Who We Are
Founded in June 1993, the Group was established when the parents of Anita Cobby and Ebony Simpson were introduced to each other.
They recognised the very real need to set up an organisation which could offer counselling, support and information to families and friends of homicide victims throughout NSW.
It was after this meeting that the counselling section at the Institute of Forensic Medicine started to work with family members to introduce the concept of the HVSG.
After speaking to a number of people in the Police Service, the NSW State Coroner, Attorney General’s Department and other agencies the first meeting of the Steering Committee was held in August 1993. The Steering Committee at the time was Mr. Kevin Waller ex state Coroner, Mr. Greg Glass the then State Coroner, Chief Inspector Mark Edwards , Mr. Garry Lynch, other family members affected by the death of their loved one to Homicide and the Counselling Section of the Institute of Forensic Medicine.
The first meeting was held in September 1993 with a small group of families at the Institute. It was realised the Group would need a staff of it’s own. A co-ordinator was appointed who worked for 18 months on a voluntary basis to co-ordinate the formation of the HVSG.
Family members were asked what it was that they needed to survive the horrors of murder. The group then and now is still about what family members tell us they need – Support, Education, Advocacy and Reforming the criminal justice system that sometimes causes them more trauma.
We started to run programs for the NSW Police Force and other organisations. The list of invitations for family members to speak grew.
The counselling for families affected by Homicide received a boost when in November 1994, the Fahey Government granted $50,000. These monies were to be used to employ personnel to assist the families affected by homicide.
It was decided in consultation with the Homicide Victim Support Group and the Institute to advertise for a coordinators position and a part time counsellor. Those two positions were filled after being advertised.
The funding was administered by the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Glebe.
Sadly as the HVSG grew it became apparant that we needed to move and employ more counselling and administrative staff. We were lucky to be given office space in Francis St, Darlinghurst by the then Carr Government at no cost. After being there for some years due to redevelopment of the building we moved to Kent Street, Sydney, once again our rent sponsored by the Government.
We now have offices in Church Street, Parramatta not far from Police Headquarters, Victims Services, The State Parole Authority, and Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Currently we have approximately 4,200 family members in the Group and sadly, that number grows on average every 3 days.
We are very thankful that the NSW State Government continues to substantially fund the activities of the HVSG.