2021-24 was finalised which included the development of a Theory of Change which articulates EDVOS’s long term (7-10 years) impact and outcomes to achieve our vision for our community to be free from family violence, where everyone is safe. These important strategic directions are outlined further in this Annual Report.

Over the past twelve months we have also specifically placed much greater emphasis on the engagement, voice and participation of victim survivors in our work, both through the development of our new plans and strategies but also through our first Victim Survivor Engagement Framework. This work paves the way for greater involvement, self-direction and co-design opportunities for our clients. My sincere thanks and gratitude to the victim survivors who participated in our processes through focus groups, surveys and interviews.

Against the backdrop of COVID implications, remote and office based hybrid working arrangements, we have much to be proud of by achieving our standards reaccreditation, Rainbow Tick accreditation, confirmation of a new 4 year Funding and Service Agreement, resumption of the Flexible Support Package (FSP) administration and participation as the specialist family violence agency in the state government’s Orange Door network located in Box Hill in Melbourne’s inner east.

Additionally, we have built the foundations for our workforce to thrive and grow through the development of a Workforce Capability Framework, a skilled and experienced executive leadership team and an ongoing process of enhancing our organisational culture.

None of this could have been achieved without a concerted team effort so I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff and those who left EDVOS over the past year – my thanks and appreciation to you all for the part you played in assisting us to rebuild and achieve what we have. I also acknowledge and sincerely thank our funding partners at the Department of Families Fairness and Housing, Family Safety Victoria, other funders, donors and stakeholders for your support, interest and commitment to our clients, our work and reducing the appalling and unacceptable rates of family violence.

Finally I would like to thank Sandie de Wolf our Chair and the EDVOS Board for their astute leadership, support and direction over the last year – one for us to remember, learn and grow from.

Christine Mathieson
Chief Executive Officer

Theory of change - Summary

Picture a community that is free from family violence and where everyone is safe. EDVOS believes this is achievable and that our work will contribute to this change. This is the reason that we exist, and our Theory of Change has been developed to guide our work over the next 7 to 10 years and to track our progress towards the change we wish to see. The Theory of Change identifies and links who we will work with and the pathways we will follow to achieve our long-term desired outcomes and vision.

View the full
Theory of Change

EDVOS Strategic Plan 2021-2024 – Summary

The EDVOS Strategic Plan aligns with our Theory of Change and outlines our focus over the next three years.

Our Vision

For our community to be free from family violence, where everyone is safe.

mother and daughter drawing on cardboard box

Strategic Ambition

To drive bold and innovative change and to break the cycle of family violence to ensure that victim survivors are safe and able to thrive. We do this by working in partnership with victim survivors, the community and broader service system.

Our Strategic Priorities

Experience and Outcomes

To enhance and expand the outcomes achieved for victim survivors and the broader community by delivering services across the continuum of prevention, early intervention, response and recovery.

Integration and Collaboration

To collaborate with other organisations and service providers in a meaningful and sustainable way.

Inclusion and Intersectionality

To be an inclusive organisation that actively considers and applies an intersectional framework in the work that we do.

Influence and Advocacy

To strengthen our influence, share our knowledge and learn from others to drive positive change in the broader community and across the sectors that we operate in.

Organisational Enablers

People and Culture

Organisational Sustainability and Performance

Outcomes and Data

happy lesbian couple playing with their children at home

Values and Guiding Principles

  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Courage and leadership
  • Person Driven
  • Evidence informed and continuous learning
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Respect and collaboration
Read more about the EDVOS Strategic Plan 2021-24

Our Services Snapshot

referrals and requests for service from victim survivors across a wide range of referral sources.

EDVOS received more than 13,500 referrals and requests for service from victim survivors across a wide range of referral sources. We triage and respond to all referrals and offer our support.

Referral Sources

Police Referrals (L17s) to EDVOS have increased over the last 3 years.

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic and extended Melbourne Lockdowns many clients experienced an increase in the frequency and severity of family violence, combined with greater complexities of their situation, as victim survivors and perpetrators were forced to spend more time together.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people were supported by our team, including our Aboriginal Liaison Officer. We often work closely with the Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service.
Victim survivors (mostly women and children) engaged with EDVOS for a comprehensive service response which included assessment, planning and support.
Victim Survivor Risk Assessments were undertaken.
women, including their children, were provided with intensive and longer term case
management services to
support them to achieve their identified goals.
women whose lives were identified as being at serious and imminent risk, were referred to the Risk Assessment Management
Panel (RAMP).
children received toys and other gifts as a result of generous financial donations by supporters of the EDVOS Toy Appeal.

In 2020 EDVOS became one of the first Family Violence Services to achieve

Rainbow Tick accreditation. This recognises the work completed to ensure that our service is safe and inclusive for all LGBTI people.

