The National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Conference 2015 brought together policy makers, service providers, organisations and key personnel who work towards for the safety of women and children. Together, both presenters and attendees discussed new and innovative ways to improve responses, to improve pathways for a more effective support network for women, children and men, and to minimise violence. Our fantastic MCs, White Ribbon ambassador Andrew O’Keefe and well known Living Black radio journalist Michelle Lovegrove did a passionate job guiding discussion and leading conversation throughout the conference.
One of the key purposes of the National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Conference was to ignite discussion. Some of the discussion focussed on creating more awareness surrounding the statistics of domestic violence, yet it also allowed all to recognise some of the strengths and weaknesses within our services.
Over the course of the two day onference, the topic of domestic and Aboriginal family violence being a gendered social issue was of key consideration. Enforced by keynote speaker Rosie Batty, there was a key focus for social and attitudinal change in regards to domestic and Aboriginal family, and gendered violence, with a key objective to making Australia a place of safety for all women and children to live, free from all forms of men’s violence, with special consideration taken to looking at understanding the effects of trauma on children; and to review the behaviour change process in men, to see how it is working.
Some outcomes from the National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Abuse Conference include:
- The gaining of a broadened understanding of what services are available in regards to those who work specifically with men (men’s groups), and the requirements for more.
- Identified lacking availability in areas of service– especially in regards to working with men.
- An acquired/widened awareness for the initiation of men’s programs and how they approach and work with domestic and Aboriginal family violence cases.
- Through the Coroner’s Court (Heidi Ehrat), there was identified some key weaknesses connected to services in regards to following the client confidentiality ruling, especially where services have assumed other organisations involvement with cases, yet did not look any further to see whether the assistance was ongoing.
- Recognition for different organisations and their need to be able to work together and closer.
- An acknowledgement that workers should receive more thorough training in regards to how they should work with men and the perpetrators of domestic violence.
- The recognition that there needs to be a break down the “Silo” mentality.
- There should be more of a focus upon the ‘whole of family approach’.
- An increased understanding and awareness for Aboriginal family violence and an acknowledgement for the need for the wider availability of services to rural areas.
- The identification of women and victims of domestic violence being the most commonly held accountable for the actions perpetrated against them.
Kornar Winmil Yunti would like to thank all who were able to attend the National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Conference and conference dinner. A special thank you goes out to those who presented, especially Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, White Ribbon Australia CEO Libby Davies, Our Watch CEO Paul Linossier, Zahra Foundation founder Arman Abrahimzadeh, the South Australian Coroners Court Senior Research Officer (Domestic Violence branch) Heidi Ehrat, as well as all of those who presented in the breakout sessions.
With the influential voices of women, children and men, the National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Conference wanted those who attended, to leave having gained a better understanding as to what is really needed from the services available or what is required in order to make a change.
The National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Conference would not have been such a success without everyone’s help and support.
With kind regards and with many thanks,
Kornar Winmil Yunti.
Photos from the event can be seen here.