Communicare and White Ribbon Australia had a strong presence at the recent West Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) Annual Conference in February.
As part of the three day conference, our team hosted an interactive information booth and Robyn Antenucci, our Director Children Family and Community Services, gave a presentation on the new Hedland Breathing Space program to tackle Family Domestic Violence (FDV) in the Pilbara region.
Held at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle, the theme on this year's event was based on collaboration and was titled 'Finding Ground - Building a better way together', exploring how community services can work together to support individuals and families most impacted by COVID-19.
WACOSS is made up of members from across Western Australia and aims to influence policy change on behalf of vulnerable Australians through government submissions and advocacy work.
A wide range of organisations and State Government bodies came together at the conference to showcase their services and unique objectives, establish new networks and hear from industry professionals on the achievements in the sector, as well as the challenges ahead.
For her presentation, Robyn Antenucci was joined by Celeste Stephens, WACOSS Pilbara Manager, who heads-up the Pilbara Family and Domestic Violence Network (PFDVN). They provided an overview of the Pilbara Vital Change FDV programs being launched in coming months, which includes Hedland Breathing Space – an innovative new men's behaviour change program.
These programs are part of a wider initiative to create safer and more inclusive communities in regional areas, modelled around community awareness, positive masculinity and sector advocacy.
Funded by BHP and led by WACOSS and Communicare, Hedland Breathing Space is a short-stay residential facility for men who have received 24 or 72-hour police orders removing them from the family home because of violence and abuse.
Like Communicare Breathing Space, this program focusses on increasing the safety of women and children within their homes – by providing men with the opportunity to accept accountability and undertake counselling to develop positive behaviours for respectful relationships.
As proud sponsors of the event, our participation enabled us to highlight our custodianship of White Ribbon Australia and our mission to eliminate all forms of men's violence against women and children.
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