Read more about LGBTI Support

Flexible Support Packages (FSP)

The most frequent supports included:

  • home appliances 
  • removalist costs 
  • school supplies and uniforms
  • utility bills
  • rental bonds
  • home security
  • counselling and therapy
FSP packages approved per month, on average
Flexible Support Packages provided financial support for victim survivors.
(February to June 2021)
provided victim survivors much needed goods and services.
FSP packages approved per month, on average
“The funding allowed me to afford basic items for my kids like a car seat…It was a huge relief to protect the boys financially by seeing that lawyer that you paid for I got some great advice. It was really helpful.”

EDVOS Clients living across Local Government Areas within Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region

EDVOS Clients reported they experienced the following prevalence in types of family violence

EDVOS Clients relationship type with perpetrator at the time of experiencing family violence

“Everything was falling apart. It's only with your amazing support and assistance that we are doing this well and there aren't words sufficient to express how thankful I am. Thank you so much. ”

All Clients by Age Group

Adult Clients by Age Group

Children by Age Group

two young women different ethnicity working out together

Country of Birth (top 5)

  • Australia
  • China 
  • Iran
  • India
  • England
senior woman walking down street with daughter and granddaughter

Language Spoken at Home (top 5)

  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Persian 
  • Arabic
  • Hindi
"Thank you so much for all the help. I feel I can wake up each day and there is peace and I am safe."

Measuring our outcomes

Our outcomes evaluation tool aligns with the Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework following the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence (2016). All EDVOS clients who had a case management service received a survey link via text or email following the closure of their case management support period. 20% of case management clients responded to the survey.

EDVOS service success indicators relate to ‘Outcome 2: Victim survivors, vulnerable children and families, are safe and supported to recover and thrive’.

Outcome indicator: Victim survivors are safe

now know what to do to stay safe
were supported by EDVOS to feel safer

Outcome indicator: Victim survivors are heard and in control

felt EDVOS listened to their specific needs around their identity
felt EDVOS respected their identity and were responsive to their specific needs

Outcome indicator: Victim survivors rebuild lives and thrive

felt EDVOS supported them and their family to move forward

Our Prevention Work

Our Primary Prevention work is evidence based and focuses on addressing gender inequality, which is the underlying cause of violence against women.

EDVOS delivered a range of projects that equipped individuals, families and organisations with the skills and confidence to play an active role in preventing violence in our community.


Together for Respect at Home - Social Media Campaign Reach

Read more about Together For Respect at Home Video Campaign

of users reported an increase in confidence to deliver activities that promote gender equality in early childhood settings.

Gender Equity Resource Tub

Read more

of participants reported a willingness to behave in a way (or support their children to behave in a way) that breaks down traditional gender stereotypes.

Thai Community Stands up for Gender Equality Project (student voice program)

Read more about Children, young people and teachers programs

of participants said they rated their understanding of the essential actions needed to prevent violence against women as ‘high’

Prevention of Family Violence and Gender Equity Program

Read more about Gender Equity training and presentation topics

Hope book

Hope Story Book

EDVOS, in partnership with Author Jayneen Sanders and Anglicare created ‘Hope’ – a story book to provide children living in family violence homes, or recovering after having experienced family violence, with a sense of hope that things might change.

Read more and purchase Hope – Story Book

Our education and training

Our extensive and varied education and training programs provide the community with skills and knowledge on a wide range of family violence topics.

training sessions

Training Programs Include:

Respectful Relationships

Learn about the gender drivers of violence and how to play an active role to challenge the underlying norms, practices and structures that drive violence against women.
Read more

Managing Resistance

Supports teachers to plan for and respond to resistance in their work of implementing the Respectful Relationships initiative in their school community.
Read more

Promoting Equality and Respect in the Early Years

Designed for early years educators to learn about the impacts of gender stereotypes and practical ways to challenge gender norms in their work with children and families.
Read more

3R’s of Family Violence

Builds the capacity of individuals and organisations to Recognise signs of family violence, Respond appropriately to disclosures and make Referrals to specialist family violence services.
Read more

Animal 3Rs

Empowers vets and other animal professionals to Recognise the signs of family violence when they are working with animals and pets, Respond and Refer appropriately.
Read more

MARAM Collaborative Practice

Is designed for professionals who respond to family violence to learn the collaborative practice and the foundational aspects of MARAM that enable collaboration.
Read more

Hairdresser with straightening iron and scissors


Empowers salon professionals to understand why gender inequality is a cause of family violence and how to respond to family violence disclosures from clients and colleagues.
Read more

"I really liked how they made it very relevant to the situation we're all in with the COVID-19 Pandemic and the statistics around family violence. I really liked the videos on family violence as well as ‘You Can't Ask That’. They made a big impact for me and really hit hard.”

