9th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations – Feb 13th 2017

A genetic study has found that Australia has the oldest living culture in the world passed down from generation to generation for the past 40,000, confirming they may have the oldest continuous culture on the planet.

By 1911, every mainland State and Territory had introduced protection policies that subjected Indigenous people to near-total control and denied them basic human rights such as freedom of movement and labour, custody of their children, and control over their personal property.

Between 1910 and 1970 many children were forcibly taken from their families when the Australian Government initiated the removal of Aboriginal children under these protection policies. These children were taught to reject their heritage and forced to adopt the non-indigenous culture. Their names were changed and they were forbidden to speak their traditional language.

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Rhonda Randall and Sharon Mumbler stand proud with their "Sorry" scarf as Kevin Rudd's Broadcast apology to Aboriginal Peoples of Australia at Penrith Council on February 13, 2008 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by David Hill/Newspix/Getty Images)

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 13: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Rhonda Randall and Sharon Mumbler stand proud with their “Sorry” scarf as Kevin Rudd’s Broadcast apology to Aboriginal Peoples of Australia at Penrith Council on February 13, 2008 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by David Hill/Newspix/Getty Images)

Almost every Aboriginal family has been affected by the forcible removal of one or more children across generations. For many Aboriginal people; their family and community are still coming to terms with the trauma which has caused suffering, loss and heartache.

On the 13th February 2008, Australia’s then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tabled a motion in parliament to apologise to the Indigenous people of Australia and in particular to the Stolen Generations for these laws and policies.


The apology included a proposal of “closing the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians over a range of issues including life expectancy, education and economic opportunities.

“We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendant and for their families left behind”

aboriginal flag




Does the brain hold the key to violence prevention? A reflection for White Ribbon Day by Lucy Van Sambeek. 25th November 2016

White Ribbon Day is all about the prevention of men’s violence against women. Men are key to this prevention project. I see men standing up to say enough is enough. I see men linking arms in solidarity. And I hear of men starting to question the actions of others which denigrate women in public. This is fantastic and necessary. Men must be part of the solution. But the reality is that there are still women and children being exposed to violence at this very moment.
I dream for the day there is no violence. But in the meantime what can we do to prevent the cycle of violence being passed on to the next generation?

If we are talking about real prevention then it begins in conception. It begins in the first 1000 days of the child’s life when the brain is establishing the pathways of connection for life. This is the most critical time in development when a baby growing up in a nurturing, caring, responsive relationship is creating the hardware for a healthy, stable and secure life. It is also the same critical time that a child in a violent family with unsafe or unreliable relationships comes to know what it is like to live with toxic stress.

White Ribbon hand

Science now confirms that events and experiences in the first 3 years is a reliable predictor of the child’s future. Exposure to violence in early childhood increases the risks of the child later dropping out of school, going to jail, turning to alcohol or drugs and even killing themselves.
There is a lot on the line. And to think if we could just keep children safe from violence, they might have the best possible chance of growing up into strong and healthy adults?

This is precisely the kind of work that the Healing Our Children project aims to do. Over the past 16 months HOC has been working on the Tiwi Islands working with groups of women who are pregnant or care for children, who have been exposed to or at risk of witnessing violence. Our group program aims to invite women into a safe and non-shaming conversation about the effects of trauma on children, think about ways they can actively protect children if violent conflict was to occur and explore healing ways to promote recovery, from a neurological and relationship perspective.

white ribbon

It is inside the human brain that the best prevention work can be done and where sometimes irreversible damage can be prevented.

By all means, let’s support and encourage men to continue speaking out about violence against women. Meanwhile, let’s also think of the children. We can stop the cycle by protecting our unborn children and babies from ever knowing what it’s like to feel toxic stress from violence.

