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Indigenous Family Violence Summit a good first step.



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

Media Releases

Indigenous Family Violence Summit a Good First Step

23/7/2003

ATSIC Commissioner Alison Anderson said today’s Indigenous Family Violence Summit with the Prime Minister should be seen as the ‘first step towards a path of hope and recovery for Indigenous people.’

“I was very impressed with the Prime Minister’s sincerity in listening to our concerns,” Commissioner Anderson said.

“He sees the need for a new approach and we support this view - family violence has become a national crisis in Aboriginal communities and we need a national co-ordinated approach, where we work with government, to bring it to an end.”

Commissioner Anderson said she was pleased she had been chosen to work with a small group to develop a new approach on family violence for the Prime Minister to take to COAG.

She said ATSIC can and should play a lead role across government by co-ordinating the Commonwealth’s efforts to address family violence.

“ATSIC, through its Regional Councils, would remain committed to addressing the scourge of family violence that has gripped so many communities.

“Violence in our communities is common but the solutions are not - we have to engage more with people at the grass roots level, solve the crisis and sustain our efforts for the longer term.

“We need to show strong leadership on an issue that is poisoning our communities.

“We are good people with strong family values - violence is not part of our culture - but we are losing the battle to keep our women and children safe.

“We need to turn off the grog taps and the petrol taps and remove the temptation that has turned family member against family member.

“We need a mix of approaches - of proactive and reactive methods and responses that target different ages and sexes - and we need programs that are community driven.

“If we give control back to our communities, only then will we see results,” she said.

Media Contact: Grant Gilluley 0418 413 274