Strong Aboriginal Men’s Forum, March 28th – March 30th, 2022.

An average of 70 men from all over NSW took part in the ECAV Strong Aboriginal Men’s Forum which was held at The Western Plains Zoo Dubbo NSW. The Forum was organised and delivered by The Bennelong Aboriginal Men’s Counsel (originally the Strong Aboriginal Men’s Leadership Forum). The event was coordinated by Ivan Clarke, ECAV Contractor, and by the ECAV Aboriginal portfolio coordinated by Penn Molloy, Senior Aboriginal Statewide Educator.

The Strong Aboriginal Men’s Forum was a 3-day event that created the space and opportunity for a yarning space primarily around the topic of Aboriginal Men’s healing allowing Aboriginal Men to talk about their own experiences of Domestic and Family Violence. The yarns included men who had in the past used violence or who are survivors of violence. It was also an opportunity to talk about the changes they have made or are continuing to make to create safe communities for woman and children. The men shared the amazing work that they are doing in their communities and discussed ways in which they could all support each other across the state. The Strong Aboriginal Men’s Forum was followed by a 2-day event organised by No to Violence where Aboriginal service providers and non-Aboriginal services showcased the work that they are involved in with Aboriginal Men and their communities. Many of the men that attended the Strong Aboriginal Men’s Forum also attended this forum and voiced their concerns about service provision across the state. It was a fantastic exchange of knowledge shared by all and a very powerful week to see Strong Aboriginal Men taking a stance against violence and advocating for the protection of women and children.

Guest speakers over the three day forum were Mr Grant Sarra, a specialist in the area of Aboriginal Healing and an advocate for change to include Aboriginals at all levels; representation from Department of Community Justice who had provided funding for the event; Josh Wanganeen a Yorta Yorta man with Forum partners No To Violence and in particular Kyalie Moore a proud Aboriginal woman and Lizette Twisleton; some deadly presentations from Shane Knight and his team from The Glenn – Aboriginal Alcohol and other drug Residential Rehab Central Coast; Mr Glenn Collis, an independent practitioner working with Aboriginal men experiencing problems with addiction ; Josh Maurer and some of his men from the South Coast Men’s Group as well as an evening guest speaker panel that again saw Grant Sarra, James Moore and Jack De Groot, CEO for St Vincent De Paul NSW discuss some very relevant topics regarding Aboriginal Men and also answer a number of fairly hot questions.

Thanks to all who assisted with this successful Strong Aboriginal Men’s Forum. Looking forward to another deadly forum next year.

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