For more information about Healing Our Children go to http://www.nt.relationships.org.au/services/healing-our-children-hoc-project

Thoughts on making your children’s needs a priority – September 2016

A concern that often raises its head above others is when parents, step-parents and de facto partners don’t make the needs of their own children, and the children in the new relationship, a priority. The resulting emotional and physical neglect impacts severely on the child’s ability to build a true sense of identity.

blog about kids needs 2

With the high incidence of separation and engagement in new relationships, the new partners often make each other and their new relationship a priority rather than prioritising the needs of the children. Often the complexity of the changing relationships and roles results in emotional confusion for the children involved and these internal conflicts often manifest as behavioural issues.

blog about kids needs

In our work we often observe the following:

  • A new partner competing with the children for attention.
  • Conflict in the new relationship because of the focus by one parent on the needs of the children
  • Financial conflict because of the financial obligations to children of previous relationships
  • Conflict with former partners because of engagement in a new relationship.
  • Children being used by both the separated parties and the new partner as a way to manipulate each other.
  • An ongoing conflict between the separated parents where the children are used as an excuse to punish each other.
  • One parent using any excuse to make the other party’s parenting style appear wrong whilst looking to gain a custodial advantage over that parent.

Some of the needs to focus on to support children to build a healthy sense of who they are:-

  •  Safety: Both a physical and emotional.
  • Learning support: To build the ability to engage in learning.
  • Trusting relationships: Love and connection that is emotionally safe.
  • Predictability: Patterns and routines that are stable and predictable where transitions         are well  managed.

Each child is a unique and valuable developing human being. You teach them their worth in the mirror of your relationship with them. They deserve the best.

Are you doing that?

Family Relationship Centre marks 10 years in the NT

cake cutting

A mediation service designed to assist families going through separation has marked ten years in the Northern Territory. Set up as one of the first fifteen Family Relationship Centres in Australia, the Darwin-based service has been run by Relationships Australia NT since it was established by the Australian Government following changes in the Family Law Act in 2006.

Group shot 3 yes

These changes meant that from July 2007 onwards, family dispute resolution was compulsory in all suitable cases prior to applying to the courts for orders. The development of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients has been extremely important and Northern Territory staff have lead the way with research and modelling for best practice in mediation with Aboriginal families. Relationships Australia marked the tenth anniversary of the Darwin Family Relationship centre with a special lunch on Monday 29th August, featuring guest presenter acclaimed clinical child psychologist, family therapist and research consultant Professor Jennifer McIntosh.

Jenn Speaking good one

Professor McIntosh outlined the latest research on divorce and its impact on children in her presentation ‘Children’s Outcomes in conflicted Family Separation and Pathways of Prevention: the Current Evidence’ This presentation outlined current research on the complex relationships between divorce and conflict exposures in childhood, and life-course outcomes, and emphasised the place for timely intervention in supporting parental focus and responsive co-parenting through child inclusive practice.

frc 10 year anniversary 005


Professor McIntosh also held a one day Young Children in Divorce & Separation workshop with child-inclusive teams from Relationships Australia NT and Anglicare Resolve. This program, developed by Professor McIntosh and Children Beyond Dispute, provides information about early development and targets the important developmental considerations for separated parents. It also provides insights into the complexities for children of living in family conflict and separation, the range of challenges these children carry with them into the learning environment and opportunities for parents in accompanying the child through the separation journey.

frc 10 year anniversary 024

Andrew Harkin’s Body Centred Trauma Work – September 2016

Andrew Harkin is a clear thinking practitioner with decades of experience as a GP and psychotherapist in Ireland, Europe and America. He now works at a clinic in Western Australia. He is devoted to body centred practice, a bottom up collection of practices that can be used to complement existing top down therapies to support integration for clients who experience hyper or hypo arousal. Andrew is committed to helping clients learn more about their symptoms and use body work to help shift trauma. He works to help them expand their window of tolerance and increase the quality of their daily lived experience.

Andrew Harkin pictured here with RANT CEO, Marie Morrison

Andrew and Marie

He presented a 3 day training Darwin in early March 2016 Working with Trauma – An Advanced Therapeutic Workshop for Counsellors. On the first day Andrew covered the theoretical frameworks, understandings on which we could then base some more practice centred ideas. He is a unique practitioner in that he has the education, experience, and knowledge to scientifically prove why and how previously thought ‘alternative’ therapies including tapping, meditation and mindfulness tangibly help clients. He skilfully lead us through exercises we could practice first for ourselves, then with our clients.

As a body centred trauma practitioner, his focus is on symptoms and evidence. His favourite question is How do you know that? He then investigates further…What in your body tells you? Where exactly do you feel it? How does it feel? What would you describe it as? Pain, emptiness, pressure? Heavy or light? dark or bright? Round or square? Smooth or rough? In this way, he helps the client very specifically describe the sensation in the body where the trauma is being held. This awareness helps the body begin to know how to heal itself. The body work can help the client to start to integrate the traumatic experience without having to talk about the trauma itself.

