THE state government is working with Aboriginal communities to establish a new, Aboriginal-led service to support Aboriginal people affected by family violence on the Mornington Peninsula and in Frankston.
The new service, Bayside Aboriginal Access Point, will be staffed by members of an Aboriginal workforce known as Journey Walkers who will provide culturally safe support for Aboriginal families.
“This innovative new approach to walking alongside our people in their journey towards healing will mean those impacted by family violence get the support and response that is right for them when they need it most,” the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Muriel Bamblett said.
The Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Ros Spence last week announced that the service would be a first point of contact, offering counselling, accommodation referrals, behaviour change programs and financial support services.
“It’s crucial that we support access to Aboriginal-led family violence support to ensure that Aboriginal families can get the culturally safe and effective help they need to live free from family violence,” Spence said.
Services would be provided face-to-face, by phone, email and walk-ins and include outreach support to Aboriginal communities and groups.
The service is one of three Aboriginal-designed and led family violence services financed with $2.6 million from the state government and run by the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.
A news release from Spence said the services were a product of the Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way strategy, the Aboriginal-led Victorian agreement that committed community, services and government to strengthening the lives of Aboriginal people, families and communities and ensuring Aboriginal people lived free from family violence.
The government says it has provided more than $50 million since 2021 to support culturally safe services to prevent and respond to family violence and advance Aboriginal self-determination and to strengthen Aboriginal-led family and sexual violence service delivery.
The offices of Bayside Aboriginal Access Point (AAP) are in Nepean Highway, Frankston, phone 8796 0700. Details: vacca.org/page/services/family-violence/bayside-aboriginal-access-point
First published in the Frankston Times – 1st August 2023