Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 10


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 May 1995 In Tennant Creek, a 3-day sexual domestic violence workshop was held recently. I was fortunate to be able to attend at least some of the sessions. I congratulate the facilitator, Miss Pam Greer, who I believe is from Sydney, who convened that workshop. It was very well run and was attended by 20 women representing the following organisations in Tennant Creek: Anyinginyi Congress, the Tennant Creek Womens Refuge, Department of Correctional Services, the Central Australian Aboriginal Child-Care Agency, the Northern Territory Police Department, Bradaag, Julalikari Council and Anyinginyi Alcohol After Care Unit. There was also a lawyer from the United Kingdom whom we were fortunate to have in our midst. She was able to speak on the legal responses in place of the guest speaker who unfortunately could not attend because of illness. Of the 20 women attending, 17 were Aboriginal. They were there to gain more knowledge of ways to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault and will use the information they acquired to help women and children who are experiencing or who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault.. Among the workshops were some sessions which explained all aspects of domestic violence and sexual assault to assist workers to be more understanding and caring towards clients and more proficient in their work and to be able to understand clearly the legalities surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault. They were also made aware of the services available in Tennant Creek and elsewhere that could help in domestic violence and sexual assault situations. Encouragement was given to better networking. The sessions attracted a high level of participation. Women felt very comfortable in the company of other women, who were engaged in similar occupations and grappling with similar problems, speaking about their situations and the situations of their client groups. I believe it was an extremely valuable experience for everybody. The short-term recommendations were that regular meetings should continue to be held on domestic violence issues and that the program Good Protection For All Women should start in Tennant Creek. There was a recommendation also that application be made for funding education programs and a domestic violence program for men. In the longer term, we are looking at encouraging the development of a womens resource centre which is something that has been lobbied for in Tennant Creek over recent months. We hope that we are close to achieving that. If we are successful, we will be encouraging organisations to utilise that womens resource centre for the dissemination of information and to hold further workshops on issues such as domestic violence to ensure that people working in that area are kept up to date with developments. Although it is sad that it is necessary for us to conduct these workshops, they are vital to our understanding of current situations, and the legislation and resources that are accessible for women in the community. I was particularly pleased to note that the federal budget provided some encouragement for women in various respects. It highlighted the response of the nations government to the life and needs of women. Particularly welcome was the Commonwealth governments recognition of womens health needs, particularly the needs of indigenous women in the Northern Territory where the average life expectancy of indigenous girls is up to 10 years shorter than that for non-indigenous girls. In addition, the special measures to increase participation of indigenous women and women from rural and remote regions in the national cervical screening program will be of great benefit to Northern Territory women. This is probably a form of cancer that we need to be concentrating on more in the Territory than 3322

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