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Grants for Aboriginal-led responses to family and domestic violence welcomed

Giovanni Torre -

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and registered Aboriginal businesses in Western Australia are now eligible to apply for funding that will enable the delivery of Aboriginal led initiatives that prevent family and domestic violence in their local communities.

On Monday the WA government said the initiative will support prevention work for Aboriginal families and communities that is culturally safe and "grounded in healing approaches". It also aims to support the implementation of the Aboriginal Family Safety Strategy 2022-2032 by enabling Aboriginal-led actions and solutions that promote family safety. 

The government said the program was informed by the Family and Domestic Violence Taskforce which recommended more investment in Aboriginal-led responses to family violence experienced by Aboriginal people.

The Taskforce was convened in September last year to guide the WA government’s responses to family and domestic violence.

An independent Aboriginal evaluator will be engaged to work in partnership with the grant recipients to undertake culturally secure evaluation of the program. Applications for funding can be made via Tenders WA | Display Tender DOCG202416942, until 2.30pm on 2 July this year.

Kurin Minang law academic and human rights expert Dr Hannah McGlade, who has worked and written extensively on the issue, welcomed the state funding.

"The (WA) government's recent announcement of more than $90 million to address family and domestic violence neglected Aboriginal people, even though it is well known that Aboriginal women are at very high risk of violence even murder," she told National Indigenous Times.

"In 2016 the Telethon Kids Institute found Aboriginal mothers were 17.5 times more likely to be murdered than non-Aboriginal mothers. There has never been an appropriate response to this, and the funding announced, while welcomed, will still not meet the need. It's a start but we need to do much better.

"In the latest announcement we saw more than 50 million go to an expansion of states services, police, child welfare and corrections. These systems have proven to be unsafe and failing women, children and families. Systemic discrimination is entrenched with mothers and children being treated in a punitive damaging manner."

Dr McGlade said the Western Australian government should take a partnership approach with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to tackling family and domestic violence.

WA Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Sabine Winton said the grants program demonstrates the WA government’s "commitment to keeping Aboriginal women and children safe from family and domestic violence".

“We know Aboriginal women are disproportionately impacted by family and domestic violence. This is completely unacceptable. We want to encourage Aboriginal-led solutions to family and domestic violence experienced by Aboriginal people," she said.

“Importantly, these grants will enable initiatives that focus on a range of areas from the prevention of family and domestic violence to early intervention, crisis support and recovery.” 

The grant and evaluation funding of $6 million forms part of the WA government’s $72.6 million package to strengthen the state’s family and domestic violence responses announced in November 2023. 


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