The Andrews Labor Government is strengthening support for Aboriginal women impacted by family violence in Geelong by providing culturally sensitive support services.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today launched a new support program run by the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative called ‘Dalag Walert’ (meaning possum skin).
Dalag Walert will provide a safe environment for women impacted by family violence to come together and construct a communal possum skin cloak, which signifies a strengthening of their connection to culture and community. The program also allows victim-survivors to complete a personal story telling pelt, the first piece of what is hopefully their own family cloak.
Recommended as a priority project by the Barwon South West Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group, the program has been developed and designed by Wathaurong, recognising that the needs of Aboriginal women are best met by Aboriginal communities.
The Labor Government has provided $650,000 for 45 projects like this across the state to reduce, prevent and respond to family violence in Aboriginal communities. All successful projects were recommended by their local Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group.
It is part of the Government’s unprecedented $1.9 billion package through the 2017/18 Victorian Budget to address the scourge of family violence, which remains the No.1 law and order issue in the state.
A 10-year plan aims to end family violence for all Victorians, including Aboriginal children and families, and includes working with Aboriginal communities, increased funding for Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Services, and the establishment of a network of Support and Safety Hubs across Victoria.
Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Unfortunately, there are no cultural, social and economic barriers to family violence – it’s a problem that affects us all. Specialised support for Aboriginal women is just one way we are helping bring about an end to this national crisis.”
Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren
“Programs like Dalag Walert are one of many to help Aboriginal women escape abuse, start their recovery and lead better lives.”
Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Chris Couzens
“This project will help local Aboriginal women impacted by family violence to strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing and connection to community, culture and country.”
Quote attributable to CEO Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Rod Jackson
“Understanding and responding to the cultural needs of Aboriginal families is vital to providing effective support services to our communities.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020