Our Djirra July 19

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July 2019
Hi Everyone,
I’m pleased to inaugurate Djirra’s brand new internal newsletter, Our Djirra, Your Djirra!

We’ve had an exciting first half of the year with the launch of new offices in Morwell and Bendigo, secure funding for our Koori Women’s Place and the launch of our Djirra Keepers.

I’m looking forward to what’s coming next, starting with our own NAIDOC event on the 23rd of July where I will introduce the Djirra Keepers.

Enjoy your read and see you all soon,

Monday 29 April and Monday 7 May, Antoinette officially launched Djirra's new offices in Bendigo and Morwell. 
The warm welcome from the community and partners is a tribute to the amazing work the teams are doing in their areas.
The office launches in the media: 
Latrobe Valley Express: Djirra opening offers new hope
SBS / NITV: Family Violence support service branches into regional Victoria 
Bendigo Advertiser: Bendigo office of Aboriginal family violence organisation Djirra opens 
Antoinette whereabouts 
From the 24 June to the 19 July, Antoinette and Meriki are in Geneva to participate in the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council and to the 12th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  
Antoinette will particularly talk about Family violence, Removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, Incarceration, Self-determination and Treaty, and Australian Government’s ParentsNext program.

The following article is from NITV on Antoinette’s speech about the incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: Expert urges UN to focus on Indigenous women imprisoned in Australia

You can watch videos of Antoinette's statements on Family ViolenceChild RemovalParents Next, and 
Incarceration and Meriki's powerful speech on sovereignty.
In case you missed it:
Antoinette Braybrook on fighting for the rights of Aboriginal women
Interview of Antoinette Braybrook by Rob Hull - RMIT University Centre for Innovative Justice:
Community Engagement updates
Motion sickness courtesy of Wendy :-)
AFVLS updates
  • Referrals: Child Protection MOU recently signed with Victoria Legal Aid to provide for referrals of Aboriginal women experiencing family violence to Djirra. Aboriginal women presenting in the child protection duty list at agreed Children’s Courts throughout Victoria will now be offered the opportunity of a referral to Djirra as a first option. Previously those referrals would have gone directly to private practitioners of VLA’s duty lawyer panel.

  • Reconciliation week: Kehndra and Terri presented at the Victorian Bar Indigenous Issues Committee’s Continuing Professional Development Event – Legal Issues affecting Indigenous Australians. Kehndra and Terri spoke about the work of Djirra and more specifically, their experiences representing Aboriginal clients in Marram-Ngala Ganbu, the Broadmeadows Koori Children’s Court. The talk was very well received by counsel attending and the chair of the Victorian Bar’s Indigenous Issues Committee who commended them both on ‘a great presentation’. Click here to see the flyer.  
  • Centre for Innovative Justice focus group: : In late May 2019 Legal Services staff participated in a focus group run by Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) about their experiences of representing Aboriginal victim/survivors in Intervention Order proceedings with a view to improving outcomes for Aboriginal clients.
    The preliminary phase of the research project conducted by CIJ involved observation of IVO proceedings at selected Magistrates' courts followed by interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders. The project was guided by a DJCS-convened research committee who overtly identified Djirra and VALS as key stakeholders. Consequently CIJ was keen to speak with AFVLS staff about their experiences assisting Aboriginal women with IVO processes and particularly the support role played by PLSW’s which Djirra highlighted in our submission to the RCFV. Click here to read more about the project
  • Recently Legal Services staff have been their experiences with the Strategy team in relation to working with Aboriginal women in prison and the significant barriers they face in accessing appropriate mental health services to inform Djirra’s submission to the Mental Health Royal Commission.
  • Workshop on trauma informed practice: Deb, Terri, Martika and Charlotte from the Northcote Office and Tanaya from our Warrnambool Office attended a workshop on trauma informed practice facilitated by Women’s Legal and Phoenix Australia.
    We started the day by learning about the neurobiology of trauma and how trauma can present in people’s actions and behaviour. We learned that trauma can inform a person’s world view and how they perceive risk and harm. We spoke about barriers to accessing the legal system and how trauma can negatively impact participation in legal processes. We then moved on to learn about creating a safe environment for disclosing trauma and how to protect ourselves along the way.
    A key message was that many people can recover from their experiences of trauma and that healing is possible with appropriate care and access to supports.
    The day was a validating experience as it confirmed that our practices at AFVLS are already trauma informed. While the training focused on trauma in the general Australian population, we brought Aboriginal women’s voices to the discussion and spoke about adapting trauma informed principles to our work with Aboriginal women in the Community.
    Thank you Djirra for supporting us to develop our skills as trauma informed practitioners, we had a great day and hope that others can take on similar training opportunities :-)

