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Dealing with family violence in Indigenous communities

Tuesday 6th of June 2006

The Anglican Counselling Service (ACS) in partnership with the Violence Against Women’s Strategy has conducted a two day Women’s Healing and Yarning Workshop at the Coledale Community Centre to address the issue of family violence in indigenous communities.


Guest Speaker was Min Mia (Maureen Smith) from the Waradgeri people in central NSW. The workshop included both indigenous and non-indigenous women from around the region.


ACS counsellor Jenny Regan said, “Min discussed the emotional effects of the colonisation of Australia and the taking of children of the aboriginal people over successive generations. The group learned much from the re-telling of very different personal stories from two members of the stolen generation.”


The second day focussed on the way the accumulated anger over what has happened to the indigenous people can be triggered by many situations for Aboriginal people. Min said, “This anger can be passed down the generations. It is often turned in upon loved family members.”


Jenny Regan said, “Min discussed what women can do now about the physical and sexual violence in aboriginal communities. She stressed that there was a role for each age of women to take in dealing with this problem and that they couldn’t wait for DOCS or the Police to solve the problem. The younger women need to challenge the behaviour of their men and educate the children about the wrong behaviour, teaching them to call for help. The younger women should be supported by the older women when they do this.”


Jenny said that “Min stressed that the people need to let go of the past and not hang onto old grudges so that children are not fighting their mother’s wars.

According to Jenny, Min’s philosophy can be summed up as “greeting each day as an opportunity to do something good for someone”.


The Anglican Counselling Service covered the cost of the workshop courtesy of funding from the Australian Government’s Indigenous Family Violence Regional Activities Programme.


For More Information Contact:

Anglican Counselling Service (Diocese of Armidale)
PO Box 3052 Tamworth 2340
Tel: (02) 6762 4380
FAX: (02) 6762 5740
Internet: acsdarm@acsdarm.org.au


Authorised: Rev Brian Kirk, Executive Director

6 June, 2006

Phone contact: (02) 6762 4380

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