Grassroots engagement with Palm Island community

As Queensland progresses on the journey of tackling domestic and family violence, the unique needs of Indigenous communities are being considered through a range of initiatives, such as the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s (DPC) recent grassroots engagement pilot.

The department engaged Carbon Creative—an Indigenous owned and operated communications agency—to undertake the pilot in the Palm Island community earlier this year. With the support of Indigenous facilitators, local Elders and community organisations the team ran three discussion workshops for men, women and youth where participants could share their views on domestic and family violence issues.

The workshops also provided Carbon Creative with an opportunity to gather information on how community members are engaging with local domestic and family violence services and discuss what the Palm Island community needs to reduce instances of domestic and family violence.

The workshops were well-received by local residents, attracting 77 attendees. Importantly, the feedback from participants indicated that residents were aware of, and knew how to access, local services. Men and boys on the island recognise the issue of domestic and family violence and want change. For men and boys, culture, pride and community mentors are important elements in addressing domestic and family violence at the grassroots level. The key message from the women of Palm Island is that they want to talk about domestic and family violence; they want to share stories and discuss the issues that affect them and their families.