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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Joint Government action gives Aboriginal people the powers to confront family violence and abuse

Indigenous South Australians will be helped to take action against family violence and child abuse in their own communities thanks to three major projects worth $6.5 million jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments.

The projects, which aim to prevent and reduce violence and abuse, include:

  • construction of a Multi Purpose Community Learning and Cultural Centre in the Yalata Aboriginal Community, 200 km west of Ceduna;
  • the use of Aboriginal Wellbeing programs involving real partnerships between Government and local communities; and
  • funding for the Rekindling Indigenous Family Relationships in the Riverland.

Federal Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, and Premier of South Australia Mike Rann said they were pleased their Government’s were working with indigenous communities to reduce and prevent violence and abuse.

“These projects will deliver culturally appropriate programs involving early intervention and prevention, social and health wellbeing, and importantly they will boost the capacity of Indigenous people to take action themselves,” Senator Patterson says.

Premier Rann says “These initiatives will make indigenous South Australians stronger for their involvement and help them avoid ongoing problems. We need to nip violence in the bud.”

The Commonwealth and SA Governments have committed $3.45 million — $1.65 and $1.8 million respectively – over the next three years for the Yalata Centre which will enable implementation of a strategic and coordinated approach to reducing violence.

The Centre will be developed in stages and will offer culturally appropriate facilities for the delivery of education and training programs, crèche facilities and recreation facilities including a swimming pool.

The programs will range from early intervention and prevention through to social and health wellbeing for families affected by violence.

Communities in the central, north and metropolitan regions of Adelaide will benefit from an Aboriginal Family Wellbeing project that addresses underlying factors contributing to family violence.

The Commonwealth’s $1.46 m and State’s $375,000 will assist Aboriginal families with a choice of therapies to assist their personal journeys of self-healing.

A range of options will also be developed for Aboriginal men, including accommodation options, as an alternative to women and children being forced to leave home in times of crisis.

The program aims to equip Aboriginal people with skills for effective communications and conflict resolution.

The third project, Rekindling Indigenous Family Relationships in the Riverland, also aims to help people to respond to, reduce and prevent family violence and child abuse, as well as to develop a comprehensive range of services.

The Commonwealth and SA Governments have committed $1.39 million over the next three years for the early intervention project — $780,000 and $610,000 respectively.

Senator Patterson and Premier Rann agree, “Both Governments look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Aboriginal communities as new projects arise to support and fund effective strategies which reduce family violence and child abuse.”

“These programs recognise the importance of directly involving Indigenous people and building their capacity to take action themselves to address serious social problems.”