Posted on: 19-06-2017 | Category: General

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that it is one of only seven organisations in the state to receive funding for new approaches to break the cycle of domestic and family violence.

NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward announced today that Maari Ma would receive $1million over 2 years as part of the government’s Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund.

In addition, Maari Ma has received $100,000 over two years from the national Healing Foundation.

Maari Ma Chief Executive Officer, Bob Davis said the program being funded is a healing program which is called Kalypi Paaka Mirika: Clear River Ahead Healing Program Far West NSW.

“We’ve been working with the University of New South Wales for a number of years on the Community Safety Research Project (CSRP) which has been investigating individual, family and community violence in the Aboriginal communities of Broken Hill, Wilcannia and Menindee.

“More than 300 interviews have guided the development of the CSRP and the Kalypi Paaka Mirika Healing Program is the result of these local investigations.

“We found that there are many causes of domestic and family violence such as intergenerational disadvantage and trauma, socio-economic influences and extensive grief and loss.

“We also found that violence is often normalised in Aboriginal communities. Kalypi Paaka Mirika challenges this and equips Aboriginal people to recognise these behaviours as not normal and to do something about them.

“The program does this by helping Aboriginal people to understand their circumstances by looking at local culture and history, and focussing on their positive aspects while at the same time helping Aboriginal people to develop the skills to deal with stressors that may lead to violence.

“Our point of difference with other healing programs is its grass roots engagement, our local connections and that it’s been informed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.

“It’s very much a new way of thinking, working and collaborating” Mr Davis said.

Mr Davis said the announcement of the funding for the healing program this week is significant as it comes not long after Reconciliation Week.

“Reconciliation refers to bringing together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians, and has elements of truth and justice, as well as forgiveness and healing.
“The idea of “healing” for Aboriginal people is not new - the Apology to the Stolen Generations for example was an important step at a broad community level, however individual healing continues to be an issue.

“We would like to see the majority of Aboriginal people in our region take part in the healing program which will hopefully lead to generational change – as children no longer grow up in households where violence is normalised the cycle of violence will be broken.
“It is through that generational change that we will be able to see healing sustained.

“We thank the NSW Government for funding Kalypi Paaka Mirika and we would like to acknowledge the national Healing Foundation which has made a contribution towards the development of this program, and is participating in the evaluation of its implementation” Mr Davis said.

19th June 2017

Available for interview
Manager Community Services and programs
Justin Files
08 8082 9888