The Palaszczuk Government is calling on interested organisations to apply for funding to run a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Violence Support Service in the Mackay region.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the new service would increase the support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experiencing domestic and family violence in Mackay and surrounding communities, with $260,000 per annum available.
“We know there are a number of barriers facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children who are affected by domestic and family violence, including access to culturally safe and appropriate support services,” she said.
“This new service will help to change that by providing the help and support victims and their children need, while also working with perpetrators to help them take responsibility for and change their behaviour.
“It will also support the work of the multi-agency domestic and family violence High Risk Team, which has already helped more than 30 people so far.”
Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said while domestic violence affected all communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience DFV at higher rates than some other communities.
“To get those numbers down and reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families affected by domestic and family violence, we need to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in genuine partnership,” she said.
“One of the recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report was that we support services that engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide culturally appropriate support programs, delivered by Indigenous providers.
“Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to determine what, when and how services and responses are needed in their communities will lead to better outcomes for the whole community.
“At the core of all domestic and family violence services, including this new one in Mackay, must be victim safety.”
Ms Farmer said the new service would have the opportunity to partner with existing local domestic and family violence, family wellbeing and other relevant services.
The new service is set to start providing services to clients in April 2020 following a period of consultation to develop the service model, establish the service and undertake staff training.