Content warning: This article contains reference to domestic and family violence. Please refer to the services at the bottom of this article for support.

 

The Morrison Government has announced $13.5 million for nine service providers that deliver community-led programs to reduce violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.

The $13.5 million is a portion of the $35.5 million invested in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific measures in the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

The nine recipients work in “high need communities”, with six being Indigenous organisations. Locations include Kununurra, WA; Port Augusta and Ceduna, SA; Nhulunbuy and surrounds, NT; Darwin and Katherine, NT; and Townsville and Mackay, QLD.

In the last year, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) has partnered with these providers to co-design service responses and will continue to do so to support program delivery across the 43 remote and regional areas.

The Mackay and Region Aboriginal and Islander Development Association (Marabisda) is receiving part of the funding.

“We are pleased to be working collaboratively with NIAA in the co-design of our two programs, Respect and Responsibility supporting men’s healthy relationships and Weaving Stories, our women’s journey of healing program,” said Marabisda Manager Adrienne Barnett.

“We feel that as a community we need to be at the forefront of design and development of programs that benefit our community.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt stressed that all programs were co-designed “on the ground, with local communities”.

“Breaking the cycle of violence requires community-driven approaches that prioritise cultural healing and family restoration,” he said.

“Putting Indigenous experience at the heart of our efforts is absolutely crucial to reducing violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.”

The funding directly responds to the first of four priorities identified by the National Plan to reduce violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children:  valuing and engaging the “expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men, communities and organisations to lead in the creation and implementation of community-led solutions to build and manage change”.

Other priorities include:

  • Building workforce capacity to deliver high quality, holistic, trauma-informed, and culturally safe supports
  • Developing models for support which contribute to safe healing and sustained behaviour change
  • Addressing the “immediate impacts and deep underlying drivers of family violence” through “collective action with governments, service providers and communities”.

“The Indigenous-specific measures under the Fourth Action Plan are so important in driving meaningful change to address the structural drivers of family violence, including discrimination, racism and intergenerational trauma,” said Minister for Families, Social Services and Women’s Safety Anne Ruston.

“The Morrison Government is proud to support these locally-led efforts to reduce violence against women and children right across the country.”

If you are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, please contact:

Visit respect.gov.au for more information and to download free resources.

 

By Rachael Knowles