Indigenous Men’s Resource and Advisory Service
The Victorian Taskforce on Indigenous Family Violence found in the 2003 report had indentified that Victoria’s Indigenous Men were being neglected. One of the recommendations from the report was the establishment of a resource and support centre for men who were struggling with domestic violence. This program/service is delivered across the state.
Overview of the Program
The Foundations of the Indigenous Men’s Resource and Advisory Service is to develop with the principles of holistic community led approach with a targeted focus on local issues – to local solutions. These principles have evolved and changed since the inception of Koori Organisations to what we have now; to contemporary structures of modern day Australian organisations. That is, the ethos of ‘Aboriginal community led and controlled’.
IMRAS will work with the existing Indigenous Family Violence Strategy networks with the main aim of establishing local partnerships that will strengthen and support Aboriginal Men’s networks in the area.
The IMRAS coordinator will ensure that the voice of Aboriginal Men is listened to and heard in the community (Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal) through the development of regional men’s action groups and local membership of the state wide Men’s Council.
This program aims to help strengthen existing locally based intervention and recovery responses by developing a co-ordinated approach that is currently sensitive to the needs of Aboriginal Men.
The IMRAS co-ordinator will identify local men’s projects that were established under the DHS community initiative fund as well as linking in regional DHS & IFVS support workers to provide and outline existing Aboriginal or mainstream men’s services.
At the peak level the IMRAS co-ordinator will develop a partnership with existing men’s services.
- Strategies of engagement will be developed and identified by the ACM manager in conjunction with IMRAS coordinator. IMRAS will engage the use of Mentors / Ambassadors / Role Models to promote IMRAS. A steadily approach will be developed to engage Aboriginal Men and communities to ensure that the participants in the program are held in respect by the Aboriginal Community. The worker will ensure that the Aboriginal community has input to identify, the role of male Elders is also vital as they will advocate the responsibility of men’s roles in this project. The IMRAS coordinator will develop with the non aboriginal organizations a shared understanding and approaches once local approaches have been designed by and agreed upon by the Aboriginal community.
- The IMRAS coordinator will undertake regional visits to assess current regional strategies and any existing regional networks/groups working towards men’s issues. Assessment of regional needs will begin in partnership with the Regional action group member/s and the DHS Indigenous Family Violence worker. Any previous mapping exercises of services and networks will determine the length of time and the work required to complete or update existing directories. Mapping of networks and services will take the form of one to one and telephone interviews.
- It’s through this process that key men within communities can be identified and invited to either establish or enhance membership of Men’s Action Groups, it is through these action groups that strategies and solutions to local men’s family violence as well as other issues effecting men, can be discussed and later implemented at a local/regional level.
- In the initial stages of the implementation of IMRAS men’s specific information gatherings will be held in order to inform, obtain and establish awareness of the IMRAS strategy, with the outcome being the establishment of local men’s action groups that will link into the Statewide Men’s Council.
Outcomes of Project
- A report on the status of men’s health services across Victoria, the development and structuring of Aboriginal Men’s Business in Victoria incorporating information obtained from the state and national research and the knowledge provided by Aboriginal communities and organisations and broader men’s service providers.
- Followed by the identification of good evidence-base practice, promising and innovative service models and guiding principles for the provision services for Aboriginal men.
- A data base of Indigenous men’s programs and services being delivered across Victoria.
- Acknowledgement of the need for intercommunity agreements on the importance of a combined effort in tackling men’s issues
Centre Location & Contact Details
Centre Location: 201 Bell Street, Preston
Office Number: (03) 9487 3000
Time-Out Referral Service (24/7): 1800 352 624 or Mobile Number: 0412 806 003