Andrew is a charismatic and dynamic presenter with a humour all his own, from fire fighting stories to bird metaphors. Clinical staff attending said the training was “inspirational” and exceeded their expectations. Participants said they enjoyed the opportunity to look at trauma through a body centred lens. Useful learning included the biology of trauma, symptom tracking, mindfulness, experiential exercises and the window of tolerance as a tool for work with clients. One participant noted

“I will pay more attention to what is happening in my body as well as the body in front of me in the counselling room.”

In addition to relevant theory, the training was full of practical tips and suggestions for ways to work with clients living with the effects of trauma. Clinical staff spoke of deep insights and a fresh understanding of the value of body work. Many expressed their enthusiasm for Andrew to come back to present phase 2 work for us. Bringing Andrew to Darwin to share his knowledge with us was a valuable exercise and we would recommend Andrew Harkin to any other Relationships Australia.

Darwin staff cultural tour August 2016

The Aboriginal and Islander Cultural Advisors (AICA’s) from RA NT lead the Darwin staff on a cultural tour of Darwin which included places of importance to the Larkaia People, the traditional owners of Darwin.

’The aim of this tour was to educate non Aboriginal staff about the intergenerational trauma experienced by Aboriginal clients by taking them to see places like the old Kahlin compound & site of the Retta Dixon home. We wanted the staff to feel and see these places and to remember these stories – to give staff an understanding of how angry, sad and frustrated the residents would have felt – and to help staff engage with Aboriginal clients on a deeper level‘’ – Valarie Tambling, AICA.

The first stop was Police Paddock. It is now the site of Stuart Park Primary School. The AICAs told the staff about how in the years before the Second World War, this site was used to home many of the Immigrants who had built the railway in the early days of Darwin. Police Paddock was also used to home married Aboriginal families and the conditions were harsh. There was no electricity or sewage and the huts were built from bush timber and sheets of iron. No legal right or title to the land was given to Aboriginal people living in Police Paddock

The second stop was Silas Roberts Hostel for Aboriginal people on Packard Street is named after a man who was highly respected by both cultures. Silas was a missionary-educated man from Ngukurr who was the first Aboriginal person to be made Justice of the Peace, and Special Magistrate. In 1974, He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in recognition of his services to the welfare of Aboriginal people as well as being elected as the first Chairman of the Northern Land Council – which is the building we are currently working in, 43 Cavenagh Street! Silas was known for always putting up people in his house and giving support, guidance and cultural advice to them.

Silas Roberts

(The Yirrkala Bark Petitions being viewed at Parliament House by Silas Roberts (on the left) then Chairman of the Northern Land Council and Galarrwuy Yunupingu (on the right) then Manager of the Northern Land Council in1976)

The next stop was the Darwin Oval. The Oval is now the open space along the water’s edge on the esplanade, but right up to the 1950’s it was one of the most important recreational areas for Aboriginal people in Darwin. At that time in the NT, AFL was the only sport at the time where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people could play against each other. AFL was a source of pride for Aboriginal men, who were very talented on the pitch and could showcase their skills in front of their families and friends. In those days, footy was a way for Aboriginal men to release their frustrations towards the white men who they felt were their tormentors off the pitch

darwin oval

We then visited the site of the Retta Dixon Home. In the 1930’s a missionary couple founded the Retta Dixon Home. It was home to part-Aboriginal children, single mothers, and some adult women. Many of the children there had been forcefully taken from their Aboriginal mothers. The government at the time had a policy of assimilation meaning that ‘’half-caste’’ children would learn to be white. There has been a Royal Commission into the sexual and physical abuse which was carried out by the staff towards the residents of Retta Dixon.

Pictured below in the 1930’sRetta Dixon in the 1930s

The Site of the Retta Dixon home today:Retta Dixon today

Laying flowers

The next stop was the Gurrambai trail in Rapid Creek. Gurrambai is the Larkaia word for elbow, which is the shape of the creek’s mouth. It’s an important place for the Larakia people with two sacred Baynan trees as well as Old Man Rock who sits out at sea – just north of Rapid Creek. Larakia people believe that if Old Man Rock is disturbed it will cause a natural disaster.

