Coffee with…Simon Curran, Senior Manager, Kew Business & Service Development, Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV)

Describe the work of Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) is a specialist provider of family and relationship services, delivering programs through 14 centres and additional outreach services across Victoria.

We provide a broad range of relationship, child and family, family violence, mental health and seniors relationship services. Our services include counselling, family dispute resolution (mediation), Family Relationship Centres, relationship education and skills groups, and community engagement activities. A trauma informed organisation, Some of our specialist programs include Compass Forced Adoption Support Services, headspace youth mental health, I-Connect, a family mental health support program, Reclaim, which supports survivors of child sexual abuse and those affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and services to meet the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

What sort of work were you doing prior to starting at Relationships Australia Victoria?

I was Director of Family Relationship Services with Relationships Australia South Australia. In the past I have been a practicing lawyer and mediator, and prior to that a journalist in the UK.

What excites and motivates you in your role?

My role integrates service and strategy development with operational management. I enjoy the role’s diversity and creativity.  I love supporting teams and individuals grow ideas and work together on new projects.  The collaborations I’m involved in with external partners, such as research projects with universities and consortium relationships like those involved in headspace, are equally rewarding.

What is most challenging about your work?

Optimising limited resources whilst matching and improving services to genuinely meet the evolving needs of our clients as society evolves and policy and legal frameworks shift. That’s the challenge and joy of the work.

What interested you in partnering with the Inner East PCP?

In the first instance we connected with Inner East Primary Care Partnership through our involvement in the Eastern Elder Abuse Network and our range of developing services to address the needs of older adults. Collaboration and integrated approaches are as important in this area as it is across so many family relationship services we provide.

If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?

I’d wave my wand and create a world alliance to halve spending on defence and use the money to repair the environment and end climate change. The positive health and wellbeing impacts on societies across the globe on a micro and macro level would be immeasurable.

If you weren’t working at RAV right now, what would you be doing?

Sitting somewhere calm and still where the air was sweet, reading a book. Maybe even writing a book!

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.