Men tackle family violence

By James Bennett

Open and honest discussions for men hoping to tackle family violence and improve their role in the community were all part of the Regional Aboriginal Men's Gathering yesterday.

Hosted at the Connection, men from Shepparton, Melbourne and Echuca were part of the activities.

There were panels with guest speakers from the magistrate's court explaining the gaps and positives in the community, and a yarning circle. There were also workers from Rumbalara and entertainment from Kutcher Edwards.

Dardi Munwurro Hume region co-ordinator Josh Simm said it is important all attendees are reminded they are community members.

“It's about letting each other know about different services and what we're doing in our roles with our work and how we can collaborate that,” he said.

“It's also about bringing cultural aspects and traditions into our everyday life, and not forgetting about where we came from, and then also sharing our stories to empower other men; giving each other permission to be leaders in our own communities.

“We've done it all in a circle format. We all walk beside each other and say we're all on an even playing field; having different tables can be a bit isolating.”

Mr Simm said the gathering heals men.

“We've all got things going on and by talking about and having days like today, it actually gives men a bit of healing, so they're able to communicate on not a level of anger and probably with more clarity.

“It has been so powerful. Some of the stuff that's come out has blown me away.

“Some talk about their own experience and some talk about things happening in their own community.

“The honesty and vulnerability that the men have shown has been really good.”