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Indigenous youth: resources

Good practice in Indigenous family violence prevention: Designing and evaluating successful programs

Good practice in Indigenous family violence prevention is an issues paper prepared for the Australian Domestic Violence Clearinghouse by Paul Memmott, Catherine Chambers, Carroll Go-Sam and Linda Thomson of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre at the University of Queensland. It can be downloaded in PDF or WORD format from the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse website: http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/Publications.htm

The aim of the issues paper was 'to consider the current state of good practice with regard to projects or programs aimed at reducing family violence', to reflect on successful programs and analyse why they were successful, and to 'provide a set of ideas and strategies for good practice based on learning from both Australian and international Indigenous projects and programs'. Programs examined in the paper include New Zealand's Ngati Porou Community Injury Prevention Project, the Kanuhkwene Project for Oneida Women in Wisconsin, USA, and the Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre in Western Australia.

The authors conclude that the state of good practice in addressing Indigenous family violence 'is only emerging in Australia, partly due to the escalation of the problem over the past 25 years and the relative lack of independent evaluations of individual projects and programs'. The authors 'suspect that good practices are widespread, if not sporadic, in the Indigenous family violence sector, but due to the priorities of addressing this problem, Indigenous service providers are seldom able or even motivated to document these practices. What is also clear is that there are so many ingredients and elements to running a good practice project in this field that it is unusual (and probably unreasonable) to expect to find a project that is executed proficiently in all of its dimensions and goals'. To sustain 'multiple projects with an integrated and holistic approach' in the long term, the authors emphasise the need to 'plan across generations and to organise resources, service provision, training and skills transfer at regional, state and national levels, as well as involving multiple partnerships between Indigenous communities, government and non-government sectors'.

(Source: Memmott, P., Chambers, C., Go-Sam, C. & Thomson, L., 2006, 'Good practice in indigenous family violence prevention -- Designing and evaluating successful programs', Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse Issues Paper 11, University of NSW, pp.1-36.)