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Our research

Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.


News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.



ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.



To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR)

Digital Stories

ANROWS provided CALD PAR projects with the opportunity to undertake training from Digital Storytellers in making digital stories.

The CALD PAR projects’ digital stories exemplify the grounded, community-centred and creative process of change that their projects are initiating in local communities across Australia.

The stories feature empowering and culturally responsive messages about prevention and pathways to support from community leaders, participants and services involved in CALD PAR projects.

CALD Communities Leading Prevention Stream

These projects work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities focusing on the prevention of violence against women and their children.

Some people may find parts of this content confronting or distressing.
Recommended support services include: 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732 Lifeline: 13 11 14

Note: CALD PAR projects have created these stories and their views and content cannot be attributed to ANROWS.

Side By Side

Women’s Health in the North (Vic)

This digital story is about the Side by Side program, a respectful relationships and sexual and reproductive health program for communities affected by female genital cutting (FGC), and how this program was implemented in a secondary school in the northern metropolitan region (NMR) of Victoria.

Key project findings

Side by Side continues this work with young women who come from countries where the practice of FGC is concentrated. The key achievement of this program is educating young women about sexual and reproductive health in a culturally sensitive way. Unlike sexuality education provided as a part of the standard school curriculum, Side By Side has delivered sexual and reproductive health information which includes FGC. It also promotes access to health services for women who have undergone the practice, and advances prevention efforts towards the abandonment of FGC.

By educating young women, WHIN aims to support attitude change in NMR communities and create environments that are supportive of the elimination of FGC so that girls can forego the practice without risking social exclusion from their communities.


Women’s Health In North would like to thank Australian Government Department of Social Services, ANROWS, and Roxburgh College, Roxburgh Park for making this video possible.






Facilitating Responsible and Non-Stigmatising Attitudes and Practices Towards Domestic Violence in the Chinese Community

Centre for Holistic Health

This digital story is about how Centre for Holistic Health promotes the prevention of family violence in the Chinese community and engages families, community leaders and faith groups in to the wider community. Participants share what they have gained through participating in the programs.

Key project findings

Feedback collected from participants in the project highlighted that:

  1. The awareness community activities increased participants’ knowledge of family violence, reduced their sense of shame around disclosures of violence and challenged gendered expectations and help seeking.
  2. The workshops and groups helped participants to have self-reflections on and changes of attitude towards gendered expectations and rules that can affect relationships.
  3. The training for community and faith leaders increased their knowledge about the limits of their role, how to refer people on to services and resources for further information and support about family violence.

Qiming Li (video editing)




 Link: Playlist Men Managing Change

Free of violence −
Community to all

South’s Community Hub (QLD)

The ‘Men Managing Change’ video series emerged from a start-up Men’s Shed in Brisbane’s south, which explored men’s understanding of their rights, cultural attitudes and change within newly settled communities and focussed on family violence and prevention. It is part of a larger family violence prevention project which has included two years of deep community consultation with communities of mainly refugee backgrounds, and which will produce a culturally appropriate community conflict management toolkit for community leaders and agencies.

Key project findings

The two-year Community Conversations’ project found that men from refugee communities who participated in the project needed more information on the full legal meaning of family violence. Some of these participants accepted family violence as normal, and some saw the system as threatening their manhood and favouring women.

The Men’s Shed workshops and filming built on this and found that where men are open to looking at their behaviour and adapting there is a greater chance to form respectful relationships with partners based on equality. The Men’s Shed workshops included discussions about challenging rigid gender stereotypes through encouraging men to take on domestic duties and exploring different understandings of masculinity.

The Community Conversations project has also engaged women’s groups and services in discussing issues of family violence, which provided further context for the messages delivered in the story.


The digital project was a collaboration between South Community Hub and Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS). Funding was provided through DSS and Legal Aid Queensland.

Refugee and Immigration Legal Service
South Community Hub

These videos are available in English, Kirundi, Amharic, French, Dinka, Sudanese Arabic, Somali, Oromo and Tigrinya.






Cultural Playgroups in Diverse Communities – Promoting Family and Community Safety

VICSEG New Futures (Vic)

This digital story is about highlighting the importance of information and support to women. It is also about two-way referral processes between playgroups and family violence services and collaborating with services in developing and delivering information and support for diverse communities.