Eddie McKenzie (AICA) explained that Gurrambai has been a source of water for thousands of years and known as a good hunting and fishing area for Aboriginal people. In the late 1800’s the early missions used the creek for irrigation and since the arrival of Europeans in the 1930’s, it has been a popular spot for picnics and swimming.


After lunch, the AICA’s had prepared a number of group activities for the staff to complete. We designed these activities to see what information had been retained by the staff and how they could use it to better communicate and engage with Aboriginal clients. The staff were split up into groups and given a question to think about so for example ‘’What are some of the important things to be aware of when speaking with an Aboriginal client’’ The groups were asked to present their answers to the whole group at the end. That was the end of our tour.

end games

‘’I had a wonderful day, I now know so much more about Darwin’s history and most importantly – how many of these changes have affected our Aboriginal people – both in the past and in the present. I can’t thank the AICA’s enough for a great and meaningful excursion! Thank you!’ – Janet Langley, Children’s Counsellor when asked for feedback on the cultural tour.

Neighbour Day (March 24th 2016)

When Neighbour Day was founded by Andrew Heslop in Melbourne back in March 2003, who would have thought that his message would take on such momentum and that by 2016 a community group in Alice Springs, 1000s of kilometres away, would embrace his inspiration and encourage their own community to take the message even further.

The concept for Neighbour Day was developed by Andrew Heslop after the remains of an elderly woman, Mrs Elsie Brown, were found inside her suburban home.

Mrs Brown had been dead for two years – forgotten by her neighbours, her friends and her family. While Andrew did not know Mrs Brown he was appalled by the apparent ease in which the world had left her behind. Neighbours had watched piles of mail, store catalogues and newspapers build up at her front door but they did nothing.

Thirteen years later, Relationship Australia has assumed responsibility for the day and community groups around Australia have developed an annual celebration to build better relationships with the people who live around us, especially the elderly and vulnerable.

Relationship Australia NT recently received this letter from a community group in Alice Springs reporting on their Neighbour Day event – congratulations and thank you for the amazing contribution you have made in spreading the Neighbour Day message.

“On Sunday evening, on the 20th March, at the Lyndavale Park in Larapinta, a combined Harmony Day/Neighbour Day event was held, where over 110 local Larapinta residents attended.

Harmony Day, which falls on the 21st of March, celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, and is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.  Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, bringing together the people next door, across the street or on the next farm for a cuppa or a BBQ, and is celebrated on the last Sunday of March each year.

The Larapinta event was a ‘free’ fun filled family event with games and activities and a chance for locals to connect on a new level.  There was also an opportunity to be involved in tree planting, with a special thanks to go to the Alice Springs Town Council for donating 20 trees, and doing all of the preparation work for the planting, and having the park looking in great condition for the event.

People from all ages and walks of life attended. There was great food from a range of cultures shared, including a BBQ (with thanks to the Larapinta IGA for their support with this). Many people met for the first time, and new friendships have begun. There is interest in doing further events this year as well a desire by a number of people to see a community garden developed in Larapinta.

The event was the result of a combined volunteer effort, but did not require planning on a huge scale, nor did our event require major resources or funding. Such events can be as simple as a bringing a chair and a thermos for a morning tea; or contributing some food towards a BBQ.

Whatever shape an event takes, they are well worth it – as these events help break down barriers and build connections between people, thus contributing towards a sense of belonging and community.

The official date for the celebration of National Neighbour Day is this coming Easter Sunday, the 27th of March, but a Neighbour Day event can be held on any day. Several further events in Alice Springs will be occurring over the coming weeks, and there is still time for more events to take place.

We encourage Alice Springs residents to think about whether they can get involved with an existing event planned for their neighbourhood, or to plan an event if there isn’t one already. We encourage you to talk to some neighbours to work with you, so you don’t have to plan it all on your own.

There is still plenty of time to plan for, or register an event. Visit www.neighbourday.org where there are many resources to assist you.”

‘The community you want starts at your front door’.

Sarah Carmody, Chris Hawke & Jonathan Pilbrow

Larapinta Locals

A Remote White Ribbon Day Reflection – by Lucy Van Sambeek. November 2015.

