This is a story by Rick Morton, Social Affairs Writer with The Australian. It appeared on Sept 1, I missed it and don’t recall any commentary at the time.
Looks like a step away from the victim culture towards responsibility. Not a great story for the MSM I suppose.
An apology to all indigenous women for family violence meted out against them has been signed by more than 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and is being hailed by advocates as the crucial first step in restoring responsibility in community.
The Nipaluna (Hobart) statement, signed this week, is proof that “not all men are victims” of a culture that has allowed them to blame others, including their colonisers, for abuse and violence against women.
The signatories say they must work “to continue to develop strategies to ensure our roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, brothers, grandsons and sons caring for our families”.
“We commit to taking responsibility for pursuing a healthy, happier life for our families and ourselves that reflects the opportunities experienced by the wider community” the statement says.
“We celebrate the relationships we have with our wives, mothers, grandmothers, granddaughters, aunties, nieces, sisters and daughters.”
The statement follows an indigenous domestic violence resource released by government-funded organisation Our Watch, which was branded by Aboriginal women leaders as being the product of well-meaning “white feminists” because it listed colonisation as an underlying cause of family violence in Aboriginal communities.
Indigenous woman Josephine Cashman, a former defence lawyer and prosecutor, said the men who signed the statement ought to be heard. “(Men) are capable of contributing to positive change and taking personal responsi¬bility,” she said.
Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT chief John Paterson, a leader behind the statement, said it came about because men needed to agree on a future for themselves and their families.
“If we are going to make inroads on domestic violence at all, then we needed to agree to change,” he said.
Helen Fejo-Frith, chair of the Bagot Community Council in Darwin, said she had read the statement and had been warmed by it.