Key project findings

The most significant outcome of the activity has been to enable a wide range of women to talk openly about respectful relationships in their family and more broadly in their culture. Talking about how to bring up children simultaneously within a strong culture and acknowledged gender equality has been an important aspect of this activity. It is in the detail of how relationships were less respectful that opportunities for change can be seen. For example, women talked about being “allowed” to participate in study or paid work. Conversations often tested the assumption that husbands or partners had the right to veto work and study, and access to financial resources.


Surmeli Aydogan: Family Violence Prevention Project Coordinator & Digital StoryTeller – VICSEG

Playgroup coordinators: Sayanti Bhatta (Northern Playgroups), Karen Diacono (Wyndham and Melton Playgroup) and Nhung Nguyen (Brimbank & Maribyrnong Playgroups)

Helen Remington: Safe Families facilitator & Senior Manager / Drummond Street

Amanda Testro: All Come Out to Play facilitator / Hullaballoo! Music For All

All the families and their children.



Mutual Relational Respect

Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (Vic)

This digital story is about a primary prevention project that seeks to help stop  violence against women. Mutual Relational Respect aims to assist  the community members of diverse communities  to identify and understand social drivers of family  domestic violence in order to create a culturally responsive theory of change.

Key project findings

Participants: 200 men and women  from Indian, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi community took part, age range 19-85 years. ACHRH trained 8 facilitators.

  1. 71% enjoyed the workshop,  82% would recommend it to other migrants.
  2. Knowledge of violence against women: 13% increase in understanding of non-physical forms of violence.
  3. Attitudes to violence against women: 16% increase in those who believed DV is private matter to be handled in the family
  4. Attitudes to gender inequality: 20% increase in those disagreeing with the statement that ‘A woman has to have children to be fulfilled’
  5. Some pushback was noted. More work is needed  to   shift attitudes

ACHRH thanks DSS for funding the project, ANROWS for supporting. Thanks to the men and women from Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi community who gave up their time. Thanks to Hume Sri Lankan Senior Association, Sri Lankan Cultural Group, Bangladeshi Community, Telegu Ladies club and Indian Snr Citizen Association, Dandenong. Thanks to the Steering Committee, the ACHRH Volunteers and Board for donating time.

Thanks to the MRR  trainers and facilitators:Dr Manjula O’Connor, Dr Keith Thomas, Ms Vijaya Tangiralla, Ms Marshie Perera Rajkumar, Ms Sonia Dhaiya, Dr Jonathan Harrison, Ms Hasnat Jahan, Ms Nish Saji Damadoran.




A Celebration of Culture and Respect

Companion House (ACT)

This digital story is made up of 6 videos made by young people from refugee backgrounds. They discuss what is domestic violence, ask if it is hard to talk about domestic violence, ask why it is important to talk about family violence, discuss the causes or drivers of domestic violence, discuss the role of men in prevention and share key messages of respect.

Key project findings

Working with ANROWS and a Community of Practice we established and refined key research questions:

  • What is the role of men?
  • What is the role of women?
  • What are respectful relationships in that context?

Key responses to this central question varied from group to group and within groups. Some participants strongly believed that men and women’s roles were equal and the same and one of the drivers or causes of domestic violence was gender inequality or strict and inflexible roles. Others believed that roles were more clearly defined by gender, but even if they were, they had a responsibility to eradicate violence and be role models. These key findings will be explored in greater detail through the evaluation of the project.


Companion House would like to acknowledge the leadership and courage of young people from refugee backgrounds and their commitment to this project.






Let’s take the Lead: Keeping Our Women and Girls Safe

Boronia Multicultural Services (NSW)

This digital story is about the “Gender Inequality- Equal Opportunity” for all project. The project is working with the South Asian and Afghan Communities in Parramatta and Cumberland LGAs.

The aim of the project is to empower men, women and young people with the right information and understanding about healthy relationships, positive communication, negotiation and mutual respect between genders. The project raised awareness of how gender inequality, gendered roles and responsibilities and certain norms and practices contribute to violence against women and girls. It focusses on primary prevention strategies, which are based on ‘Change the Story’- a shared framework for the Primary Prevention of Violence  by Our Watch and VicHealth. ANROWS provided action research support.

