Understanding the role of law and culture in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence

ANROWS, 2020

Family violence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities attracts considerable attention in policy, research and practice.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have advocated for community-led approaches to family violence that are culturally safe, involve Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander justice models and recognise Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Law and Culture.

This project used a strengths-based approach to explore the role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law and Culture plays in prevention, intervention and healing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family violence, and how this can be supported. The project was grounded in an understanding of family violence as shaped by the impacts of colonisation.

The research was undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place-based programs in six sites: the Kimberley (two sites) and the Pilbara (Western Australia), the Tiwi Islands and Darwin (Northern Territory), and Mornington Island (Queensland).

The final report emphasises the need for improved understandings within mainstream systems and services of the nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family obligations and interconnections, as well as acknowledgement of the link between violence and issues that stem from colonisation, such as alcohol misuse and intergenerational trauma. It recommends a greater focus on prevention, healing and diversions from the criminal legal system; the involvement of both men and women in the design and implementation of local family violence strategies; and interventions that worked at the family, rather than individual, level.

Leadership Training Academy 2018 is coming

The Equality Project Australia, August 2018

In order to achieve meaningful social change we need to foster the training of a new generation of LGBTIQ+ advocates to lead the conversation, reshape the narrative, and ultimately, change the culture.

The Equality Project’s Leadership Training Academy (#LTA2018) is a specialised leadership and media engagement training program for LGBTIQ+ change-makers and emerging community leaders who want to build the core skills and techniques to effect positive social change.

They have compiled an exciting curriculum that includes programs from some of the largest LGBTIQ+ rights organisations in the world. These include the world-class GLAAD Media Institute and the Stonewall LGBTIQ Role Models program.

The Leadership Training Academy is designed for LGBTIQ+ advocates and emerging community leaders as well as professionals from any sector or industry who want to explore what it means to be an authentic and inclusive LGBTIQ+ role model in the workplace.

They are looking for a diverse range of participants particularly those who are from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people of faith, people with a disability, women and non-binary people – and those at the intersections of these identities.

With the support of sponsors and training partners, the two 2-day leadership training program is one of the most affordable in the country. But if you are unable to attend due to cost they encourage you to apply for a scholarship.

Morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch included on both days.

The Leadership Training Academy will be held in October 2018 in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

 

Exploring HIV risks, testing and prevention among sub-Saharan African community members in Australia

International Journal for Equity in Health, 2018, 17:62

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0772-6

Abstract

Background

Significant health disparities persist regarding new and late HIV diagnoses among sub-Saharan African (SSA) communities in Australia. Personal/cultural beliefs and practices influence HIV (risk, prevention, testing) within Australia and during visits to home countries.

Method

A community forum was conducted involving 23 male and female adult African community workers, members and leaders, and health workers; facilitated by cultural workers and an experienced clinician/researcher. The forum comprised small/large group discussions regarding HIV risk/prevention (responses transcribed verbatim; utilising thematic analysis).

Results

Stigma, denial, social norms, tradition and culture permeated perceptions/beliefs regarding HIV testing, prevention and transmission among African Australians, particularly regarding return travel to home countries.

Conclusions

International travel as a risk factor for HIV acquisition requires further examination, as does the role of the doctor in HIV testing and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Further assessment of PrEP as an appropriate/feasible intervention is needed, with careful attention regarding negative community perceptions and potential impacts.

‘Submit to your husbands’: [Australian] women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God

ABC, 18/7/2017

When we speak of domestic violence, and the cultural factors that foment it, one crucial element missing from the discussion has been religion.

While it is generally agreed that inequality between the sexes can foster and cultivate environments where men seek to control or abuse women, in Australia there has been very little public debate about how this might impact people in male-led congregations and religious communities, especially those where women are told to be silent and submit to male authority.

In other countries, like the United States and United Kingdom, there has been extensive analysis. So why is Australia so behind on this issue?

 

Young, deadly, STI and BBV free: resources

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, 2017

This website is a one-stop shop for resources about STIs and BBVs. Rates of STIs and BBVs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been way too high for way too long – especially affecting young people in regional and remote communities.

It’s time to turn this around. This means making regular sexual health checks a normal part of life for sexually active young people – without stigma and without shame. We need to encourage people in remote communities to test for STIs and BBVs. This starts with educating people in remote communities about STIs and BBVs and getting whole communities involved in getting rates down.

These resources have been developed and collated by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute as part of two initiatives funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health:

  • the Remote STI and BBV Project, Young, deadly, STI and BBV free
  • the Young, deadly, syphilis free campaign

There are resources for young people in remote Aboriginal communities, as well as resources for parents, Elders, teachers and other community leaders – with tips on how the whole community can work with young people to encourage STI and BBV testing, and knockout STIs and BBVs.

SAHMRI is also developing resources for clinicians working in remote communities, providing links to testing and treatment guidelines and practical tips on engaging with young people on difficult topics such as sex, sexuality, and drug and alcohol use.

Upcoming free community forum: PrEP_SA_NOW!

SAMESH,  April 2017

There has been a lot of community interest in the PrEPX-SA trial. You are invited to an upcoming community forum where a distinguished panel of experts and community members involved in the field will discuss PrEP, a powerful new tool to prevent HIV and the upcoming PrEPX-SA study.

The panel will include:

  • Associate Professor Edwina Wright (Alfred Health)
  • Professor Steve Wesselingh (SAHMRI)
  • Dr Charlotte Bell (Clinic 275)
  • Community membersWHEN: THURSDAY APRIL 27 6 PM – 7.30 PM

    WHERE: 57 HYDE STREET

    FREE – RSVP via email here