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Rotary SAFE Families Inclusive Communities Initiative

GIVE MEN a CHOICE and WOMEN a VOICE

This SAFE Families initiative is focused on providing prevention of abuse information via printed translated Guides and films, to our many CALD (culturally diverse Australian communities). 

Rotary SAFE Families is a campaign that relies on volunteer work and grants to create the Resources for promotion of its messages in primary prevention of abuse. For us to be able to provide films and information that is freely available to those in need of assistance due to domestic abuse, is of paramount importance.

In 2019 and 2021, Rotary SAFE Families have produced four films: Domestic Violence & Its Impact on Children; Elder Abuse, Male Abuse and Child Abuse. These have proved to be very successful and are freely downloaded from www.rotarysafefamilies.org.au website. The materials are endorsed by Victoria Police, Salvation Army, DHHS, hundreds of Rotary Clubs around Australia via our Ambassador Program.

Domestic abuse is not condoned and is a crime in Australia. Abuse is major issue requiring culture change. Rotary SAFE Families promotes the model for prevention of all forms of abuse to women, men, children and elderly. There are though many Australians with English as their second language, who are not aware of what abuse looks like, or how to prevent and find support for an abuse victim.

Along with their fear of reporting abuse, many need support in their language and their culture. Respecting possible trauma still being experienced by many new Australians, we work and inform many diverse communities whilst respecting their culture and providing free information how to prevent/support a victim/possible victim of domestic abuse applying our Australian laws.

We believe that men need to be provided with a "choice" to either continue abusive behaviours or use a different model of defusing their anger.  It is very important that a perpetrator of abuse has a choice of behaviour.

Our Guide for Prevention of Family Abuse in Australia (created by Dorothy Gilmour) has been translated by volunteers into 9 languages including Swahili, Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Mandarin, Greek, English, Somalian and Hindi. We believe community leaders of our diverse cultures will benefit from receiving a toolkit of resources promoting prevention of abuse. 

We have created a 1-2 hour Workshop: How You Can Help Prevent Family Abuse that either a member of our Team or a community leader from CALD Communities can present themselves.

Our Resources include the Guide, Workshop, Flyers, Printed materials which are all freely available on our website: http://www.rotarysafefamilies.org.au/

Our team is reaching out to many different organisations via their Community Leaders in Australia including Interfaith, Ethnic Council Shepparton, St Paul's African House Shepparton, Changepreneurs, Federation of Ethnic Communities Council Australia, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Victoria Police, Sikh communities in north western Melbourne, Afri Auscare Dandenong, Family Violence Boroondara, and the list continues.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

For the past five years, Dorothy has successfully grown the Rotary SAFE Families initiative to a point where the powerful messages of prevention of abuse are being expanded to our CALD communities where English may be their second language. We have support from Rotary Hawthorn and Melbourne, along with future Ambassadors selected by our African Australian communities and Rotary Clubs, our African/Australian Communities team includes:

  • Dorothy Gilmour, Rotary Hawthorn (Creator/Chair Rotary SAFE Families)
  • 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, awarded the Global Peace Award in 2023)
  • Ari Talantis, Rotary Hawthorn SAFE Families Team
  • Oscar Lumiere, Rotary Club of Kerichia (Kenya)

Photo shows: L-R Dorothy Gilmour, Peter Berg, Ahmed Tohow and Shakilah Wesonga

We know our work will not stop and we shall continue to remind Australians that Rotary does not accept abusive behaviour in any form, anywhere, anytime. We plan to use short films/images in different languages and translated information to support and inform our diverse communities over the next few years. We also plan to provide support to our African Australian youth via psychosocial information and mentoring.

 

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPI’S)

We are fortunate to have many culturally-diverse Australians who are highly motivated to ensure that their communities in Australia are provided with our project’s “toolkits” (films, translated Guides and list of national support organisations). 

The success of our toolkit and distribution has the ability to showcase Rotary and Australia’s care and support for our very important and welcome addition of many diverse cultures to Australia.

The photo below shows Dorothy with 25 Victoria Police from the Protection Service Unit at a 500 plus gathering of Sikhs at their Gurduara Sahib Temple, Hopper's Crossing. Dorothy was invited by Victoria Police to present the Inclusive Communities Initiative along with Victoria Police presenting support and advice on family abuse and the Court system.

 


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