Focus on Cherbourg integrated service response trial
Cherbourg is located in the South Burnett district of South-East Queensland. It is Queensland’s third largest Aboriginal community, and has a committed network of services that are working with local Elders and community members as part of the Integrated Service Response Trial (ISRT). The trials are helping to ensure people affected by domestic and family violence receive consistent support that meets their needs.
Cherbourg was chosen by the Queensland Government as one of three ISRT sites. The trials are part of the Queensland Government’s ongoing commitments to implement recommendations from the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report.
The Cherbourg ISRT officially commenced in October 2016 with a meeting of government partners. At this meeting, the Cherbourg ISR Multi-Agency Governance Group was also formed.
As the Cherbourg ISRT has been progressing with such strong interest and commitment from all partners, work is also well underway in the development of a Community Advisory Group. This group will provide input into the ISRT and ensures that processes, systems, and activities align with cultural protocols for Cherbourg.
A significant milestone was achieved in February this year with a visit from Dr Dubravka Šimonović, who is currently a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. Dr Šimonović visited Cherbourg to learn more about the ISRT and spoke with the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Elders, men’s and women’s groups, and representatives of a number of organisations providing outreach services to the community.
There have been other significant milestones too since the Cherbourg ISRT started, including the holding of workshops.
Recruitment of some Cherbourg ISRT site staff has also taken place. In December 2016, Clowry Kennell was officially appointed to the role Integration Manager. Clowry plays a central coordination role in the Cherbourg ISRT.
Establishment of a High Risk Team (HRT) has also occurred. Generally, HRTs are teams that consist of officers from all agencies with a role in keeping victims safe and holding perpetrators to account. HRTs include membership from, for example, police, health, corrections and domestic violence services.
Having worked closely with stakeholders including Cherbourg’s community leaders, council and service providers, the HRTs are able to design responses and actions that are the best ‘fit’ for the community.
The government has commissioned the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research to evaluate each of the three ISRTs in Queensland. This will be a staged evaluation, with the first stage expected to be completed by 30 June 2017.