THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Member for Lingiari
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
14 May 2010
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon today announced $130,000 in Australian Government funding to help combat violence in Central Australian Indigenous communities, at the 2010 Inteyerrkwe Stop the Violence open day, near Alice Springs.
Held at Inteyerrkwe or Ross River, the event is being attended by more than 100 Aboriginal men from communities across Central Australia, and has been organized by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
“Central Australian men have showed great leadership and courage by holding the Inteyerrkwe Stop the Violence event to better understand violence in their communities and talk about ways they could stop it throughout the Centre,” Mr Snowdon said.
“This latest Inteyerrkwe Stop the Violence workshop builds on the 2008 Central Australian Male Health Summit hosted by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
“The Summit was the first formal gathering of almost 400 Aboriginal males from remote communities in Central Australia aimed at creating a safe, healthy environment for their families and communities. These men issued a collective historic apology to Aboriginal women, known as the Inteyerrkwe Statement.”
“The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress is keen to build on this momentum and take action to provide a safe environment for families,” Ms Macklin said.
“The Government is supporting this important work and looks forward to working with Central Australian men to develop solutions..”
The $130,000 funding will:
o Conduct regional meetings to ratify decisions at a grass roots level and consolidate strategies developed by the men showing leadership at the 2010 Inteyerrkwe Stop the Violence event; and
o Develop a communication strategy and promotional material to distribute to families and the community to support the campaign
“I particularly congratulate the convenor of the workshop, John Liddle, the Male Health Manager of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress. It’s good to have Indigenous men together and working on solutions,” Mr Snowdon said.
The Australian Government recognizes that more support needs to be provided to Indigenous men, and earlier this month announced a new $6 million parenting initiative called Strong Fathers, Strong Families for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
“The aim of the Strong Fathers, Strong Families initiative is to strengthen the knowledge, skills and confidence of Indigenous men in their roles as fathers, grandfathers and significant male relatives in the lives of their children,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Involving men in the lives of their children is vital for the child’s health and wellbeing. In particular, fathers provide a critical role model for their children; strengthening their identity; and increasing their resilience to adversity.”
The $6m Strong Fathers, Strong Families initiative will give Indigenous men access to:
o Antenatal programs specifically for men or that include men to support them in preparing for fatherhood;
o Community and group activities and strategies that promote positive, healthy, active fatherhood and grandfatherhood, and the involvement of men in the early development of their children and grandchildren;
o Health promotion information that promotes new fatherhood and grandfatherhood as a motivating factor for self care; and
o Referral and support to attend local parenting, health and related services (eg reproductive health, family wellbeing, counselling, peer support groups) as needed.
In 2008-09, the Government provided $160,000 to the Central Australian Congress to help train Indigenous men in conflict resolution, and to work on cultural development.
Media contact: Alice Plate on 04000 45 999 or 02 6277 7380