New centre to help sexual assault victims opens in Dandenong

October 2nd 2014

Wednesday 1 October 2014, from the office of  The Hon Mary Wooldridge MPMinister for Mental Health, Minister for Community Services & Minister for Disability Services and Reform:

New centre to help sexual assault victims opens in Dandenong


Official Opening of the new Multidisciplinary Centre in Dandenong

Napthine Government opens new sexual assault support centre in Dandenong

$10 million centre brings Victoria Police, child protection, sexual assault counselling, nursing and forensic medical services together at one location

Four multidisciplinary centres now operating in Victoria


A new $10 million sexual assault support centre has been officially opened today to provide Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia residents with integrated support for adults and children who have experienced sexual assault or abuse.


Joined by Liberal Candidate for Dandenong Joanna Palatsides, Liberal Candidate for Narre Warren South Susan Serey and Liberal Candidate for Narre Warren North Amanda Stapledon, Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said this is the principal multidisciplinary centre (MDC) for Victoria and will bring together Victoria Police, child protection and sexual assault counselling services at the one site.


“As the principal centre, the service partners will provide best practice training, leadership and expertise to staff from other multidisciplinary centres located across the state.


“This centre will also co-locate nursing and forensic medical services to better support and provide better outcomes for vulnerable adults and children.


“The co-location of these important services means that assault victims will no longer need to attend a local public hospital to access these important services. It affords victim/survivors with a level of confidentiality while enabling them to receive counselling and support, as well as speak with police about the nature of the offence they have experienced, all in the one client-centred location.”


Ms Wooldridge said the centre will provide much-needed support to adults and children who have experienced sexual assault in Melbourne’s south-east growth corridor including those in the municipalities of Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia.


The new facility will accommodate more than 70 staff including Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT) police members, South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA) staff, child protection practitioners, a Monash Health nurse and medical staff from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.


“This initiative is an excellent example of how the Napthine Government is delivering integrated and comprehensive responses to improve outcomes for vulnerable Victorians,” Ms Wooldridge said.


“That is why the Victorian Coalition Government has committed to expand this important service to more areas throughout Victoria.”


The new Dandenong centre brings the total number of multidisciplinary centres in Victoria to four, with the Napthine Government successfully operating centres in Geelong, Mildura and Seaford.


Further new centres in Bendigo and Morwell are expected to be operational by mid-2015.


Media contact for this Media Release: Christabelle Adjoyan 0401 206 201 christabelle.adjoyan @


Photo above by Bernie Phelan. Left to right:

Associate Professor David Ranson – Deputy Director of VIFM

Joanna Palatsides – Liberal candidate for Dandenong

The Hon Mary Woodridge  - Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Community Services & Minister for Disability Services and Reform

Associate Professor Morris Odell – Head of Clinical Forensic Medicine, VIFM

Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana, Victoria Police

Susan Serey – Liberal candidate for Narre Warren South

Amanda Stapledon – Deputy Mayor of City of Casey and Liberal candidate