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Lisa Ronneberg in conversation

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Committed feminist and campaigner for women’s rights, Lisa Ronneberg, joined Jenny’s Place in January 2022 in the new role of Regional Collaborations Coordinator.

Since joining us, Lisa has immersed herself in the Newcastle and Hunter region domestic and family violence service sector. She has been appointed as Chairperson of the Newcastle Domestic Violence (DV) Committee and has been busy gathering information and building relationships across the sector.

Read our Q&A with Lisa to learn more about her passion, the new role and what it will mean for Jenny’s Place and the region.

What attracted you to the role of Regional Collaborations Coordinator?

I’m a feminist. In the 25 years I’ve lived in Newcastle I have always been active in campaigning for women’s rights and working to end violence against women – both in my professional roles and in my personal life.

I’m a big picture person. I genuinely enjoy building and strengthening partnerships, working collectively and with community to achieve change. So the opportunity to work in a feminist organisation in a specific collaboration and advocacy role was very attractive. It is a perfect fit for my values, skills, and experience.

What professional experience have you had that equipped you for the role?

I have 20 years’ professional experience working in community development, youth development, health promotion, training and education, organising, and campaigning roles.

What are the key outcomes you hope to achieve this year?

  • Secure ongoing transitional housing options for Jenny’s Place clients.
  • Secure ongoing funding for Jenny’s Place Domestic Violence Resource Centre.
  • Work to develop a whole-of-community action plan to address urgent accommodation needs in Newcastle. This will be done in partnership with the DV sector, community organisations, networks, alliances, all levels of Government, businesses, real estate agents and property owners and developers.
  • Strengthen partnerships and collaborations across the DV and community sector. This will allow us to identify priority sector issues, which individual service providers may not have the capacity to address on their own, and work collectively to address them.
  • Work with DV service providers to develop and implement a local domestic and family violence Federal Election strategy.
  • Work with the Newcastle DV Committee to deliver priority projects for 2022.

What progress have you made in your first two months?

I’ve met with lots of service providers and workers to understand their roles, the services they provide and their priorities. It has shown where there are gaps in service provision and what opportunities there are to work together.

Through the Newcastle DV Committee, I have coordinated the distribution of resources, organised a planning workshop and shared information. I have been linking sector workers with each other and with other service providers.

I have been able to link my colleagues at the Domestic Violence Resource Centre with services and introduce opportunities for collaboration and research. I am also working with colleagues to identify and build links with Newcastle real estate agents and landlords to facilitate finding secure accommodation for women and families escaping domestic violence.

I’ve represented Jenny’s Place in meetings with Federal Government MPs and City of Newcastle Councillors. I am facilitating discussions within the sector to coordinate a collaborative Federal election campaign.

What will your role mean for Jenny’s Place?

The role needs to add value to, and support, the work that Jenny’s Place staff are already doing.

It aims to strengthen existing partnerships, and establish new ones, with service providers, community groups and external organisations, in order to better meet the needs of women and children accessing Jenny’s Place.

The role will strengthen our efforts to secure desperately-needed transitional accommodation for our clients. It will also help to secure funding for the Domestic Violence Resource Centre.

Developing a domestic and family violence training package, in collaboration with the Domestic Violence Resource Centre, will increase understanding of the issues in Newcastle and the Hunter region. The training will be delivered to workplaces, educational institutions and community organisations. It aims to build the capacity of workplaces to support staff experiencing domestic and family violence.

The role also aims to raise the profile of Jenny’s Place in the broader domestic violence and community services sector. It will advocate, lobby and campaign to meet the priority needs of Jenny’s Place, our clients, and the broader DFV sector.

What do you think your role will mean for the region?

It’s only a one-year position. It is important to set things in motion and establish practices of working together that will continue after this position’s funding ends.

I hope I am able to build understanding, to create a culture of collective action in the local DFV sector. The role has the capacity to build on and strengthen relationships and ways of working together across the sector and the community.

My aim is to build the capacity of the sector and the community. To ensure that domestic and family violence is on the agenda and that representatives of the sector are at the table where decisions are made and actions are planned.

My aim is to secure this year a whole-of-community commitment to work on long-term structural and systemic change. Because that is what we need to prevent violence against women.

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