This December, Kornar Winmil Yunti (KWY) with the support of No To Violence inc. Men’s Referral Service (NTV/MRS) will present, the Working with Aboriginal Men and Family Violence Conference to put Aboriginal voices first and find out what’s working for Aboriginal families.
Family violence practitioners, living and working in Aboriginal communities from all states of Australia will come together to advance, support and promote new initiatives addressing family violence in Aboriginal communities. The two-day gathering in Adelaide, will feature presentations based on holistic, trauma-informed practices, collaborative workshops and provide opportunities for participants to engage and ask questions.
CEO of KWY, Craig Rigney, says the conference is a chance to build “greater partnerships between people working with Aboriginal men using violence while family violence is in the spotlight. KWY is an Aboriginal organisation based in Adelaide delivering services across South Australia to Aboriginal families to address family violence.
Since receiving a small amount of funding in 2011 to open KWY, Craig has seen the positive difference KWY’s Accountability, Responsibility to Change programs, can make in the lives of Aboriginal men and their families. “When we embed culture into the courses and build a stronger connection to country, we tend to get more buy-in” says Craig. “Community members tell us men are communicating more and developing their own mechanisms to control their anger” he says.
While the upcoming conference will focus on interventions with Aboriginal men, Craig says “women and children are at the heart of everything we do” and we must keep asking “what works for Aboriginal families? We must find new role models and ask, ‘who can be the next champion to lead the way?’”
Men and women who run men’s behaviour change in Aboriginal communities and those advocating passionately for family violence prevention, will speak in Adelaide with a connection to the work rarely found at conferences of this size.
Among them will be Alan Thorpe of Dardi Munwurro who’s been working with Aboriginal men in Victoria for over 25 years and cultivating Aboriginal leadership.
Dr Tracy Westerman, a proud Njamal woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia will deliver a keynote address on day two of the conference. She is a recognised world leader in the Aboriginal mental health, cultural competency and suicide prevention fields and has achieved national and international recognition for her work.
Shane Phillips, an outstanding community leader who established Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation, will facilitate a ‘Working with Our Young Men’ discussion. Tribal Warrior aims to teach all people about Aboriginal culture and values, while revitalising Aboriginal culture and empowering disadvantaged Aboriginal and non-indigenous people. Shane has cultural connections to the Bunjalung, Wonnarua, and Eora peoples.
CEO of NTV/MRS, Jacqui Watt is excited to be part of the ground-breaking event and says, “it’s a chance to bring together much of the wisdom Aboriginal community leaders and workers already hold about how to work constructively with men.”
“We’re supporting KWY for this event so we can do a better job assisting workers and communities to deliver what they need rather than what has been on offer in the past” says Jacqui.
For tickets to the 2-day conference or the F.O.C.U.S Awards held on the final night of the conference, book here.