Yasmin's Experience (Client example)

Yasmin kissing her son

Follow Yasmin’s Journey

  • Yasmin and her husband migrated to Australia a few years ago. They live in Melbourne’s outer east with their one year old son.
  • Since arriving in Australia and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yasmin had been experiencing ongoing physical, verbal and emotional abuse perpetrated by her husband. This abuse had escalated during times of stringent lockdowns, as the perpetrator often took advantage of these restrictions to assert power and control and monitor her movements.

How Yasmin found out about EDVOS

During a routine health check-up Yasmin disclosed she feared for her and her son’s safety whilst living at home

More info

Yasmin wants a life free from violence and decides she is ready to change her life

More info

Yasmin called EDVOS and spoke with an Assessment and Response Worker

More info

Yasmin was referred to an EDVOS Case Management Worker

More info

Yasmin was supported with her applications for financial assistance

More info

Yasmin received information and support for up to 12 weeks

More info

Yasmin strives to achieve her goals

More info

Our Staff

Staff numbers

Number of staff


young woman talking to another woman

EDVOS was able to support staff throughout the pandemic:

Initiatives such as flexible work arrangements; additional COVID related leave when needed (e.g. vaccination leave); a wide range of health and wellbeing activities; and technological equipment and software that enabled the work to continue safely, confidentially and efficiently.

Throughout the pandemic EDVOS staff have enjoyed over 20 editions of the internal newsletter 'Good News Gazette'. It provided much online fun and humour and supported staff connections whilst working from home.

EDVOS Pulse Survey results - July 2020:


staff engagement level represents a culture of success.


staff surveyed said “EDVOS is a truly great place to work”

women at a course or workshop session

Top 5 factors that staff said make “EDVOS a truly great place to work”;

  • Support provided
  • Colleagues/Staff
  • Effective Teamwork
  • Management in General
  • Commitment

EDVOS received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 58.2 indicating staff would positively recommend EDVOS as a good place to work, compared with 18.8 (NPS) norm for Health & Community Services.

EDVOS received a NPS of 74.7 indicating staff would positively recommend EDVOS Services, compared with 31.5 (NPS) norm for Health & Community Services.

Our Partners & Donors

asian mother helping daughter open gift

EDVOS is committed to developing our partnerships, alliances and networks that share in our vision for our community to be free from family violence, where everyone is safe.

Our Theory of Change and Three Year Strategic Ambition (2021-24) form part of our strategic framework that enables us to achieve our vision and enhance the outcomes for our clients and stakeholders.

We are keen to form partnerships and alliances with government and non-government services including community health, legal, law enforcement, education, finance, peak bodies, philanthropic organisations and various other expert primary prevention practitioners and policy experts. Including;

  • Partnerships (co-locations, research, service delivery)
  • Donations (individuals, corporates, community groups)
  • Collaborations (practice development, training & education)
  • Stakeholder engagement (events, social media & promotion)
  • Innovation and leadership (sector partnerships, research & systemic change)

Thanks to our partners and donors

Victoria State Government

The EDVOS Board, Management and Staff would like to acknowledge and thank the Victorian Government for their funding and ongoing support. We would also like to thank our partners, donors and supporters who have contributed to our work throughout the year to ensure women and children experiencing family violence are safe and free from harm.
Read more

Summary of Financial Information 2020-2021

EDVOS earned revenue of $13,856,171 and achieved a net deficit of $22,624 for the financial year ended 30 June 2021 ($290,488 surplus in 2020). The net asset position is sound, totalling $1.6m at year end. Funding is principally received from the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, and utilised to fund operations. The funding and service agreement is confirmed to 30 June 2024.

The full Financial Statements have been audited by Moore Australia who concluded that they give a true and fair view of EDVOS’ financial position and performance, and comply with Australian Accounting Standards.

Sound net asset position at the end of the financial year

How our funds are used

Statement of financial position
Current assets
Non-current assets
Total assets
Current liabilities
Non-current liabilities
Total liabilities
Net assets
EDVOS full financial statements 2020-2021

Contact Us

Operating Hours

Monday-Friday: 9am-8pm
Saturday: 9am-5pm

Phone: (03) 9259 4200
PO BOX 698 Ringwood VIC 3134

Email: contact@levelplayground.org.au  

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EDVOS is the auspice agency for the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Family Violence Partnership (RFVP).

Phone: (03) 9259 4200
Postal: PO BOX 698 Ringwood VIC 3134

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags

EDVOS acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. EDVOS pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.


EDVOS acknowledges people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) communities, their children, pets and other animals, who are responding to family violence in the community.

EDVOS respects all people who are responding to family violence, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and ability.

EDVOS is a child-focused and child safe organisation.

EDVOS acknowledges funding from the Victorian Government.

Download 2020-2021 Annual Report PDF