Key project findings
  • The use of positive language breaks down barriers and resistance to participation in discussions with communities.
  • Statistics are powerful in conveying the extent of the problem of domestic violence in the community. The use of the language of gender equality leads to responses such as ‘women are more powerful in this community’ and these responses work to trivialise the issue.
  • Certain communities felt they were being targeted by our project, but an explanation of how all communities are affected by violence calmed nerves and encouraged participation.

Special thanks go to the people featured in the video: Zeast Faridy, Rugmini  Venkatraman, Sharmila Falzon, Poompavai  Arasu, Vikashan Thayanithy

Swami Shikarananda, Dr.Rahim Latifi, Akash Nagarajan and Renu. Thanks also to Natasha Akib, Digital Storytellers, Safa  (for Farsi  translation), and all participants in our workshops.

Special thanks go to the Australian Government Department of Social Services, ANROWS, Our Watch and all our Project Partners.






The Good Life

Relationships Australia South Australia (SA)

The video encourages African communities to seek knowledge and help. It shows:

  1. Some project activities
  2. What participants’ thoughts were before and after the session
  3. Participants’ messages to other members of the African communities alerting them to the importance of learning about DV
Key project findings

This project consulted with African young people, men and women, with the following key findings:

  • Everyone loved the title and welcomed the positive approach, focussing on having a good life based in safe and respectful relationships
  • Everyone wanted the violence to stop, but they also wanted to access services that are respectful of their culture and able to help them achieve healthy family relationships.
  • There are different levels of awareness and understanding of DV across different communities, ages and genders. This is in addition to having a problem trusting services and their motives to help families stay together without violence.
  • Greater awareness raising and education is needed to bring a positive change within African- Australian communities.

We acknowledge:

  1. DSS for the funding and ANROWS for all the support they provided every step of the way
  2. All the leaders of the African communities who trusted us to reach out to their community and engage in building knowledge and pathways for change
  3. All the volunteers and the students on placements who provided their time and guidance to develop effective strategies, create videos, distribute resources and facilitate debates and sessions
  4. RASA for providing lots of in kind support to make this project as successful as it is

The Good Life Project also worked with SHINE SA and White Ribbon organisations to develop a video titled Together we can stop FGM.

Find out more information about PEACE Multicultural Services at Relationships Australia.

Phone no: 08-82458100


SiSters Sharing in Strength

Asian Women at Work Inc (NSW)

This digital story is about Asian Women at Work Inc. and its role in assisting, resourcing, empowering and improving migrant women’s lives as shown by the journey of these three women who are active participants in the SiSters Sharing in Strength project. The SiSters (Sharing In Strength) project supports women with sponsored partner visa status by providing accessible information about visa status to them and the wide range of people who may have professional or community contacts with them, such as teachers, health and community workers and legal contacts.

Key project findings

We have developed an information kit for people who are helping women on partner visas who are experiencing domestic and family violence. It is the product of several consultations and trial sessions. It is drawn mainly from experiences and needs of women on partner visas from Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese language backgrounds and from the experiences of a wide-range of people – community workers across relevant language groups, ESL teachers, social workers, women’s advocacy groups – whose work (paid/unpaid) brought them regularly into contact with women on partner visas. From our consultations we found that it was vital to put together a kit that brings together basic and vital information accessible to partner visa holders and those who are in positions to help them.

Early feedback from ESL teachers, whom we have trained to use the kit, indicates that the kit is an important resource for their work. We will continue to seek feedback through the training sessions that are scheduled in the near future.


Isang Bilyon by Merlee Jayme (background song)




Women’s Health and Safety project

Wellsprings for Women (VIC)

This animated digital story depicts a common scenario about the circumstances of women we work with at Wellsprings for Women.

The Women’s Health and Safety project is designed for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to raise their awareness and build their knowledge on issues of respectful relationships, gender equality, family violence, self-care and access to services. Through the program women learn strategies that keep them and their children safe from harm associated with family violence and learn how to access services available to them in such circumstances.

Key project findings

There are issues related to culture, language, visa status, economic dependence, and fear of backlash if women decide to leave a violent relationship. We deal with resistance as we deliver our education program. When issues related to gender equity/equality are raised, we find it is the topic that features the most divergence of views, misunderstanding of concepts and misinterpretation. We frame our education approach with human rights principles: the rights of women to be safe, pursue and achieve personal goals, and their right to determine their choices in life without fearing community backlash or stigmatisation. The project has found that it is important to allow enough time with communities to consider new information, draw on the community’s own experiences, and analyse aspects of injustices and inequalities that position women as second class citizens despite the tremendous contribution they make to society.


