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Working Together for Families

Since Celeste Stephens, Pilbara manager for the WA Council of Social Service (WACOSS) began working with the Newman Futures and Hedland Collective teams on the newly formed Pilbara Family and Domestic Violence Network project (or Pilbara FDV Network), a great deal of work has already been achieved.

From support and advocacy, applying for funding for men’s programs, investigating men’s behaviour change programmes to adapt to diverse Pilbara communities, influencing state policies through peak bodies and government agencies and looking for suitable and culturally appropriate mentoring programs, in just a few months the network has already made progress on actions that will make a real difference.

With over twenty organisations involved, it was incredibly important that the Pilbara FDV Network had a strong strategy in place from the outset to ensure each organisation can not only access a range of resources, but understand how one another works in order to provide holistic wrap around services for the community.

To inform the network’s strategy, 34 Pilbara based stakeholders who support people who have lived experience with Family and Domestic Violence were interviewed to understand their experiences, what resources were available and where the needs and gaps lie. Amongst others, these interviews showed a need for:

  • More collaboration and information sharing between agencies – enabling a wrap-around service
  • Increased opportunity for men to engage in positive support networks and adapting behaviour change programs for perpetrators of violence.
  • An enhanced understanding of the Inter-relatedness between mental health, alcohol and other drug use and family and domestic violence.

Key learnings from these interviews, coupled with an audit of already available resources in the Pilbara, enabled five key priority areas to be consolidated, so that together, we are able to tackle the complex issue and achieve both early and long-term results.

The priority areas include:

Community Wise

  • Which is all about helping to raise awareness and educate the community about family and domestic violence and how they can respond

Positive Masculinity

  • With a focus on growing boys and men who have a clear understanding of what is a good strong man

Change for Good

  • Which focusses on resourcing programs that bring about permanent behaviour change in people who have committed acts of family and domestic violence

United Services

  • Which looks at better coordinating the many services that are required to really support survivors and victims of family and domestic violence

Foundations

  • Which ensures the Pilbara Family Domestic Violence Network is being effective in coordination, advocacy and unlocking resources for the sector.

For WACOSS, Newman Futures and the Hedland Collective, our work is now in facilitation – liaising between members and potential stakeholders, identifying funding sources and training possibilities, and advocating for the work of the network.

For more information on the Pilbara FDV Network or how you can get involved, contact Celeste Stephens at pilbara@wacoss.org.au.

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