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On Regional and Cultural Approaches to Australian Indigenous Violence

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: Memmott, Paul
  • Journal Name: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, The
  • Journal Number: Vol. 43, No. 2
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Northern Territory, Queensland

Based on a national analysis of Indigenous family violence, the 2001 monograph on 'Violence in Indigenous Communities' by the author and his colleagues for the Australian Attorney-General's Department called for government agencies to 'take a regional approach to supporting and co-ordinating local community initiatives' together with 'partnerships between Indigenous program personnel and mainstream services ...' (Memmott et al., 2001, p. 4). This current article reports on regional aspects of two subsequent pieces of research by the author, one in the Barkly Region of central-east Northern Territory for Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation (2007) and the other in the Torres Strait for the Queensland Department of Communities (2008). The research findings from both of these studies develop the case for government policy to accommodate regional approaches to Indigenous family violence due to combinations of geographic and culturally specific causal factors. The importance of nurturing social and cultural capital in Indigenous communities to strengthen social values, leadership and cohesion in addressing Indigenous violence will be emphasised. Some comment will be made on the role of underlying factors ('deep historical circumstances') in contributing to violence, in conjunction with precipitating causes and situational factors, the former being somewhat downplayed in policy debate over the period of the Howard government.

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