The Family Peace Foundation Mission
The Social Problem:
Over one million Australian children are raised in family violence.
Highly credible evidence shows that in most cases family violence has its roots in excessive family conflict which comes from contributing factors such as excessive alcohol, financial stress, lack of respectful relationships, social and emotional incompetence and lack of family rituals.
The Family Peace Foundation’s contribution to the solution is to strengthen families, through evidence based education, by providing willing and able parents with the skills knowledge and strategies on how to avoid or eliminate excessive conflict in their homes and thus protecting them and their children from the devastating effects of family violence.
The Foundation’s education content is delivered via brief communication across all mainstream media including radio, television, press, billboards and online**.
The Foundations prolific education messages also have the added critical benefit of ensuring that both public and Government focus will not diminish until this chronic social problem is solved.
Furthermore, the Foundation’s website contains a reference library of all the evidence, which underpins its educational programs. The website also provides links to support agencies for those seeking professional help.
The Foundation is an independent and secular organization, funded over the long term via tax-deductible donations from the general public, businesses and philanthropic benefactors.
This independent operating model ensures the Foundation will be able to constantly and efficiently deliver its vital programs over the 20 to 30 year timetable that it envisages it will take to permanently break the intergenerational cycle of family violence.
The Foundation’s business like disciplines ensure that every dollar that is raised and invested produces outstanding results in the minds of all donors who are the life blood of the Foundation.
The Foundation is run by a highly credible, experienced and diverse board of directors with a broad range of appropriate skills. Furthermore, the Foundation’s evidence based education programs are produced under the guidance of highly regarded child, adolescent, relationship and family psychologists and community service sector professionals.
The key measure to success, as for all in the sector, will be when family violence statistics are a small fraction of their 2017 numbers.
The Foundation, in conjunction with Deakin University, conducts and publishes annually the nationwide Family Peace Foundation Survey together with key statistical data to gauge the ongoing impact of its contribution to the solution.
Ultimately, success will mean that over time as the vast majority of homes across the nation become more peaceful – schools, workplaces and communities will follow suit leading to a more peaceful, safe, secure and prosperous society for all future generations of Australian children.
The Family Peace Foundation’s sole focus is to work towards peaceful upbringings for every Australian child and in time to sponsor the launching of similar organisations in other countries run and financed by people from those nations who share the same values and beliefs as their Australian counterparts.
* This mission is in many respects an aspirational work in progress. Over time it is the Foundation’s primary goal to turn this mission into reality in every respect.
** (Public education via brief communication methodology has been used extensively around the world to effect positive social change. In Victoria, the TAC’s use of brief communication has successfully contributed to the dramatic reduction of the road toll over the past forty years.)
Our board includes a group of highly experienced, credible directors with a diverse range of relevant, complementary skills. Each of the Foundation’s programs are produced under the guidance of well-regarded professionals, including child, adolescent, relationship and family counsellors.
GREG LARSEN – CHAIR
“Family is very important to me…I believe it’s the basis for people’s self-esteem, growth and development. The Family Peace Foundation offers a unique approach to a hugely challenging problem. I’m looking forward to working with this Board of extremely talented people to help create real, measurable outcomes.”
For the past 11 years, Greg has advised CEOs and senior executives in government, finance, media, mining, industrial, accounting and retail sectors on leadership, teamwork and group cohesion. Greg’s highly sought-after expertise as an executive mentor/coach is derived from a solid foundation in various executive roles, including:
- Founding Director, The Adelante Group, Leadership Development Advisers
- CEO of CPA Australia
- Chairman and Managing Director – BP New Zealand
- Planning and Control – BP Australia
- Head of Marine Fuels, BP Oil International
- Chairman of not-for-profit organisation focused on homelessness.
“There’s no doubt that the Foundation is working in a highly complex, multi-faceted environment. What really attracted it to me is its potential to resonate with a broader, more mainstream Australia, with possible issues emerging in their families. Every single family can benefit from knowing how to develop resilience and build better capabilities so that we can always be nurturing to our children.”
Stella Avramopoulos is the Chief Executive Officer of Kildonan Uniting Care, an innovative and trusted organisation within one of Australia’s largest welfare networks, UnitingCare Australia.
Stella has worked across the welfare, community services and government sectors for almost 20 years and has a reputation for inspiring teams to design and deliver holistic and innovative approaches that engender systemic change.
Stella is on the Board of the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) and sits on National Customer Councils for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Origin Energy National Customer Consultative Council, the Australian Bankers’ Association Industry Strategy Working Group, and the Uniting Church Social Policy Network.
DR GEORGIE BELL
“Dealing with children and families is a constant in the work I do. But the limitations are that I can only help one family at a time. The potential with the Foundation is the opportunity to make a difference for a much wider community, to facilitate more supportive and loving family environments in which children can thrive.” My hope is that over the long term, bit by bit, the Foundation will help lead us to the point where we’ll ask ourselves, “how did we let family violence happen?” in much the same way as we ask ourselves today, “how did we let school kids be caned” or “why did we let ourselves travel without seat belts?”
Georgie is a Paediatrician who recently completed her training at The Royal Children’s Hospital. She cares for children from birth to 18 years with a range of medical, behavioural and developmental problems.
DR MICHAEL CARR-GREGG
Child and adolescent psychologist, media commentator
“Complementing the work that I do, the Foundation provides the opportunity to convey key messages about how to strengthen families to a wider audience and I relish this opportunity. Our biggest challenge may be to reach the places where it’s really needed… but I believe we have the right equipment, the right strategies and the right people to make it happen.”
