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Policy goes bush – addressing violence in remote communities through the Remote Service Delivery model. 13-15 May 2013 Brian Gleeson, Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services White Ribbon International Conference. The lay of the land. Strengthening communities. Closing the Gap.
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Policy goes bush – addressing violence in remote communities through the Remote Service Delivery model 13-15 May 2013 Brian Gleeson, Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services White Ribbon International Conference
The lay of the land Strengthening communities
Closing the Gap BUILDING BLOCKS Healthy Homes Early Childhood Schooling Health Governance and Leadership Safe Communities Economic Participation
What will RSD Achieve • Improve services – make sure the right ones are there and that they do things properly. • Help communities to be able to manage their dealings with governments and organisations better (governance and leadership). • Set up offices in each community to make is easier to understand what governments can do for communities and their members. • Ensure that communities are determining their own future. • Help make communities better placesto live in.
The question should not be, ‘why do women not accept the service that we offer?’ BUT ‘Why do we not offer a service that women will accept?’ World Health Organization 2005
The Office of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services Statutory officer established under the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services Act 2009 • Key element of the new model • Independent • Drive reform • Accountability and reporting “ we need to convince communities that this is a new way of working and not just a new way of describing what we have always done” CGRIS second six monthly report
Oversee the implementation of the RSD partnership. Formally report twice a year on progress, and ensure that all government agencies are held accountable for their implementation responsibilities. Have the authority to work across agencies to cut through red tape and bureaucratic blockages and to make sure services are delivered effectively. Work with the whole of government Regional Operations Centres established to coordinate services in communities and the single government contact points located within the priority communities. What do we do?
the place based approach provides an opportunity to trial new ways of working it is easy to say and much harder to do doing it properly can require not just coordination but systemic reform, particularly around funding it is critical to address the kinds of multiple and related disadvantage common in remote Indigenous communities culture and country should underpin service delivery flexible communications approaches are essential (eg. interpreters, plain English) facilitating capacity development is critical for successful community driven approaches Lessons learned
Engagement and community strengthening • Long term success and safer, stronger and vibrant communities are only achievable if communities are strengthened through their engagement with government. • RSD includes a focus on contributing to: • community led planning and decision making; • improving the level of governance and leadership within communities and community organisations; • more highly developed capacity in Indigenous communities; and • the development of local skills and a stable local workforce.
What Local Implementation Plans say • Safe houses were agreed for: Mornington Island, Angurugu, Gapuwiyak, Ngukurr, Ntaria • There are now safe houses in 20 out of 29 communities • Violence education programs were requested for: Doomadgee, Mossman Gorge and Walgett • Fitzroy Valley has developed and implemented a strategy to reduce the level of domestic violence within the community • Ending Offending and Ending Family Violence programs are being run in Doomadgee • Wilcannia is also developing a strategy to raise awareness and education on domestic violence and ultimately become a violence free community • 10 Remote Service Delivery communities have Community Safety Plans either complete or drafted, with many of these addressing domestic and family violence
Walgett – a White Ribbon community • Making Walgett a White Ribbon community is a completed LIP priority • Implementation has included the establishment of the Walgett Domestic Violence Committee (WDVC) and a Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan • Committee takes a coordinated, responsive, community-wideand bottom up approach to prevent family violence, with a focus on early intervention, respectful relationships, appropriate services and engaging men • Committee membership consists of key agencies, service providers and community groups • Walgett Aboriginal Men’s Group are also adopting White Ribbon principles as part of their membership, with these members being represented at WDVC meetings • The Thiyama-li Domestic Violence Support Group provides a wrap around service via local service providers
A big focus for APY Lands LIPs • Ensure that perpetrator programs that address family violence, anger management and substance abuse are resourced appropriately and delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way. • Develop operational guidelines with relevant organisations and services to improve responses to domestic violence and sexual assault for women and children. • Ensure that assistance and advocacy for individual victims of domestic violence and sexual assault that prioritises their safety within a case management framework is supplied. • Consider the recommendations from NPY Women's Council feasibility study entitled Proposed Preferred Models for Safe Accommodation Services for Women and Children from the APY Lands. • Implement proactive programs including education methods targeting all age groups about violence, communal promotion of definitions of acceptable and non-acceptable behaviours and the training of local violence counsellors to counter any prospects of violence.
APY Lands Domestic Violence Workshops • Workshops initiated, designed and delivered by the SAPOL Family Violence Unit, with input from local community Elders • They are run by female police officers based on the APY Lands • Alcohol and drugs are heavily contributing to domestic and family violence on the APY Lands • Done in an informal but discrete way, in a setting that is comfortable for participants • Workshops offer information on different forms of violence, breaking the cycle of violence, parenting, resilience and self care and navigating the legal system • They also offer strategies to manage jealousy and barriers to change • SAPOL Officers can also provide one-on-one workshops for women following an incident, as well as individual safety plans and follow ups on these • Workshop participants are referred to further appropriate services where required • Their challenge is to engage younger women in their twenties – this is best done by building trust • SAPOL reports that outcomes so far have been that women are accepting that violence is not a normal behaviour and that there is assistance for them
The Cross Border Family Violence project • Has been underway for six years – across communities in SA, WA and NT • Targets male perpetrators of family violence – addressing violent behaviours, anger management and substance abuse • During 2011/12, ten programs were conducted for 73 men (with 56 men completing) • Since inception there have been 48 programs and 284 completions • Originally men were referred by courts, corrections, police, but increasingly men are volunteering • Has a 70% success rate in stopping re-offending • A women’s Cross Border Family Violence program is now also being piloted
Alcohol restrictions Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek • impacts of alcohol consumption included high levels of foetal alcohol syndrome, clear links between alcohol use and the high levels of suicide in the Kimberley since 2000, and extreme levels of domestic violence • restrictions were put in place in Fitzroy Crossing in 2007 and Halls Creek in 2009 - basically, the only takeaway alcohol sold is light beer • the restrictions were community generated and have resulted in significant reductions in violence, crime and injury and an increase in birth weights • need also to pay attention to demand (not just supply) “our prime objective was to create an environment of peace and order from where we could plan strategically and put in place the building blocks for our social recovery. … (w)hat we have achieved so far could never have been done by government acting along. The leadership had to come from the community. we had to OWN our problems and create the pathway for recovery. June Oscar at the launch of the documentary Yajilarra, Parliament House 18 August 2009
Empowering women • BabbarraWomen’s Centre is proudly owned by Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida in north central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory • it began as a women’s refuge in 1983 but is now a women’s CDEP centre • it provides paid employment, and training opportunities through the establishment and operation of small business enterprises • the Centre runs Babbarra Designs – a textiles workshop, the Babbarra Cleaning Crew, an Op Shop, Laundromat and a hairdresser • Bawinanga Strong Women’s Group provides an open forum for women to discuss major health, social and economic issues • It’s a place where women in the community can come together and talk, share their experiences and offer one another support if and when needed • the Centre’s ten year plan hopes to see Indigenous woman working in supervisory roles and operating the variety of activities as a self-sufficient businesses.
Summary – government’s role is to • create an environment where communities can improve their own circumstances • empower communities in their efforts to solve their own problems • respond to priorities that lead to sustainable outcomes • support capacity building efforts • provide ongoing support and investment to meet community priorities • Facilitate a safe and healthy place for families to enjoy a quality lifestyle Insanity : doing the same thing and expecting a different result Albert Einstein