Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Pilot Project to Tackle Indigenous Family Violence

    12/01/2001 7:46 PM

    The first pilot project established under the Federal Government’s national strategy to address indigenous family violence was announced today.

    Federal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister Senator John Herron and Western Australian Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Kim Hames jointly announced that a pilot project to tackle indigenous family violence would be trialled at Meekatharra, 950 kilometres north east of Perth in Western Australia.

    Indigenous women are nationally 20 times more likely than other women to be hospitalised as a result of violence. Federal Government funding of $103,000 will be provided over two years to employ a project officer to investigate the underlying factors behind the community’s family violence issues and to formulate strategies to combat the problem.

    “The trial project, to start in April or May, will enable the Meekatharra community to develop their own solutions. Meekatharra has shown great courage and leadership in recognising its problems and working together to develop local solutions. With strong government commitment and support, significant steps can be taken in overcoming family violence,” Senator Herron said.

    The project in Meekatharra is the first of a number of projects being trialled in each state under the National Strategy to Reduce Indigenous Family Violence. All Commonwealth and State Ministers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs agreed to the National Strategy in 1999.

    The trial project is supported by funding under the first stage of the National Indigenous Family Violence Grants Programme jointly announced by Senator Jocelyn Newman, the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Senator Herron late last year as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Strategy.

    Dr Hames said local government agencies were keen for the Meekatharra project to be driven by the Aboriginal community which had been integrally involved in the planning process.

    “This initiative began with a group of local people who wanted to make a difference in their community by putting in a submission for Commonwealth funding with the help of the Western Australia Aboriginal Affairs Department,” Dr Hames said.

    “It is difficult to think of a more important issue in indigenous affairs”.

    Media Contacts:
    Gary Kent, Senator Herron’s Office (02) 6277 7620
    Sandy Gater, Dr Kim Hames’ Office (08) 9424 7450