Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Reducing family violence in Australian communities

Community organisations will work directly with men through culturally appropriate initiatives to address the unique challenges in reducing family violence in some of our most at risk communities.

Under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, the Morrison Government will commit more than $2.3 million over three years for organisations to develop and deliver primary prevention activities that encourage men to be positive role models.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said preventing violence before it occurs was the most effective way to break the cycle.

“Evidence indicates that Indigenous and migrant women and children experience disproportionately high rates of family violence,” Minister Ruston said.

“In order to make a long term difference in the rates of violence against women we must change attitudes to violence and to do this we must create opportunities for men within communities to be involved in their community as positive role models.

“Men have an essential role to play in our work, homes and communities to reduce family violence.”

The projects funded under the Men as Role Models initiative are:

  • Outloud Incorporated, funded $710,000 to deliver their RESPECT program to boys under 12 years of age, at schools in the Bankstown region of New South Wales.
  • Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation, funded $900,000 to run bush camps for Indigenous men in Central Australia, working with an established group of Indigenous men as leaders.
  • United Muslim Women’s Association Incorporated, funded $723,600 to deliver an ambassador program called Saving FACE, working with Muslim men from over 72 ethnic groups in Darwin, Perth and Melbourne.

The Morrison Government has committed a record $340 million to address family violence between 2019 and 2022.

NPY Women’s Council CEO Liza Balmer welcomed the funding and said the organisation’s bush camps are an innovative and important domestic violence strategy.

“Led by respected Aboriginal (Anangu) men from across the NPY Lands this program develops rich resources and deep understanding within a trauma informed framework to strengthen community capacity to end family violence,” she said.

United Muslim Women Association CEO Maha Krayem Abdo OAM said that primary intervention was critical for long-term change.

“If we want genuine engagement of men in preventing violence against women and children that goes beyond words and tokens then we need frameworks that connect with them at a moral and ethical level,” she said.

Outloud Chairperson Khai Ngo said the organisation was excited about being able to deliver their RESPECT program in the Bankstown region.

“The program has successfully proven it enhances boys’ abilities to understand and retain complex information about gender equity and domestic violence. Additional support for this program has been a priority for us over the past 18 months, and this funding from the Australian Government is most welcomed. We are thankful for this opportunity and for the program to have a marked effect ondomestic violence in our communities,” he said.