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Joint Media Statement on preventing family violence and child abuse in indigenous families [by] the Prime Minister the Hon John Howard, MP and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Clare Martin, MLA.\n



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P R I M E M I N I S T E R

C A N B E R R A

C H I E F M I N I S T E R

N O R T H E R N T E R R I T O R Y ,

C L A R E M A R T I N M L A

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT

PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE IN INDIGENOUS FAMILIES

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments today announced their joint commitment to introduce two new measures aimed at reducing and preventing family violence and child abuse in indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

The projects involve different levels of government and local communities working together to address family violence and child abuse in indigenous families.

One project supports planning and establishing community patrols to build community vigilance and support for the members of indigenous families who may experience violence at home. Twelve community patrols will be established over the life of the project, four each year. The implementation will involve participatory planning to establish the most appropriate community patrol model (for example, policing or early intervention, day or night patrol, foot patrol or other).

The second uses the Stop it…before it starts! kit to ensure that indigenous young people know that family violence and sexual assault are unacceptable and to help them develop strategies to reject violent relationships. The kit is designed to be used by teachers and community workers and is targeted to 12 to 15 year olds in schools and local communities.

The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, and Northern Territory Chief Minister, Ms Clare Martin, reaffirmed their commitment to addressing family violence and child abuse in indigenous communities following the conclusion of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra today.

Mr Howard said ‘At COAG today all jurisdictions agreed that stopping family violence and child abuse in indigenous families is crucial and serious progress will only be made through a concerted national effort. I welcome Ms Martin’s strong commitment to delivering practical measures to address this concern in the Northern Territory.

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‘These projects take forward the work from my July 2003 roundtable with indigenous leaders on indigenous family violence and are solid examples of what will be funded under the Australian Government’s Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Programme announced in the 2004-05 Budget ($37.3 million over four years). The success of this programme relies on different levels of government working together, and with local communities, to break the cycle of family violence.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Ms Martin, said ‘Given the NT’s large indigenous population and the level of disadvantage experienced in remote communities, it is expected that further quality projects will be funded under the programme.

‘The $160,000 for Stop it…before it starts! and $360,000 to assist with planning and community patrols is a welcome start in the allocation of this funding.

‘The two projects build on the Territory’s Aboriginal Family Violence Strategy based on conversations with over 550 Aboriginal Territorians. Through the projects we are making a commitment that can only be successful if local indigenous communities are also committed to making them work.

‘The new partnerships developed through these projects - between different levels of government, local indigenous communities and private organisations - will be a model for working in new and innovative ways to improve programmes and services for indigenous Australians.’

25 June 2004