Growth in Partnerships

Koori leaders for change

We recently partnered with Koori Youth Service, Bunjilwarra to deliver our Leaders For Change program.

The aim of the program was to equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people with the knowledge and confidence to address gender inequality and promote safe, respectful relationships within their communities.

Our Prevention and Education Program Manager, Brianna worked with Bunjilwarra’s, Brooke Clifford and Uncle Pat Farrant, a proud Muthi Muthi Elder and the Cultural Lead at Bunjilwarra, to bring a cultural competence lens the program. 

We collaborated to redesign our existing youth leadership program to create Koori Leaders for Change. 

Participants talked about their role in protecting their families and wanting a better future for them as they learned about various forms of family and gender-based violence, healthy versus unhealthy relationships, and understanding the cycle of abuse. 

At the end the group created an artwork with messages they wanted to share to newcomers at Bunjilwarra. Phrases like “Use Your Voice,” “Support Others,” “You’re Not Alone,” “Violence Is Not Okay,” “Treat Everyone Equally,” “Respect Your Elders,” “Change Starts Now,” and “Stay True to Yourself” now hang in the communal recreational room at Bunjilwarra.

The program left a lasting impression on our facilitators, deeply enriching their understanding of Aboriginal culture. They gained insight into traditional gender roles in Aboriginal culture and how they have changed under the influence of western culture as a result of colonisation.

Inspired by this experience and the incredible youth and staff at Bunjilwarra, the Prevention Team is pursuing further collaboration with Bunjilwarra and other Aboriginal services in the Eastern Melbourne Region.