  • Staff news
    • Tanaya Harradine started as Paralegal Support Worker in Warrnambool on the 3rd of June. Tanaya is a proud Aboriginal woman, who has lived and worked in Warrnambool all her life. Previous to accepting this position, Tanaya was the Tacking Indigenous Smoking Coordinator at Kirrae Health Service where she delivered community education initiatives to reduce chronic disease risk factors in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Tanaya joined us on a fixed term contract whilst Jacinta is on parental leave. 
    • Legal Services will have a new lawyer starting in Northcote office on 15 July 2019, Anya Saravanan. Anya has a background in working with clients who have experienced complex trauma in the context of institutional child abuse, including Aboriginal clients. Anya gained her experience in private practice and more recently with knowmore legal service, the service assisting institutional abuse survivors with applications to the National Redress Scheme. 
    • Legal services is fortunate to have a locum currently working with us 3 days per week to back fill current lawyer vacancies, Sze Lim. Sze has extensive experience practicing in the areas of Family Law, Intervention Orders and VOCAT since 2006, including with Women’s Legal Service, and more recently she has established her own practice, Autumn Legal.
Strategy updates
Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
  • Em Castle from the Strategy team is leading the development of Djirra’s submission to the mental health Royal Commission. Em has been speaking to all teams about key issues to raise in the submission. The submission is due 5 July.
Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum
  • Djirra through the Strategy Team is continuing to coordinate our central involvement in the Dhelk Dja processes. The Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum, which leads this process, held its latest meeting on 12 June. Kate Chapman is the lead in the team on Dhelk Dja if you ever need any information.
National FVPLS Forum
  • Antoinette and Melissa De Santis, EO National FVPLS Forum, attended a meeting of Change the Record on 6 June in Adelaide. The meeting focused on setting the strategic direction for Change the Record. Information about Change the Record is available at  www.changetherecord.org.au/
Media and Speaking events
  • Antoinette is included in latest edition of Elle Magazine along with other prominent women providing advice on how they negotiate.
  • Meriki Onus took part in a symposium as a part of a panel through the Office For Women on the prevention of family violence and all forms of violence against women at the Public Health Association of Australia Conference on 12 June.
Workforce Development updates
Brad introduces Maram
About MARAM:
The Royal Commission into Family Violence recommended that the existing Family Violence Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) be reviewed and embedded in legislation. 

Following an extensive consultation process, the CRAF has been replaced with the MARAM Framework. This Framework was recently released and provides policy guidance to support organisations recognise a wider range of risk indicators for children, older people and diverse communities, across identities, family and relationship types as well as attempting to keep perpetrators in view and hold them accountable for their actions and behaviours.

The MARAM framework has been developed around 4 pillars which provide the architecture for organisations to align their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools. 

More info at www.vic.gov.au or 
click here to watch a video introduction to MARAM
New starters
  • Tanaya Harradine – PLSW Warrnambool (replacing Jacinta on Parental Leave) – 3 June 
  • Vicki Clark – Cultural Safety Officer – 11 June 
  • Rhiannon Smith – Senior Support Worker KWP – 2 July 
  • Shanel Cubillo – Project Officer Community Engagement – 3 July (return from Parental Leave)
Please extend them a warm welcome!
HR News
Don’t forget that if you missed out on your Flu Shot, you are more than welcome to get one at your GP or chemist – just keep the receipt and Djirra will reimburse you.
We are hiring
  • Senior Lawyer / Lawyer - Ballarat - Morwell - Warrnambool
  • Managing Lawyer Western VIC - Melbourne
  • Paralegal Support Worker - Morwell - Bairnsdale
Do not hesitate to share with your networks!

More info here.
Car fleet and car policy
Djirra's car fleet and fleet portal are on their way.
Stay tuned for more information.  
Your Djirra

This can be your space!!
If you want to share your personal news with the team (babies, engagements, weddings, studies and sports accomplishments) or personal projects you are involved in (associations, fundraising, etc.), send the info to mcadvisor@djirra.org.au before the 10th of the month!
What's next
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