A new, innovative approach to connecting people experiencing family and domestic violence with the services and support they need has been launched in the Goldfields.
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk toured the completed ‘one-stop hub’ in Kalgoorlie today ahead of service delivery commencing on Monday, December 14.
A number of specialised family and domestic violence support services will be made available through the service, which is a first for Western Australia.
A ‘satellite’ service of Mara Birni Healing Place will also operate in Laverton.
By joining highly skilled local service providers with culturally responsive partners, women and families who are at risk of or experiencing family and domestic violence can receive tailored support that considers their individual circumstances.
The hub has been named Mara Birni Healing Place. The word ‘Mara’ translates to ‘hand’ across many Aboriginal languages in the region, promoting inclusion and highlighting the hub’s strong commitment to engaging with Aboriginal women and children in a culturally safe space.
Mara Birni Healing Place is being run by Hope Community Services as part of an ‘alliance’ with partners Ngunytju Tjitji Pirni Aboriginal Corporation, One Tree Community Services, Wanslea Family Services, Aboriginal Legal Service WA and the Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation.
The hub model, which involves a range of specialised support services being provided in one location, also reduces the requirement for women experiencing family and domestic violence to have to ‘tell their story’ numerous times, which is often a traumatic experience.
Support provided from Mara Birni Healing Place will be in four service streams:
- family support, such as a creche, parenting and trauma counselling;
- in-reach services, such as alcohol and other drugs counselling, mental health support, housing support, legal services and financial support;
- out-reach services such as advocacy and support, family and domestic violence education and awareness and system reform; and
- community activities such as education workshops, yarning circles and arts and crafts.
Mara Birni Healing Place will also engage a Men’s Services Coordinator, as the engagement of men is integral to lasting solutions that address family and domestic violence in the community.
The Kalgoorlie service is the first of two family and domestic violence one-stop hubs being delivered by the State Government, with a second hub to open in Mirrabooka soon.
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“Family and domestic violence has a devastating impact on the wellbeing of women and their families, and in many cases affects them for the rest of their lives.
“This one-stop family and domestic violence hub brings together a range of specialist services in a single location, which will enable people experiencing violence to access crucial services and wraparound support sooner.
“We identified a need for a family and domestic violence one-stop hub in the Goldfields in 2017, so I am proud to be opening this completed hub that will assist victims in and around Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Laverton.
“The ‘hub’ model emerged from extensive research and consultation with peak bodies, government agencies, community members, Aboriginal elders and people with lived experience of family and domestic violence.
“With a number of specialist services based in one place, Goldfields women and families who are at risk of or experiencing family and domestic violence will also be able to access services closer to where they live.
“Tragically, Aboriginal women experience family and domestic violence at higher rates than non-Aboriginal women. Mara Birni Healing Place is a much-needed service to engage with Aboriginal women and their families in a safe space.
“Mara Birni Healing Place will also have an important education role and increase awareness of family and domestic violence, while providing a gathering point for people to talk about family and domestic violence and other kinds of community issues in a safe place.”