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Aboriginal-led family violence services

The service is designed to be culturally safe and culturally responsive. It was developed through a self-determined process with community consultation.

Aboriginal family violence services 

Family violence services for Aboriginal people are being delivered under Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way, the key Aboriginal-led Victorian Agreement that commits community, services and government to strengthening the lives of Aboriginal people, families and communities and to enable people to live free from family violence.

Services are community-driven, Aboriginal-designed and led. They help people to navigate the family violence service system and walk alongside them until they are safely connected with specialist services that meet their needs.

Two new services have been established in the Bayside Peninsula and Barwon areas to support Aboriginal people affected by family violence. The services are for women, children and men, non-Aboriginal family members and non-Aboriginal parents or carers of Aboriginal children.  

The services are designed to be culturally safe and culturally responsive. They were developed through a self-determined process with community consultation as a complementary service model to The Orange Door.

Services are fully staffed by Aboriginal workforces.

The Bayside Peninsula service opened in July 2023 and is operated by the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), a state-wide Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) servicing children, young people, families, and community members that has protected and promoted the rights of Aboriginal children and families for over 45 years.

The Barwon service opened in October 2023 and is operated by Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative which was incorporated in 1981 and provides culturally appropriate programs and services.

These Aboriginal-led family violence services are referred to in Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way as Aboriginal Access Points, consultation is underway with communities to select a local name for the first service. 

How the services work 

The services are staffed by an Aboriginal workforce who will walk alongside Aboriginal families to provide culturally responsive services and activities.

Staff will assess risk and community members’ needs, focusing on cultural connection, identifying supports and services, providing cultural advocacy and working with other professionals and services to ensure they receive the right support to keep themselves and their families safe.

Community members can be referred to the Aboriginal-led family violence services through The Orange Door. They can also self-refer and can be referred through a community or other local organisation, or directly through the service provider.  

Help is available by phone, email and face-to-face, and via outreach to Aboriginal communities and groups. See details on the VACCA website for the Bayside Peninsula area service and the and on the Wathaurong website for the Barwon area service

Support is also available through The Orange Door for Aboriginal people experiencing family violence or needing support with child wellbeing.

Future services

A similar service will be established in the Mallee area in 2024.