You are here: Home / Media / Apology brings chance to end family violence

Apology brings chance to end family violence

ABORIGINAL Australians from all over NSW and Victoria gathered at Redfern last week to help improve support services for Aboriginal men, following the Federal Government's historic apology to the stolen generations reports Lisa Capozzi in Central of 20 February 2008.

The forum, hosted by the Redfern Babana Aboriginal Mens Group, identified the need for a national Aboriginal men's family violence forum as a priority.

Chairman of the Babana Group, Mark Spinks, said key messages from the discussions would be sent to state and federal governments for consideration. "It is time to leave the old hone size fits all' mainstreaming approach behind,' Mr Spinks said. "It has not helped Aboriginal communities in the past and will not work in the future.

"Aboriginal communities need to be properly supported and Aboriginal men in those communities need to be empowered and given opportunities to develop their own practical solutions to the issues affecting Aboriginal men and their families and their communities."

He said men's groups, men's spaces, time-out spaces and healing centres were an important cultural part of the solution.

"Aboriginal men can stop the cycle of abuse in their communities but need support and resources to enable them to make this happen," Mr Spinks said.

"As a priority federal, state and local governments should support a national Aboriginal men’s family violence forum where Aboriginal men can identify broad principles which they can take back to their own communities."

The University of NSW has also revealed a Iand-mark plan detailing how to help those affected the stolen generations.

Compensation, programs aimed at individual and group healing, and a special keeping place where important photos, records or other items can be safely archived, are among the urgent actions.

The plan, based on four years' work, focuses on men who were sent to the Kinchela Boys' Home the North Coast.

It is hoped that it will be used as a blueprint by other members of the stolen generations.

"This is the first time that the men have been given the opportunity to take control of their own futures," said Redfern pastor Ray Minniecon, who was involved in the project.

"It is based on the need for justice.

"Nearly all the boys to come out of Kinchela went straight to jail - that's no accident."