“It’s important to understand the importance of healing in our work. While mainstream focus on behaviour, which is understandable, we’re trying to address both healing and behaviour.
It’s a different space. Aboriginal people carry a big weight, issues like racism, colonisation and the stolen generation. We’re trying to address all those issues as well as change the cycle of violence.
It’s only once we address this trauma that we can move onto accountability and responsibility,”
said Alan Thorpe, Director of Dardi Munwurro
Before men can stop being violent Alan Thorpe, Director of Dardi Munwurro and Lionel Dukakis Programs Manager of Ngarra Jarranounith Place believe men must heal the trauma in their life.
Picture above (L-R) Lionel Dukakis, John Byrne and Alan Thorpe
They will be one of the many presenters at this year’s OCHRE DAY, Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne who will touch upon one of our key focus areas for this year – Innovative: identifying gaps in service delivery, considering new ideas and testing new approaches towards continuous quality improvement.
Background Dardi Munwurro: Bringing out the best in Aboriginal men, for stronger communities article from No To Violence Website
Established in the year 2000, Dardi Munwurro provides group leadership training programs in Family Violence, specifically tailored to Aboriginal men and youth.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women lead and support their families, communities and fellow Australians every week of every year.
It’s because of these women and their children, that organisations like Dardi Munwurro, who work directly with men to stop their use of violence, now exist. ‘Building stronger families and safer communities’ is indeed the Dardi Munwurro vision.
A vision best achieved by connecting with the heart and mind of an Aboriginal man who uses violence.
For Alan Thorpe, Director of Dardi Munwurro and Board Member of ‘No to Violence’, tackling a problem head on is an approach he’s used well both on and off the sporting field, having played in the AFL in the early 1980s for both Sydney and Footscray.
Not long after football, Alan sought after a deeper meaning, for both himself and the men in his community. With not much else but a mobile phone and a car, Alan began visiting Aboriginal men that had lost their way in life, men disconnected with their identity and angry with the world and those around them. The approach, which has naturally been refined over the years, was simple: Heal the man, stop the violence.
Over countless kilometres and conversations, Alan and John have little by little accumulated the support and trust of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working to break the cycle of violence in communities.
Most of the team are men’s healing and behaviour change facilitators who work regularly with Indigenous and non-indigenous psychologists, family violence advisory councils and legal services.
Lionel Dukakis, a Gunditjmara man from southwestern Victoria, is Programs Manager of Ngarra Jarranounith Place – a residential healing program for Aboriginal men using violence – a world first.
Supported by the Victorian Government and the Collingwood Football Club, the 12-16 week program uses therapeutic family violence and personal development programs to engage men, while supporting women and children to safely restore their own lives.
“Mainstream services aren’t yet equipped to address cultural losses in a safe environment” says Alan. “I know of a situation where a discussion in a men’s behaviour change program that ran during Australia Day week, caused conflict between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants. Because of that conflict, four Aboriginal men left the group and never came back. That right there is the difference” says Alan.
‘No to Violence’ is working with Aboriginal experts in men’s family violence in the development of the new practice manual for Men’s Behaviour Change Program (MBCP) facilitators and will be developing new training courses in the coming months to support the culturally safe delivery of MBCPs.
Dardi Munwurro sees the rebuilding of cultural identity and the identification of emotional strength among its participants as central to its programs. Men in these Healing and Behaviour Change Programs attend camps where they participate in therapeutic healing circles, work with Elders and learn the skills to plan for a future with healthy, respectful relationships.
To read the full article open LINK HERE
For more information on Dardi Munwurro and its programs, please visit their website dardimunwurro.com.au or call 1800 435 799.