Committee inquiries lead to change

26 September 2022

Watch Anti-Defamation Commission Chair Dr Dvir Abramovich and Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee Member Chris Couzens discuss the impact of community driven reforms.

Dvir Abramovich shed tears as Victoria became the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban public displays of the Nazi swastika.

The landmark legislation was recommended by the Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee after an inquiry into anti-vilification protections.

As Chair of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr Abramovich had led a tireless, community driven campaign to change the law.

'The day in which the law was passed was a day that forever will be etched in the pages of Victorian democracy,' he said.

'Sitting in the chamber and watching the debate filled me with pride,'

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Anti-Defamation Commission

'We really led the way and again I want to congratulate the government, the opposition and every single member of the Victorian Parliament who voted with their conscience and did the righteous thing.'

It’s not the only potentially life-changing recommendation the Committee made which the State Government adopted during the 59th Parliament of Victoria.

An inquiry into responses to historical forced adoptions proposed a landmark redress scheme for mothers whose babies were forcibly removed from them because of past policies and practices.

The compensation fund is now being designed and further money is being provided for extra counselling and support services.

'The forced adoptions inquiry was something that was very emotional for everyone involved,' Committee Member Chris Couzens said.

'For some of those women it was the first time they had ever spoken to anyone about it,'

Chris Couzens, Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee

'They saw the redress scheme as being an acknowledgement of what they had experienced, so to actually have that outcome is really significant.'

The Committee held public hearings right across Victoria as it conducted each of its four inquiries this parliamentary term.

To read the reports or witness testimony through public hearings and submissions go to the Committee’s website.