Rotary Safe Families


Been wondering what Rotary SAFE Families is doing?


We have been very active, Dorothy has continued to present Rotary SAFE Families to more than 100 Rotary Clubs now and organisations around Australia. To keep website up-to-date, along with creating our latest prevention of family abuse project: Rotary SAFE Families Inclusive Communities Initiative and our new alliance with FVREE (formerly Eastern Domestic Violence Services), has been a huge, exciting load on our resources.  


However, with thanks to Rotary Hawthorn, the new home of Rotary SAFE Families and Dorothy Gilmour, and Rotary Hawthorn's fantastic support of our mission in SAFE - Stopping Abuse in Families Everywhere, we have been able to re-energise with the help of Hawthorn's Community Service Team and our new work with Rotary Melbourne.


The past 12 months has been a reminder of the importance of "pacing oneself".  The family violence continues and to be able to "chip, chip, chip" away at the triggers and prevention of violence, one must "pace oneself".  


What is the Rotary SAFE Families Inclusive Communities Initiative?


We have been promoting the Guide to Prevention of Family Abuse in Australia past 12 months. See website.  The Guide has now been translated into seven languages:  Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin, Greek and Swahili.


In late 2022, in furtherance of Rotary’s commitment to Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity, the Rotary Clubs of Hawthorn and Melbourne established the Rotary SAFE Families Inclusive Communities Initiative. The initiative is supported by the Rotary clubs of Hawthorn and Melbourne, in partnership with future Ambassadors chosen by the African Australian communities and other Rotary clubs.


The Rotary SAFE Families African-Australian Communities team includes:

  • Dorothy Gilmour, Rotary Hawthorn, RSF chair
  • Peter Berg, Rotary Melbourne SAFE Families Ambassador
  • Ahmed Tohow, Rotary Melbourne (serves national and international Somali Diaspora organisations. In 2018, Ahmed was awarded the Ambassador for Peace award by the Universal Peace Federation)
  • Shakilah Wesonga (NDIS Local Area Co-Ordinator, Brotherhood of St Laurence)
  • Ari Talantis, Rotary Hawthorn RSF Team
  • Nizar Ashkar (Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research)

Newer Australians, many traumatized and with poor English language skills, are not always aware that family abuse is a crime in Australia, nor what may constitute abuse, or how to prevent abuse and find support for abuse victims. Many may fear reporting abuse and need culturally respectful information and support in their own language.


In its initial phase the Inclusive Communities Initiative will inform African Australian communities, in the context of Australian law, on how to recognize family abuse, and how to prevent and support victims or potential victims of abuse.


Information will be provided by means of translated Guides and films. Following the completion of the Rotary SAFE Families “Toolkit” of Swahili/Arabic films and the translation of the Guide into Swahili and Arabic being adjusted to respect cultural differences, we plan to create the same Toolkit for Afghan Australians, Indian Australians, Asian Australians, as well as Middle Eastern, Pacific, and European non-English speaking communities.


Inquiries are already being received from Indian and Afghan communities requesting Rotary SAFE Families support as per the African Australian model.


If you would like to offer your support to this initiative, please contact Dorothy Gilmour via email:


This is a huge mission in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and will need more volunteers and more funding to successfully assist our new Australians to be protected and informed.  Can you or your Club assist?  


Onwards and Upwards!

Dorothy and the Ambassadors and Volunteers of Rotary SAFE Families


Thank you for showing your support for the prevention of abuse in Australia




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