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Stories from On Board

Stacey Ong - Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

Stacey Ong 

Stacey is a Director in Management Consulting and leads the cultural diversity and inclusion staff network Be@ PwC.

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) is a statewide organisation working to build the capacity of professionals, organisations and systems to prevent and respond to violence against women.

What attracted you to the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria board?

It was all about women, children and other victims for me.  I went to a conference on Domestic Violence 5 years ago and was confronted by the statistics and the stories behind this complex social issue.  I wanted to get involved, so it was incredibly lucky that the board opportunity with Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) arose shortly after through PwC OnBoard.

What did you think you had to offer?

When I joined the board, I was the only person with a commercial background; all other board members were from the community sector.  I think there was some initial uncertainty about how a commercial skill-set would be relevant to the work that DVRCV was doing. Over the last 5 years, I think I have been able to bring deep strategy skills and financial acumen to the board.

How has DVRC transformed since you first joined?

Transformation was thrust on us as an organisation. A year after I joined, The Royal Commission into Family Violence handed down its final report, which has generated enormous change for the sector.  The Government's family violence reforms have been truly transformative and resulted in a record investment in the family violence system.  

As DVRCV we navigated this period of change in several ways. We engaged a new CEO, changed our constitution, and restructured our organisation to include a new layer of management. More recently, we have planned a merger between DVRCV and the peak body for family violence services in Victoria - Domestic Violence Victoria.  Negotiations are still underway, but the vision is to provide greater support to the sector by combining training, advocacy, and practice leadership. It has also been a privilege to step up to the Deputy Chair role in 2017 and serve as Acting Chair for 2018.

What did you achieve?

We are an extremely ambitious board and we have achieved so much together.  It definitely hasn't been easy. We stewarded the organisation through a restructure and the new CEO appointment, we have updated our constitution and developed a new strategic plan responding to the post-Royal Commission environment and clarifying our approach and what we stand for. 

And of course, commenced planning for the merger which will hopefully strengthen the sector and workforce in family violence.

What have you learned from the experience?

I have learned so much!  In the early days, I felt like the board and I had to stretch to understand each other's perspective and experience.

I do a lot of work at PwC in the space of violence against women, so this board role has been a wonderful combination of my professional, personal, and volunteer interests.

The experience has helped me to lead work evaluating The Orange Door, Victoria's integrated service delivery model for family violence intake, and piloting a family violence early intervention program in schools. 

What will you never forget?

So many things.  For me, it is all about the people.  I am fortunate to work with the most amazing, collegiate group of women whose paths I might not have crossed but for this board role.  I also got to meet the Governor of Victoria to celebrate the 30th birthday of DVRCV - that was fun. 

Advice to other PwC people considering putting their hand up for a NFP board position?

First, go for it! But be careful, don't underestimate the time commitment involved.  Second, don't underestimate the skills you acquire just by being part of PwC. Finally, If you are contemplating a board role or already hold one, please remember to be a champion for diversity.  All kinds of diversity, gender, ability, cultural diversity, LGBTIQ ... everything. We make better decisions when we include diverse voices at the table.

And one more thing, you don't need to be a partner or a director to be on a board. I secured the board position with DVRC when I was a Manager. You can be part of a board no matter what stage of your career you are at.

 

Contact us

Rosalie Wilkie

Partner, Social Impact, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 8381

Jane Edwards

Director, Social Impact, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 5839

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