Michael is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists. He works in private practice and is passionate about delivering national and international evidence based psychology workshops and seminars that make a difference to the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Michael was most recently the Managing Director of The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, established by the Australian Government Initiative administered by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. He is also the resident parenting expert on Ch 7’s Sunrise and Psychologist for the Morning Show with Neil Mitchell on Fairfax Radio 3AW.
CEO Philanthropy Australia
“Personally, I’m particularly interested in focusing my time and efforts on early intervention and prevention and so from that perspective, the Family Peace Foundation is a great fit. The Foundation’s approach is certainly innovative and experimental. At the same time, I have huge respect for the calibre of my colleagues on the Board and what we can achieve. I firmly believe that the Family Peace Foundation is philanthropy at its best.”
Prior to joining Philanthropy Australia, Sarah was CEO of The Reach Foundation, a for-purpose organization focused on improving the wellbeing of young people through community-based workshops. Previously, Sarah was CEO of the Australian Communities Foundation and before moving into the non-profit sector, she held senior executive roles in tertiary education in Australia and private sector consulting in HR, marketing and strategy in Australia, Europe and the Middle East.
Director, The Bennett Group Pty Ltd
“I believe the Family Peace Foundation is both pioneering and plausible. I’m looking forward to contributing my knowledge around philanthropic and not-for-profit entities and corporate compliance, as well as collaborating with others towards the bigger picture goal of achieving greater calmness in Australian families.”
David Gibbs is a business strategist and adviser with a reputation for developing wise and practical solutions to personal, family and business financial problems. His experience has sharpened his passion for excellent Corporate Governance and the management of risk.
He is a committed supporter and office bearer of several community-based and youth organisations, including the Cancer Council of Victoria. He has also served as the Chairman of the Victorian State Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
International Women’s Forum member
“It takes a conscious desire and a willingness to tune ourselves into aligning with our highest values in life, and family values have always been at the top of my priority list. I feel very privileged to be among a dedicated team working towards sharing and creating a peaceful and harmonious family setting. I am sure the Foundation will inspire many to shift their mindsets to realign with their highest values. Family Peace Foundation is borne from passion and this dormant force accelerates change, my hope is that it will be a catalyst for sustainable change for many generations to come!”
Mariam Issa arrived in Melbourne from her Somali homeland in 1998 with her husband, four children and a fifth on the way, and little knowledge of Australian life. Today she has established herself in Melbourne as an inspirational public speaker, author, storyteller, intercultural facilitator, dedicated community builder, social cohesion champion and social entrepreneur.
She is an International Women’s Forum member and co-founder of Space2b, an art and design based social enterprise established to support asylum seekers, refugees and newly arrived migrants. She was recently awarded the Ambassador of Peace award from the Universal Peace Federation – in recognition of her on-going work promoting social cohesion amongst Melbourne’s culturally diverse population. She is regularly invited to speak on diverse topics to schools, universities, corporate and community groups, she has been featured in national Australian TV, radio and press.
Psychologist, media commentator, speaker, facilitator, coach, change agent
“I’m passionate about working with systems and family is one of the most important systems to which we belong. Family dynamics impact on our experiences at school, at work, in life-long relationships, and more generally on our sense of belonging. My work centres around the aim to normalise the universality of the human experience and the highs and lows that families experience. I’m excited by the Foundation’s aim to create more peaceful family environments combined with its commercial approach and potential to reach large audiences. There is no doubt this will be a slow burn but also a real opportunity to create sustainable change in the way we think and communicate.”
Sabina applies her psychological expertise in a variety of settings including private practice with individuals, couples, children, and families; and with groups and organisations. She is Resident Psychologist on the Afternoons program on Radio 3AW and on The Morning Show on Channel 7.
Sabina is a speaker with Saxton Speakers Bureau and a facilitator with Corporate Health Management where she presents on a range of psychological and human behaviour topics to corporate, school, parent and community groups. She is also a coach with Transitioning Well, focusing on the transition from ‘Working Person’ to ‘Working Parent’.
Chartered Accountant and Non-Executive Director
“As a former long serving partner of a big 4 accountancy firm, I bring credentials in financial management and governance and experience in ensuring boards operate with honesty and integrity. On a personal level, I am particularly interested in the notion of fairness and justice for people at all levels of society. The strength of family is, to me, all-important in determining positive outcomes for all of us, at whatever stage of life.”
John has over 35 years’ experience, the majority of which was as a Partner in leading chartered accounting firms, the most recent being Ernst & Young. His previous experience as a registered auditor, liquidator and tax agent as well as his extensive work in corporate finance has defined him in the market as a pragmatic and commercial operator.
Highly regarded for his business acumen and fundamental understanding of how value is created, John has consulted to clients both in Australia and overseas in industry sectors including financial services, mining and metals, consumer and industrial products, primary production, building and construction, hospitality and power and utilities.
Co-Founder National Tiles
Co-Founder Family Peace Foundation
“I am humbled to have such an outstanding group of people who have all given of their time pro- bono to serve the Family Peace Foundation Board. The vision, mission and plans the Board has adopted has far exceeded everything Rhonda and I ever foresaw when we conceived the Foundation. This small group of highly skilled people have, in essence, lit a flame. A flame that hopefully will be supported by thousands of Australians who seek the very best for their families and a peaceful upbringing for their children, grandchildren and loved ones.”
Frank, with his wife Rhonda, founded National Tiles in 1979. Now employing around 350 staff in over 30 locations across four Australian states, today, National Tiles is run by their son Nick who took over as CEO in 2012 after Frank devoted over 30 years to the company.
In 2015, Frank and Rhonda planted the seed of the Family Peace Foundation, appointing Greg Larsen as Chairman and charging him with the initial task of recruiting a highly skilled board of directors.