Djinda Services officially launched

13 Dec, 2013

Today marked the official launch of Djinda Services, Relationships Australia WA’s newest community program.

Attorney General, the Honourable Michael Mischin helped mark the landmark occasion, along with prominent Noongar human rights lawyer Dr Hannah McGlade, who has been instrumental in getting the State Government to provide funding for the project.

It was a great turn out at the ceremony, with many people who have worked hard over the last 20 years to launch a program like this one looking on proudly.

Djinda paintingThe Djinda Services Aboriginal Referee Group, Noongar Elders, Aboriginal Community members and relevant stakeholders were also present. Djinda is a Noongar word meaning star, which represents women shining brightly and guiding their families, strong in their determination to keep them safe.

The event started with a Welcome to Country, followed by a minute silence to honour those women who have lost their lives due to family violence.

Djinda Services, delivered in conjunction with the Women’s Law Centre, provides support to victims of family violence in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of metropolitan Perth.
It is the first time a program has been specifically set up to support Aboriginal people in the metro area who are experiencing or have experienced family violence or sexual assault.

Mr Mischin said it was a pleasure and privilege to be invited to the official opening of Djinda Services.

“It will offer protection from family violence to women and children in Perth, which they have not previously had before this service,” he said.

“It’s a sad fact that Aboriginal women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than any other women.

Michael Mischin, Angela Ryder, Terri Reilly 
 Michael Mischin with
 Angela Ryder and 
Terri Reilly

“But we have now closed a gap in the services available to women in these communities and I’m pleased that Djinda is correcting this deficiency.”

Senior Manager of Aboriginal Services Angela Ryder, who is also a Noongar woman, said the Aboriginal community has needed a program like this for many years. 

Referrals are already rolling in for the Djinda program and according to Ms Ryder this demonstrates a demand for this much needed and important service.

“Women will have access to free legal advice regarding their situation while also being provided with services like counselling, mediation, referrals and other support,” she said. 

“Men experiencing family violence are also encouraged to access Djinda wrap-around services, however will be referred to more gender appropriate legal support.

“Going through the legal processes and finding your way in and out of courts is hard for anyone, let alone someone who has experienced family violence.

“Family violence is not our way and not our culture and it is sad that we have to have services like this, but it’s important that we do. 

“We are proud to support primarily Aboriginal women who have been victims of domestic violence and help keep them and their children safe.”

She said Christmas time can be an especially difficult and stressful time where abuse increases. 

“This service is available and I encourage community members to access the program whenever they need this support.”

The service is delivered by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women who are mothers and sisters and
who have personal experience and an understanding of family violence.

Help relating to restraining orders, child protection and support, and victim compensation related to family violence are just some of the areas covered by the service.

Support will also be given with advocacy in the areas of medical, financial, accommodation or employment where required.

For more information on Djinda Services call 9489 6391.

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