Ovens & Murray Advertiser - North East Regional Extra
New leadership in time of change
TWO local women are at the helm of a reinvigorated Centre Against Violence, as the new leaders of the organisation.
Jaime Chubb, who will assume the CAV chief executive officer role on October 4, and Dr Corina Modderman, who stepped up to the position of chair in November after six years on the CAV board, say they are looking forward to building on the fantastic work of previous CEO Kerry Burns over 16 years.
Ms Chubb comes to her role after more than seven years as the Rural City of Wangaratta’s director community wellbeing, bringing with her a psychology, youth work and community services background, while Dr Modderman has experience working in the field of child protection and family violence in the Netherlands and UK, as well as Australia.
Wangaratta-based CAV was formerly known as Upper Murray Centre Against Sexual Assault (UMCASA), and was established in the early 1990s by a group of people from the North East.
Since 1992, the organisation has been managed by a community-based board of management, and in 2012 was renamed Centre Against Violence to incorporate the diverse programs operating under its auspice in the Ovens Murray region.
CAV receives core funding through the State Government, along with some funding from the Federal Government to support family violence and sexual assault service delivery in rural Victoria.
It provides crisis, short term, medium term and long term counselling; advocacy, information and support about family violence, sexual assault and harmful sexual behaviours; sexual assault services to victim survivors and children; crisis accommodation, support and recovery services to victim survivors and children experiencing family violence; and services to children under 10 with harmful sexual behaviours and young people aged 10 to 14 who have sexually abusive behaviours.
Ms Chubb said she brought to the role experience in advocacy, particularly at a government level, and was excited about working with the board, as part of an organisation with a strong reputation in the community.
With a new purpose-built base being constructed and a presence in Wangaratta’s recently-opened Orange Door network hub, as well as development of its new strategic plan, she said there was plenty happening for the organisation - including challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation.
“When the community is facing a situation like the pandemic, home is not safe for everybody,” she said.
“That will have long-term impacts and the demand for services will increase.”
She said this would bring a renewed focus on the need to recruit staff to the region.
Ms Chubb said while it may be uncomfortable for the community to think about issues like family violence and sexual assault, CAV was doing incredible work in this space locally.
“They make a real difference to people’s lives, and do great work in difficult situations,” she said.
“I genuinely feel honoured to have this role, because I think the work they do is amazing.”
Dr Modderman, who leads La Trobe University’s Shepparton campus social work program, is chief investigator on research projects that focus on improving health outcomes for children in out-of-home care, and evaluating a mentoring program for First Nations young people in Shepparton.
“With so many changes in the field - The Orange Door, for example, and federal, state and local policy changes - things are constantly shifting, and with Jaime coming on board with the experience she brings, we are looking at focusing on those changes,” she said.
“Jaime is coming with fresh eyes, and will seek to lead CAV through this period; it’s an opportunity to reset what we are doing and how we do it, during the pandemic and beyond.”
Dr Modderman said she was focused on strong governance and leadership, and was looking forward to welcoming a number of new board members in coming months, and raising the profile of the organisation.
“I think CAV has to be a service people know of,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we know there are high levels of family violence and sexual assault in our region, and CAV is a free service people can access at any time - 24/7.
“We also recently received our rainbow tick, so people in the LGBTIQ+ community can be assured to be welcome and receive LGBTIQ-inclusive quality care.
“There is much more work to be done in this space, including early intervention and raising awareness, and there is tremendous leadership at CAV, with a strong commitment to victim/survivors.”
Dr Modderman said people who have experience with governance and leading change were invited to apply for a current CAV board vacancy, to help drive the strategic outcomes for CAV’s future direction, and could contact the organisation via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about CAV’s services, phone 5722 2203 or visit the website www.centreagainstviolence.org.au