Dalal Smiley – CEO at Wellsprings for Women

Lora Hares – Women’s Health and Safety Coordinator

Omanma Betty Olabode – voice over

Hannah Blackie – Art and Design





Domestic Violence Prevention Project

SydWest Multicultural Services (NSW)

This digital story is about the successful recruitment of experienced and expert advisory committee members and project ambassadors. The video messages were made for cultural communities, including Afghan, Indian and South Sudanese communities, with messages on the prevention of domestic violence. The videos also provide a different perspective on how domestic violence is viewed in many cultures and communities.

The project supported emerging and established community leaders to gain knowledge and skills to deliver prevention messages, work within their communities and build a network of Afghan, Indian and South Sudanese community leaders and organisations.

The project created an informal network of Afghan, Indian and South Sudanese community leaders and organisations. This network provides regular engagement and peer support for growth and sustainability – this outcome extends beyond the life of the project.

Key project findings
  • Our observations of community engagement with the project indicated that there is a need for different prevention or creating safer pathways initiatives specifically for CALD women and their children.
  • The project provided an opportunity to consult with different faith-based communities across different states in Australia, which highlighted the role of religion and cultural values in attitudes and responses to family violence in CALD communities. These consultations allowed us to gain a better understanding of their capacity for prevention, early intervention and responses to family violence.
  • Engaging with emerging female faith leaders created an alternative source of support for prevention work when some male faith leaders expressed conservative views that did not align with the work of advancing gender equality and preventing violence.
  • Future initiatives should consider influencing positive family relationships by targeting young people through school programs and in the community.
  • Future initiatives to engage multiple communities should include more funding and time for project delivery.

Principal Solicitor – Ariana Defence Lawyers

Blacktown Women’s and Girls’ Health Centre

ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods

Australian National University

Multicultural Community Liaison Officer
Blacktown LAC

The video features the following people

Maryam, Project officer

Jane, Member of advisory group

Ambassadors (with their countries of birth)

Akram: Sudan

Zahra: Afghanistan

Deepak: India

Assefa: Ethiopia

Sanjive: India

Ade: Nigeria

Suzan: Afghanistan




Healthy multicultural families

Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LCMS)

This story is about sharing our success. We’ve developed, tried and tested a unique approach to empower multicultural parents in Bendigo. Through our work, we’re changing perceptions of what it means to be a role model and what it takes to be the best parent people can be in a new community.

LCMS is a Bendigo-based not-for-profit organisation that supports people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to fully participate in Australian society. We are an ethnic communities’ council run by and for multicultural communities.

The healthy multicultural families project was developed in partnership with Bendigo’s Karen and Hazara families. Parents need support wherever they are – but especially when they are raising a family in a new community. So LCMS set to work to create a brand new parenting program, specifically designed to meet the needs of our local CALD parents. We worked with representatives from the Karen and Hazara communities, alongside Catholic Care and the Centre for Non Violence to develop a unique program that brought together best practice approaches and culturally sensitive resources. Our course equips parents with practical skills to connect and empower their children. Through the lens of child development, we explore our parenting journey – as role models and partners. And, critically, we work with both mums and dads to explore how healthy gender roles and relations positively influence our children.

We’ve now worked with over 60 parents across Bendigo’s CALD communities – with each session delivered in language by our bilingual facilitators. Our unique approach has now been piloted in two other regional sites through partner organisations and demand for our work continues to grow.

Key project findings

We interviewed 9 participants from two different workshop series. These individuals were invited to reflect the cross section of parents who attended our programs (in terms of gender, age and migration status). We spoke three months after their last workshop, and asked them what they saw as the most significant change since completing the course. We found that:

  • Parents are consistently feeling more prepared to raise their children in a new community.
  • Participants have a better understanding of what Australian families tend to value in raising their children, the cultural differences that exist, and how these differences can be navigated (in particular collectivist values versus individualist values).
  • Dads completing the course have become more involved in day-to-day parenting. They are playing healthier roles in their families and have been challenging traditional gender norms in their communities.
  • Parents have reported finding new and improved ways to manage conflict, and are increasingly confident about working together to overcome challenges.

