Mount Isa Integrated Service Response trial partners with local Elders
The Mount Isa Domestic and Family Violence integrated service response trial is working in partnership with local Elders through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Advisory Group to ensure culturally appropriate responses for Indigenous victims and their children.
An integrated service response is an innovative approach to domestic and family violence, integratingthe services and responses provided by government, non-government and community organisations into a coordinated response with shared goals to ensure victims’ safety and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Advisory Group was set up to support the Mount Isa trial and provide support and advice to the Domestic and Family Violence Action Group, a community-led group with a vision of stopping domestic and family violence in Mount Isa and its surrounding communities.
Members of the advisory group are also Murri Court Elders, an Indigenous justice program run by the Magistrate Courts. As a result, these Elders have a deep understanding of traditional and community justice systems and referral pathways for local domestic and family violence offenders.
The Elders provide invaluable advice on cultural matters which helps the Mount Isa High Risk Team and the Domestic and Family Violence Action Group build cultural capability and awareness when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims, perpetrators and their families.
Mount Isa is situated on the traditional lands of the Kalkadoon people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people account for over 13% of the population, which is three times the national average. While the main language group is Kalkadoon, local people speak a diverse range of languages in Mount Isa and its neighbouring communities.
Improving the cultural awareness of the members of the High Risk Team assists to build the cultural capacity of their members’ respective agencies. The aim is to ensure more culturally appropriate support is given to the Mount Isa community from the agencies providing a response to domestic and family violence.
The Mount Isa trial has also formed a greater focus on the potential linkage between domestic and family violence services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice programs.
The partnership was facilitated by and receives ongoing support from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP).
In developing this partnership, DATSIP is helping to ensure the DFV Integrated Service Response in Mount Isa and surrounds is culturally inclusive and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples.