Walking Alongside Families Affected By Family Violence

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The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) will launch the Bayside Aboriginal Access Point (AAP), a new service for Aboriginal community members in the Bayside region who are affected by family violence, on 26 July 2023. 

Serving as a trusted entry point and source of support for Aboriginal community members who are navigating family violence services, the AAP has been developed through a self-determined process with community consultation and is designed to be culturally safe and responsive. 

The new Bayside AAP will be fully staffed by an Aboriginal workforce including three Journey Walkers, who will walk alongside community members experiencing or using family violence as they enter and navigate the family violence service system. 

Journey Walkers will assess each community member’s needs with a focus on cultural connection, identifying supports and services, providing cultural advocacy, and working with other professionals and services to meet their individual needs. 

Muriel Bamblett, VACCA CEO, says “the Aboriginal Access Point’s innovative new approach to walking alongside people and meeting them where they are at in their healing journey from family violence will mean that families will get the support that is right for them, when they need it most.” 

The AAP will be open to all adults and children living in the Bayside Peninsula Area who are experiencing, using, or are otherwise affected by family violence. Community members can self-refer to the Aboriginal Access Point, or can be referred through The Orange Door, another VACCA service, or another community or local organisation.  

Aboriginal people, especially women and children, are disproportionately affected by family violence, and face unique barriers to accessing family violence supports. The Bayside AAP is part of a suite of investments by the Victorian Government to work with Aboriginal communities to ensure that community members have access to culturally safe and tailored help and support.  

The first of three Aboriginal Access Points set to open in Victoria, the Bayside AAP will be delivered under the Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way Strategy, the key Aboriginal-led Victorian Agreement between community, services, and government to strengthen the lives of Aboriginal people, families and communities and to enable them to live free from family violence. 

A launch event for the Bayside AAP will be facilitated by VACCA in July, with more details to follow.  

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