A LEVEL of mutual respect is what Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay and Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge agree will help them in their fight to prevent violence against women.
Ms Wooldridge expressed her confidence in Victoria's top cop at the Leading Change breakfast in Ararat last month.
"Chief Commissioner Ken Lay is an outstanding leader who is not satisfied with the status quo, he sees areas that need to change for the benefit of the community and he makes that happen," she said.
"Nowhere more so than the issue of preventing violence against women, his leadership within the force has been very significant."
Ms Wooldridge said the first line response of police has changed significantly with Mr Lay in the top job.
"The first line response of police has changed very significantly, they are the ones who are going into homes to respond to violence when it is reported," she said.
"Changing the approach, changing the culture and importantly massively expanding the specialist family violence response units so that the force is equipped to respond to the particular issues that women and children experience with violence."
Ms Wooldridge said Mr Lay has been leading the debate and had taken a leading role in the prevention field.
"Not being satisfied just to improve the response, he also, has really sought to tackle this issue at its cause," she said.
"Not only challenging men but challenging the whole community."
"No one is more respected in this state across so many issues, and no one is more respected in this state about this issue, because of the leadership that he shows in preventing violence against women."
Mr Lay returned the gratitude and acknowledged the support of the State Coalition Government.
"Significant social change does not occur without strong political leadership," he said.
"Minister Wooldridge is providing strong political leadership in this state, I do appreciate her commitment, her intellect and understanding of the ongoing complex issues.
"Without that sort of leadership people like myself can not get things done."
Speaking about efforts to improve responses to incidences of family violence Mr Lay said the state government was working alongside Victoria Police to establish an integrated approach.
"I am pleased to say the government has invested quite a significant amount of money in recent time to increase that ability to communicate across systems, I am confident that will make a difference," he said.