LCMS wishes to thank everyone who has been a part of this project. In particular, we sincerely appreciate the work of our bilingual facilitators, Bu Gay Pah Thei and Fatima Qurbani as well as our parenting guru, Anne-Maree Britt.


For more information, email Rose Vincent





Mothers as Mentors

South West Sydney Legal Centre (NSW)

Mothers as Mentors (MaMs) was established to empower CALD women to develop leadership and mentoring skills to become change advocates in their communities. Tailored education workshops with the Mothers as Mentors group aimed to raise awareness on gender equality, gender stereotypes and respectful relationships, so to challenge violence against women and children.

Key project findings
  • Women involved in the MaMs project increased their understanding of gender equality, respectful relationships and the dynamics of family violence.
  • Women improved their awareness of support services and legal options available to protect women and children from violence and abuse in Australia.
  • Women strengthened individual personal development through psychoeducation activities and TAFE short course, which improved self-confidence, mentoring skills, and aspirations for ongoing personal growth.
  • School staff increased knowledge about the impact of interpersonal trauma on child development, and gained awareness of classroom strategies to support children.



Men Against Violence (MAV)

Men Against Violence (MAV)

Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW

This digital story (Punjabi and Arabic) uses the power of conversation to convey a deep message about perceptions towards domestic violence. A video depicting a son expressing to his father his concerns about the way his father treats his mother has been captured to initiate conversations about domestic violence. These videos are recorded in Arabic and in Punjabi languages and were inspired by an Argentinian Campaign, Cambia El Trato by the Avon Foundation, about Domestic Violence. These two powerful interactions are not to be missed!

Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW (ECCNSW) is a non-profit member-based organisation established in 1975. It has had a long standing commitment to representing the issues and concerns of culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The Department of Social Services has funded ECCNSW to implement a project focusing on preventing domestic violence known as the Men Against Violence (MAV) Project.

The project trains and engages Wellbeing Connectors from Arabic & Punjabi backgrounds to initiate informal conversations about men’s wellbeing. These interactions ultimately empower men to become a pipeline for change and challenge current perception towards DV in their community. This project works with CALD men who are living in Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown and Parramatta.

Key project findings
  • Domestic Violence (DV) is a massive issue in all cultures.
  • The majority of men, whom we engaged in our project, thought DV only involves physical acts. We were able to provide information on non-physical forms of violence and abuse through our project.
  • Culturally relevant education about DV is not available for CALD communities. In this context, communication and awareness sessions are very important for preventing violence in the communities we work with in this project.
  • DV is a serious issue which cannot be resolved within a specified period of time and needs long-term investment in prevention.
  • There is need to increase the awareness of DV issues in different cultures
  • There needs to be greater provision of materials in different languages to enable men to have a clearer understanding of DV issues
  • MAV project implementation has been enhanced through an active engagement with Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), which included: site visits, zoom meetings, online interactions and attendance at interstates workshops (2 days in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) with other projects funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

ECCNSW would like to acknowledge the following Advisory committee representatives:

  1. Arab Council Australia;
  2. Dementia Group for Indian Australians Inc;
  3. Domestic Violence Management Services;
  4. Indian Crisis & Support Agency;
  5. Multicultural Health in Westmead and Auburn;
  6. NSW Department of Justice;
  7. NSW Police Force, Bankstown;
  8. Settlement Services International;
  9. South West Sydney Legal Services;
  10. Sydwest Multicultural Services Blacktown; and
  11. White Ribbon Australia.

ECCNSW would like to thank:
the actors in the DV videos – Munther Emad & Radwan Hussayni for Arabic video and Arvind P. Issar & Gurpreet Singh Diamond for Punjabi Video; Anju Karla for helping in translation from Punjabi to English; Fadi Nemme for helping in translating from Arabic to English; and Esther Lozano for video production.



Safer Pathways
for CALD Women

These projects work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities, aiming to create safer pathways for women and their children to access mainstream crisis and support services.

Some people may find parts of this content confronting or distressing.
Recommended support services include: 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732 Lifeline: 13 11 14

Note: CALD PAR projects have created these stories and their views and content cannot be attributed to ANROWS.

Safer Pathways for Refugee and Immigrant Women, Ballarat and Western Victoria

Ballarat Community Health (Vic)

This digital story represents the journey of two Ballarat women who were experiencing and received help for family violence. The women share their strength with others by encouraging women in the community to seek help where needed, or reach out and support others around them.