White Ribbon Day was celebrated one month earlier in Wurrumiyanga, maybe it has something to do with the chances of finer weather than November, when the rains start bucketing down on the Tiwi Islands. The morning began with a brisk one kilometre walk from the new shop at one end of town to the beach park at the other. Contingents of Strong Men chanting ‘no more violence’ in Tiwi language competed with the pleas of students from Xavier College seeking peace, calm and togetherness for the community.

RANT march with banner

Like a tsunami gathering pace down the main street, the noise drew people out of their houses, and some of them even got swept up into the excitement by joining the procession. Others couldn’t be coaxed and I was left wondering what stopped them from supporting the ‘No  More’ cause?

Group shot under tree with banner

At the conclusion of the walk, there were a number of strong speakers including Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu, Charlie King of the NoMore campaign and the coach of the Tiwi Bombers Football Club, who have just finished developing their policy, outlining the clubs stance on domestic and family violence. When the men linked arms indicating their commitment to treating women with respect and Tiwi dance broke out, there were goosebumps all round.

RANT staff using resource

This gathering was an opportunity to introduce the community to the Healing Our Children (HOC) project. Together with Tiwi staff Patricia Munkara and Cynthia Portaminni, we created a yarning space in the shade of a huge tree and invited community members to explore the brand new talking tool kit –It Takes A Forest To Raise a Tree –hot off the printing press. The tool kit will be used in a new group support program next year, for women with young children who are living with or at risk of violence. Designed as an early intervention and prevention tool, it aims to reduce the number of children being exposed to violence by increasing women’s protective behaviours towards their children. RANT also promoted a series of learning workshops coming up in November, which will train volunteers in the community to be peer mentors in the HOC project.

Cynthia in the middle of something

Sadly though, even on a day like today, no-one is immune to exposure to violence. Last night, one of our very own staff members was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a female family member.

Driving home from the event, we also came upon two young men on the street fighting, one armed with a long metal pole. The rest of the community ran towards them like magnets. Unfortunately, the children were in tow, following their role models. As my heart sank, the police arrived and the crowed eventually dispersed, and then I was suddenly jolted awake by Cynthia bellowing in her strong Tiwi way at those walking away from the scene “No more violence…we’ve had enough…no more”. Those words, chorused only just hours before, were echoed again across the community in the moment when it was most needed. Small children were also heard murmuring ‘No Fighting’ as they walked home with their parents. ‘No more violence.’

It takes a forest

Exploring Anger with Women – October 2015

It takes just moments to build… a storm raging within. Someone says or does something you strongly oppose and you instantly feel the most powerful human emotion rise within you – ANGER.

For some – particularly women – it can be hard to accept feelings of anger. We might believe that flying off in a fit of rage is only something that happens to others, not ourselves. Equally, we need to understand and accept that anger can take on many different forms – including sadness or a feeling of injustice.

words on the page

Often seen in a negative light, anger is a completely natural and normal human emotion. In fact, some might even say it’s healthy. But it is how we express and deal with anger that shapes who we are and how we deal with life.

Relationships Australia NT has been looking at the many faces of anger in a two session skill building course – “Exploring Anger with Women” and we were thrilled to have a full group of participants enrol during the first semester of 2015.

All of the women who took part learnt not only about those around them, but importantly about themselves. Hearing about the experiences of others dealing with anger, and working out strategies to deal with anger as it arises.

“It was good to talk openly about my emotions with other open and honest women,” said one course participant.

“The course was a great help to understanding myself.”

Knowing what triggers your anger and learning to control your reactions is the key to using anger in a constructive way. Like all emotions, we need to ‘own’ our anger.  Bottling feelings of anger not only hurts yourself, but those around you. The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inwards – on yourself.

Unexpressed anger can manifest as passive aggressive behaviour, or a personality that constantly seems cynical and hostile. Not surprisingly, this type of behaviour makes it hard to maintain positive relationships.

Anger can be expressed and experienced in healthy and unhealthy ways. You always have a choice as to how you will emotionally respond to a situation. Importantly, anger is a feeling or emotion, not an action.

Anger does not need to be expressed with aggression. Abuse and violence are not feelings, they are actions. Knowing how and when to express your anger is a skill worth developing.

There will be many times during your life when you feel the people around you are trying to ‘push your buttons’, but it’s important to remember you control those buttons.

Pick your battles carefully. You may need to take the time to think about what you want to say, and how you want to say it. If you really feel the need to say something, make sure you express yourself in a way that will be heard by others.

