In collaboration with many organisations across the state, we coordinate workshops, forums, meetings, networks and support groups to meet the growing needs of Victoria's multicultural community.
We are committed to providing access to our services for both established and emerging migrant communities in both metropolitan and regional Victoria.
Our in-language and in-culture Vietnamese-specific MBCPs continued from our Sunshine centre in 2019/2020. Delivered by experienced bi-lingual facilitators, the program is tailored to meet the needs of men from the Vietnamese community, by helping to strengthen their family relationships and educating them about family violence, and its impacts on women and children, as well as relevant Australian laws and legal processes. The MBCPs highlight the importance of healthy relationships, and support men to reflect on their behaviours and learn new ways to manage their relationships without using violence.
When COVID-19 emerged in March 2020, we suspended face-to-face groups and transitioned to a newly developed Telephone Holding Model for men who had recently commenced a program, men who were about to commence a program and later, to those who were assessed as eligible for the MBCP. Facilitators provided weekly telephone support to men that focused on risk assessment and management, while our experienced bi-lingual family safety practitioners offered regular, ongoing contact with women and children of participants to provide support, education and safety planning.
In July 2019, our Traralgon Centre welcomed the opportunity to again support Gippsland’s annual Eid Festival, an event for both Muslim and non-Muslim families to celebrate the end of Ramadan and to strengthen community connections. More than 500 people joined together to enjoy a day of games, craft, cultural and other activities, food and musical performances. RAV supported organisers, United Muslim Sisters of Latrobe Valley, to secure funding for the event and by providing mentoring in how to plan and deliver the event. We also facilitated an activity to create a series of canvases depicting the theme of ‘the hands of friendship’, featuring the painted handprints of festival attendees. These canvases now take pride of place in the counselling area of our Traralgon centre.
In partnership with the Victoria Police African Australian Community Taskforce, we delivered a series of workshops on family violence prevention to community leaders in South–East Melbourne. The community-led taskforce and workshops arose following discussions between African–Australian community leaders and the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, which identified family violence education as a key preventative element in addressing the impact of family breakdown on the lives of young people in the community.
From October 2017 to 1 July 2020, we provided Safe Resolutions, a free, legally-assisted family dispute resolution service for the Vietnamese community in western Melbourne experiencing separation and divorce. The pilot service, which was funded by the Attorney-General’s Department, operated through our Sunshine Family Relationship Centre.
In partnership with the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association, Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre and WEstjustice, the RAV service supported families experiencing complex family violence issues to resolve their family law disputes. The innovative service was well received and appreciated by the local Vietnamese community.
“ I feel very fortunate to be linked with the Safe Resolutions program. I received very good support to resolve my issues.”
Integral to the program’s success were Vietnamese-speaking program facilitators who understood cultural differences, and translators with training to understand the family law system and dispute resolution services.
As part of the service, a range of family law and family violence education sessions were held to enhance access to the service and strengthen the community’s capacity to respond to the issues. Safe Resolutions also hosted a series of Vietnamese Cultural Awareness Training days, designed to enhance the skills of FDR, legal, family violence and administrative staff in using culturally sensitive practices when working with Vietnamese clients.
In western Melbourne, we worked with Vietnamese perpetrators of family violence in our Vietnamese-specific MBCPs. The groups are tailored to the needs, culture and experiences of Vietnamese men in Australia, including Australian laws and customs. The program’s facilitators and family safety practitioner are all Vietnamese, which enhances the cultural appropriateness and accessibility of the group. This group is now well established and participant feedback is consistently positive.
In Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, we delivered a number of Tuning in to Kids parenting programs in the community for Afghan women with children aged three to six years. The Tuning in to Kids program supports parents to develop and enhance their parenting skills, focusing on building the relationship between parent and child.
Contact our Cranbourne Centre for more information.
In Sunshine, we provided a multicultural support and social group for women from refugee backgrounds. As part of the group, the women received information and practical strategies for managing stress and maintaining health and wellbeing.
Contact our Sunshine Centre for more information.