The positioning of Aboriginal men’s voice in domestic violence prevention is new. It is an important achievement for Central Australia and is leading the way in domestic violence strategies nationally.
The ground breaking men’s group Uti Kulintjaku (to listen, think & understand clearly) Watiku (belonging to men) made up from Aboriginal (Anangu) men from the NPY lands are coming together to prevent family violence and talk and support young people’s wellbeing in remote communities.
The group was born from NPY Women’s Council’s (NPYWC) Ngangkari (traditional healing) program. NPYWC is one of Central Australia’s leading health, social and cultural service providers to the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in Central Australia. It is traditionally led by women’s law, authority and culture. Family & domestic violence programs and conversations are often the domain of women. Now respected Anangu men are entering into the conversation to learn and create impact in their communities.
It’s a very powerful message that was sent to the men, and that is, “we know you care deeply about the experience of children, the experience of women, and the experience of men. We need you to be part of the considerations and you can help us understand what else we can do in community. Maybe through that you’ll find ways that you can contribute to the solution.” That’s what they’ve done. That invitation… to me it was a symbolic, systemic disruption. Health professional Uti Kulintjaku Team Member
The project is an Anangu led collaboration based on learning reciprocity between the men and health professionals. Workshops are conducted in the men’s first language and value both Anangu and Western knowledge and concepts. This enables the Anangu men to develop their language around trauma and family violence so they can effectively enter into those conversations at a family, community, regional and national level.
“We are building something strong. Uti Kulintjaku is a way of us trying to find that way of helping those young fellas; being able to show them the right way to that they can go forward well.” Anangu Uti Kulnintjaku Mens’ Team Member