About Us

In understanding Indigenous personal violence, Barbara Miller (1990b), writing on behalf of the Aboriginal Coordinating Council in Queensland, highlighted a number of causal factors for consideration:

… socialisation, structural variables and parenting style factors such as compensatory machoism (an attitude that boys can develop in absent-father households); a view of the environment as sentencing due to discrimination; availability of aggressive models; learned helplessness and lack of perceived control over the environment; the development of aggressive habits and beliefs, poor self-esteem; psychological reactive and confrontational coping mechanisms, all contribute in varying ways to Aboriginal intracultural aggression and violence. Socialisation of Aboriginal children, in particular boys, in a colonised discriminatory environment has led to the above individual factors interacting with frustration and conflict to cause aggression and violence. (Miller 1990b:314.)

This project forms part of our vision to deliver a healing model for men who use violence through the Aboriginal Male’s Healing Centre, Strong Spirit Strong Families Strong Culture (AMHC).

AMHC is a service delivery model that will consist of two key components: a residential centre for Aboriginal men who use violence; and a holistic outreach healing service focusing on prevention and early intervention in our community. The residential components will offer placements for up to 28 clients for 12 months with live-in programs and counselling, and transitionary residential options including more independent living arrangements on site. Both components are consistent with findings of a significant bank of research conducted over the past five years.

Underpinning the development and implementation of the AMHC model is Aboriginal Culture & Lore as the key healing element. Controlled by Aboriginal people, the
AMHC will be developed and delivered by Elders and offer opportunity for Aboriginal men who use violence to remain on Country and reconnect with their Culture. The AMHC will offer a holistic approach to healing, over an extended period of time, so that at the end of the healing period the men will have life skills, a sense of responsibility, meaningful employment, and good physical health and be emotionally and spiritually strong.

The long term vision of the AMHC is to ensure that all Aboriginal people in the Pilbara region live safe and healthy lives free of violence.

The social, economic and cultural benefits of reducing family and domestic violence are far reaching. A study commissioned by the Commonwealth Government in 2009 shows the enormous economic costs of violence on our communities, with domestic violence and sexual assault perpetrated against women costing in excess of $13.6 billion each year.

The emotional and personal costs of violence against women cannot be measured and the effects reach all levels of society. The social, economic and cultural benefits of reducing such violence in the Pilbara are even more profound.

Summarily, the intermediate service delivery outcomes include:

  • Greater awareness of, and reduced acceptance of family and violence
  • Indigenous communities and individuals have increased skills and knowledge to address family violence
  • Improved integration of culturally appropriate family violence services
  • Improved access to support services

Summarily, the intermediate program outcomes include:

  • Social norms against family violence are strengthened and endorsed by the community in and around Newman
  • Increased access to and timely provision of integrated services for perpetrators and victims;
  • Increased connection with Culture & LoreThere are, of course, a huge number of social, cultural and economic benefits of reducing family violence through a holistic, culturally appropriate, locally driven model. A cost benefit analysis of the projects demonstrates significant cost savings.

As described in the Business Plan, the funding options for ongoing costs, cost savings associated with diversion from prison decreased reliance on women’s refuge, exceeds the estimated operating costs of the facility. There are, of course, a range of other benefits associated with successfully running the facility, including savings for our health system, increases in productivity from employability, and savings from social services.