Primary Care Pathways to Safety extended program


30 June 2023 - 30 June 2026

Funding Amount:




Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care to expand the Primary Care Pathways to Safety Program.

The objectives are to provide direct tailored support to primary care providers, to improve confidence in responding to family violence (FV), build greater collaboration and coordination across a range of local health, social care, and family violence services.

The program is an expansion of the original Primary Care Pathways to Safety Program, co-designed by NWMPHN and Safer Families Centre, University of Melbourne. The final report from that phase can be found here.

Primary Care Pathways to Safety was one of 6 pilots across 6 primary health networks commissioned by the Australian Government. The evaluation report for these was published in May 2023.

There will be 5 activities delivered as part of the expansion program:

Service navigation 

Workers from local family violence services will be commissioned to provide professional support and service navigation to engaged health care providers in the NWMPHN region.

Workplace capability building 

Based on the successful pilot, the Safer Families Program at University of Melbourne will deliver the Pathways to Safety training program to general practices in the NWMPHN region. Training will cover a range of topics focused on identifying, responding, and referring for family violence.

Implementation of training into practice 

Primary health care providers including GPs, nurses, general practice teams, allied health, mental health workers, social workers and those from family violence sector will be invited to community of practice sessions. These will enable peer-to-peer learning focused on whole-of-practice strategies to embed principles and techniques learnt in the training into practice. This will increase integration and collaboration of primary health care providers locally.

HealthPathways Melbourne will be embedded as a tool for health care providers in all the capability-building and networking activities. It will be updated to reflect best practice approaches and ensure up-to-date information on local service options.

Building understanding of the systematic barriers to providing best practice family violence care in primary care 

The expansion will build on understandings of the local barriers to primary care assessment, response and referral of patients experiencing FV.

NWMPHN will continue work with other PHNs to implement a joint strategic action plan.


The capability-building activities developed by University of Melbourne have been co-designed with people with lived experience, as have the  broader education components.

More information about our family violence work is available on our website. For further information, please contact:

Precious Farounbi
Program Officer, Primary Care Pathways to Safety
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network


The model aims to:

  • Increase primary health care provider skills, confidence, and knowledge in identifying, assessing, and referring patients who experience DFV.
  • Establish practice systems using a whole-of-practice approach to embed training into general practices.
  • Improve confidence of primary health care providers to connect with DFV services and support systems.
  • Increase integration and collaboration of local primary health care providers locally.