Joint Media Release with Member for Gippsland Mr Darren Chester MP
The Coalition Government will provide up to $2.49 million for a tailored project to address family violence experienced by Indigenous women and children in the East Gippsland and Wellington Shires.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, said the funding formed part of the $25 million Indigenous-focused package under the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
This funding will provide a safe and trauma-informed service to reduce family violence by working with men who use violence and encouraging behavioural change, including through cognitive behavioural therapy.
“I am pleased to announce this support for the Yoowinna Wurnalung Healing Service, a local community service with specialist experience in supporting Indigenous families,” Mr Chester said.
“Tragically, Gippsland has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Victoria and we’re fortunate we have some outstanding people on the ground providing assistance to families.
“We have many dedicated staff and volunteers across Gippsland providing support; and our local police continue to do the best they can with the resources they have.
“But they are being put under increased pressure, and all levels of government have a role to play in partnership with the community to ease that burden.
“We cannot tolerate people living in fear in their own homes and we must provide appropriate resources to support families and end the cycle.”
Yoowinna Wurnalung Healing Service Manager, Daphne Yarram, said the service welcomed the support from the Australian Government to use a co-design approach working in partnership with Aboriginal services to develop community-led solutions to address family violence issues at a local level.
“We recognise the responses to family violence need to build on the strengths of individuals, families and community,” Ms Yarram said.
“The programme will have accountability, preventative and healing elements to support behaviour change in men who use violence. The prevention activities will provide a pathway to engage men and their families, and normalise access to the program without stigma.
“The programme will build the capacity of Aboriginal men and their family members to benefit from trauma informed, therapeutic interventions. It will assist them to recognise protective factors, increase stability in their lives, use alternatives to violence and support opportunities for reconnection with their family and community.”
Minister Scullion said in total, $18.9 would be invested in eight Indigenous community organisations across Australia to deliver a range of services, including trauma-informed therapeutic services for children, services for perpetrators to prevent future offending and intensive family-focused cased management.
“We know that community-based, culturally-appropriate solutions are required to reduce the rate of family violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children,” Minister Scullion said.
“We have actively sought the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on how best to address family violence.
“The Yoowinna Wurnalung Healing Service has been identified based on its expertise, as well as local needs in the community.
“I commend the Yoowinna Wurnalung Healing Service for its important work, and look forward to hearing more as the organisation’s project progresses.”