Building Safe Communities

Building Safe Communities, Uniting Church Australia

Alison Overeem was part of the Tasmanian delegation at the COAG National Summit to Reduce Violence against Women and Children. She reflects on what it meant to have a First People’s voice on Family Violence and our response to it. 

I was honoured to be part of a strong Tasmanian delegation invited to attend the COAG National Summit to Reduce Violence against Women and Children in Adelaide from 2-3 October, 2018.

The summit will provide advice and direction on the COAG 4th Family Violence Action Plan.

At Leprena (UAICC Tasmnaia) we have run a small but very successful family violence prevention program around stories of survival and the impact on women and children exposed to Family Violence.

On the second day of the Summit I was humbled and proud to stand with my First Peoples brothers and Sisters across the nation to be part of the reading of a statement from First Peoples.

I was proud to stand with mob from across the nation echoing our voice, echoing the need for programs in prevention and response to be culturally safe, culturally driven and culturally relevant.  Informing the 4th National Action plan through the lens of First Peoples.

We do not just want to prevent violence against women and their children we want to be part of the story that STOPS violence against women and children.

This means unpacking the impacts of colonisation on our people, looking at behaviours, responding though a cultural lens, opening up the conversations to have programs to support our women, our children and to engage and bring our men on the journey with us.

Through the work of UAICC Tasmania I was able to be part of the team representing Tasmania and representing the voice of First Peoples.

I am excited to see what future work in awareness, prevention and response we can embed in the life of our UAICC families across the nation and in our UCA families across the nation.

How do we, as communities of faith, work together across this nation to build communities of hope and safety for our First People in a culturally inclusive and holistic way that brings sustainable change?