Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten says a nationwide Royal Commission into family violence should be considered.


It comes a day after Victorian mother Rosie Batty was named 2015 Australian of the Year, in recognition of her advocacy against domestic violence in the face of a personal tragedy.

Ms Batty’s 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father while training at a Melbourne cricket ground almost a year ago.

The Victorian government has responded by holding a state-based Royal Commission into family violence, and Mr Shorten told reporters on Monday there was merit in expanding this Australia-wide.

“I certainly would be prepared to consider that,” Mr Shorten said.

He said it was appropriate for Federal parliament to address the issue, noting that Australia could not arrest its way out of the problem.

“There is a great Australian silence about family violence in this country,” Mr Shorten said.

“Rosie Batty’s award is not just for her, I think it’s on behalf of all of those victims of family violence which have never been able to speak up.”

Ms Batty began speaking out about domestic violence in the wake of her son’s death, and later established the Luke Batty Foundation to help others.

She has dedicated her award to Luke.

“He is the reason I have found my voice, and I am able to be heard,” Ms Batty said, after receiving the honour from Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the lawns in front of Parliament House on Sunday.

“Family violence may happen behind closed doors but it needs to be brought out from these shadows and into broad daylight.”

Ms Batty, 52, will use her profile to further expose domestic violence, encouraging people to take ownership of their actions.

“We need to look at cultural change, where does violence come from?” she asked.

“You need to look in you own backyard.”

Luke was killed by his father who, at the time, was the subject to two intervention orders.

Greg Anderson was shot dead by police.

Victoria’s Royal Commission into family violence will get underway in February.

Premier Daniel Andrews pledged the inquiry before the November state election.

Comment is being sought from Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the prospect of a national royal commission into family violence.