This valuable life-skill comes about by listening to and understanding your anger. And ultimately, may lead to you forming new conclusions about yourself, others and the world around you.

If you are interested in attending Relationships Australia NT “Exploring Anger with Women” in Darwin or Alice Springs please contact us to register your interest or to be added to our Relationship Education course mailing list.

For more information call Darwin on phone 8923 4999 or Alice Springs 89504100.

Relationships Australia NT also runs a one night information session for men called What To Do About Anger for Men. Please contact us for more details

NAPCAN offers timely advice on early intervention

Early intervention, particularly before the damage is too difficult to repair, was a very strong message at a recent NAPCAN breakfast attended by Relationships Australia staff.

A message that poignantly addresses the issue of family violence and child abuse in Australia and one that is particularly relevant to one of Relationships Australia’s own programs on the Tiwi Islands.

RANT at breakfast

Speaking at an event in early September, key note speaker Sue Rayment-McHugh, clinical manager of Griffith Youth Forensic Service (GYFS) at Griffith University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in Brisbane, spoke about her extensive experience in the sexual abuse and youth justice fields, including the assessment and treatment of adolescents who have committed sexual offences as well as having worked clinically with victims of child sexual abuse, adult perpetrators of sexual abuse and with children presenting with sexual behaviour problems.

‘’It is time for us to really think about the importance of preventing childhood sexual abuse, to think about the significant worldwide impact of violence on the development of children.

“We all have a responsibility in preventing future harm and its time we started to get serious about prevention, by creating safer homes and communities for children and in order to do this, we need a comprehensive prevention plan,” Ms Rayment-McHugh said.

Using an example from the GYFS ‘’Neighbourhoods’’ project where sexual abuse towards minors occurs in a remote Queensland community, Ms Rayment-McHugh explained how the GYFS team identified contributing factors as reduced parental capacity (as a result of endemic family violence, alcohol and substance abuse) and found that abuse occurred most commonly in a home environment.

Food at the breakfast

The GYFS team also identified an urban centre in Queensland where sexual abuse towards minors occurs. The contributing factors at that site were completely different however as the abuse was occurring peer-to-peer, mostly in public spaces. The approach, Ms Rayment-McHugh explained, varied for each location.

In the case of the remote location, emphasis was placed on Parental Education (in conjunction with the local childcare centre) and Community Mobility (an open, whole-of-community discussion which clearly articulates the rules and standards and details exactly which behaviours are acceptable)

In the case of the urban location, an emphasis was placed on safety in schools (through the Teachers Project, which trains teachers to take on the role of an employed guardian) and public spaces (through a dedicated police patrol with a sole focus of guardianship of children in public spaces). Crime prevention though environmental design also played a role in improving the safety of both schools and public spaces.

‘’Developmental prevention involves the organised provision of resources in some fashion to individuals, families, schools or communities to forestall the later development of crime or other problems.

Doing something about this type of crime early, preferably before the damage is too hard to repair or crime becomes entrenched, strikes most people as a logical approach to crime prevention. The twin challenges of course are to identify exactly what it is in individuals, families, schools or communities that increase the odds of involvement in crime, and then to do something useful about the identified conditions as early as possible,” she said.

Relationships Australia NT recently received funding from Prime Minister and Cabinet for the Healing Our Children project on the Tiwi Islands. The project was conceived by RANT’s remote Aboriginal Children and Family Workers to build the capacity of strong women in the community to work with young pregnant women and mothers to keep their children safe from violence.

The Healing Our Children project is similar in identifying that in many communities in the NT, much of the abuse occurs in the home and is related to parenting, alcohol and substance abuse.

The program aims to stop the cycle of trauma affecting children as a result of early exposure to domestic and family violence and offers support for women with children who have witnessed or are at risk of exposure to domestic and family violence.

Adopting a similar theory of early intervention, support is offered at the earliest possible time, ideally when women are planning a pregnancy, pregnant or already have babies and toddlers. The project is lead by strong women in the communities who use aboriginal imagery to explain the effects of trauma on children’s brains, behaviour and learning capacity, and addresses the concerns for the need to keep children safe from domestic and family violence so that they can grow up into strong and healthy adults.

For more information on the Healing Our Children program refer to our website at http://www.nt.relationships.org.au/resources/crisis-help-and-support
eddie and lucy breakfast