The SPEAQ network was established in the early 1990s by a small group of services in SE Qld funded to provide men’s DFV behaviour change groups. At that time it was a very new field, with few people doing the work, the support and sharing of knowledge with colleagues was invaluable.
As the early network was built around face to face meetings, geographical distances and practicalities limited our engagement with services outside S.E. Qld. In the mid-2000’s we became increasingly connected with services across Qld, and by 2008, we were holding monthly practitioner teleconferences, with members embracing the emerging platform of a truly state-wide network, laying the groundwork for the formation of SPEAQ in its current form.
In 2008 the network initiated a series of Managers Meetings to progress the recruitment, retention and professional development agenda. The idea of establishing a permanent secretariat emerged from these meetings. In January 2009, under the new name of SPEAQ, the secretariat commenced operation – creating a permanent presence that could act as a focal point for the network internally, but also facilitating external liaison with government, universities, the media and other parts of the DFV prevention sector.
We are again undergoing a “gear change” with a strategic planning process underway to shape the network into a body which can better support services and practitioners into the future – in a sector expanding as part of the large suite of reforms flowing from the recommendations of the Not Now Not Ever report.
The SPEAQ secretariat is funded from membership subscriptions, the proceeds of annual professional development events, and occasional donations. SPEAQ is currently supported by a large component of voluntary unpaid time.
We acknowledge the generous support of Pauline Woodbridge and her staff at the North Qld Domestic Violence Resource Service which provides administrative and management support. We also acknowledge the generous support and encouragement of Di Mangan and DVConnect which auspiced SPEAQ from the establishment of the secretariat at the start of 2009, through to early 2017.
The creation of this website, through funding from the Qld Department of Child Safety Youth and Women, marks another step in the development of the network, and we’re excited to be leaping into a new level of connection, collaboration and public presence through this new platform.