Indigenous Trainers Inspire Action Against Domestic and Family Violence

06 AUG 2020

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Lifeline WA is working with trainers from Indigenous Consulting Group to raise awareness of domestic and family violence (DFV) among Aboriginal families one workshop at a time.

Indigenous people are more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to experience violence as victims or offenders.

Lifeline WA is hoping to address this statistic by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) trainers like Palyku-Bunaba-Walmajarri-Nyoongar woman Tara McCulloch and Yamatji man Brian Councillor to deliver the Indigenous DV-alert and Brothers Standing Tall programs.

Indigenous DV-alert is a free two-day workshop which educates frontline community and volunteer workers about Aboriginal culture and history, improve their capacity to recognise the signs of DFV, respond with appropriate care and refer clients to relevant services.

Ms McCulloch, who co-facilitates the Indigenous DV-alert workshops, said better knowledge of Aboriginal cultural nuances among frontline workers would make Aboriginal people more likely to seek support.

“Being able to positively interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a skill you can learn,” she said.

“When you have those communication skills, non-verbal and verbal, it can play a huge role in how you can support them and provide positive outcomes for each client.”

Brothers Standing Tall is a two-hour interactive presentation on DFV specifically for ATSI men, which provide a space for them to learn and talk about DFV and provides a foundation to prevent family violence the community.
Mr Councillor, who delivers Brothers Standing Tall, said his role was to inform and facilitate, not to lecture the participants.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are often excluded in the process to address, reduce and stop domestic and family violence in our communities,” he said.

“We need to provide a safe and conducive learning environment where men who may use violence, can come together to learn about domestic and family violence and say something without feeling judged and criticised.”

Lifeline WA has delivered 12 Indigenous DV-alert workshops and six Brothers Standing Tall workshops across the state this year in centres like Perth, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton, and smaller communities like Karratha, Derby, Broome, Carnarvon, South Hedland, Northam and Merredin.

You can find out about the next workshop in your area here: