A $20 million funding envelope of combined NSW and Commonwealth Government funds has been allocated under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to halve the rate of family violence against First Nations women and children by 2031.
The funding will support delivery of Target 13 of the National Agreement, which acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should participate in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect their communities so that better life outcomes are achieved.
NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jodie Harrison said the funding will support Department of Communities and Justice led projects across three primary areas:
- Self Determination – where solutions are led by Aboriginal people and communities with a focus on long term and generational change.
- Prevention – where violence and abuse against Aboriginal women and children is prevented through early intervention.
- Integrated Services – where recovery is encouraged and supported through an integrated service system that provides wholistic healing with wrap-around support for Aboriginal women, children and men.
“The National Closing the Gap Agreement recognises that structural change in the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed to address current limitations. This is something our government is strongly invested in,” Ms Harrison said.
“Working with our First Nations groups on achieving positive change and improving outcomes is critical if we are to work towards not only halving the current rate of domestic, family and sexual violence within our Indigenous communities over the next decade, but also our continued work towards bringing that number down to zero.”
Chief Executive Christine Robinson of Wirringa Baiya, a key Aboriginal legal service provider in Marrickville supporting auspice for the Aboriginal Women’s Advisory Network, said the funding was a great start to addressing some of the major inequities faced by Indigenous groups in NSW.
“Early intervention changes the trajectory for Aboriginal women, children and families and this is a key focus area for our organisation,” Ms Robinson said.
“Our initiatives will include support for Aboriginal men’s healing, cultural connection, and addressing socio-economic needs; including residential therapeutic healing on country and child-centred support and services for children and young people who have experienced violence or abuse with all work undertaken to be trauma informed.”