Key project findings

When given the opportunity and appropriate support, through both formal and informal structures, many women from diverse refugee or migrant backgrounds are willing to actively contribute to family violence prevention and response initiatives in the interest of supporting their peers. The Safer Pathways project is resulting in an increased understanding amongst mainstream and specialist family violence services in Western Victoria of the particular issues and barriers faced by women from diverse cultural backgrounds in receiving family violence information, support and assistance. However, there is still some way to go to translate this understanding into practice change.


Lesley McKarney




Safer Pathways

Save the Children Australia (VIC)

This digital story is about Save the Children’s Safer Pathways Project and the importance of working collaboratively with organisations to raise awareness of barriers experienced by CALD women and children accessing Family Violence and/or Sexual Assault services. Interviewees share learnings from training received on understanding and responding to Family Violence in CALD communities.

Save the Children’s Safer Pathways Project is about building capacity of mainstream and specialist services at delivering a culturally safe and intersectional focused response to CALD women and children at risk of or experiencing Domestic/Family Violence and/or Sexual Assault.

Key project findings

Key findings from the project to date have highlighted the importance of providing CALD-specific training to mainstream and specialist Family Violence and Sexual Assault services to support them in delivering a culturally sensitive service response. Some service providers were unaware of the various ways Family/Domestic Violence presents in CALD families, which highlighted the importance of intersectionality training. The findings also highlighted the importance of collaboration and strong partnerships with organisations to ensure we all have a shared understanding of CALD women and children’s experience of Family Violence.  In addition, we have learnt the importance of reframing discussion topics, such as Family Violence, during our community engagement in order to be mindful and respectful of women’s own perception and the sensitivity of such topics.


Hristina Serovska: Project Officer
Fazela Abbasi: Bi-Cultural Worker
Kim Scott: Primary Care Connect
Sarmed Yassin: Greater Shepparton City Council
Lyn Hewson: Family Care




Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours Digital Stories

Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women and their Children: Capricornia Families are Everyone’s Business

Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours

This digital story is about local Rockhampton men from different cultural backgrounds talking about their thoughts, perspectives and beliefs about healthy and respectful relationships. The digital stories also aim to promote change by inspiring others to raise the issue of Domestic and Family Violence, encourage people to speak up and seek the help they need in order to make a positive change.

The most important takeaway from the digital story is to highlight men in the community acknowledging the benefits of having healthy relationships and that they themselves are responsible for making positive changes that can help towards creating healthy and respectful relationships with others.

Key project findings

The slogan of the videos – “Positive Change. It Starts With Me.” promotes a message that we all have the ability to make changes in our relationships with others. The action research undertaken within the project enabled us to frame the digital story’s message in terms of focussing on healthy and respectful relationships, whilst providing contact numbers and website details for viewers of the videos motivated to seek support. Through our research we learned that shifting our approach from a domestic and family violence project to one that promoted respectful relationships improved the dynamics in the conversations  we had with CALD people.


We would like to acknowledge our local men who provided their voices, thoughts and insights about healthy and respectful relationships whose time and knowledge given are much appreciated.



Safer Pathways for CALD Women

Townsville Multicultural Support Group (QLD)

This digital story is an overview of the Safer Pathways for CALD Women program in Townsville and provides a clear message to multicultural communities that is is okay to speak out against domestic and family violence.

Key project findings

Through the collection and analysis of demographic data, feedback interviews, reports from bicultural trainers and anecdotal evidence, the Safer Pathways for CALD Women Program has found that:

  • CALD people experiencing domestic and family violence face significant barriers when they attempt to access support services. This can be due to unconscious biases among community organisations when engaging with CALD people.
  • The program increased participants’ awareness of non-physical forms of abuse.
  • A majority of women who completed the program have indicated that they feel more confident to access support services.

The Townsville Multicultural Support Group acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of Townsville – The Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun; and Bindal people. We pay our respects to their cultures, their ancestors and their elders – past and present, and all future generations.

We would also like to acknowledge the women and men whose participation in the Safer Pathways contributed to the film concepts and the TMSG team for their informed and moral support.

Video staring: Jacky Ndayisaba, Amy Dhewayani, and Tahlia Briggs.

Filmed at: Townsville Multicultural Support Group Office
63 Ross River Rd, Mundingburra
Jezzine Barracks at The Strand, Townsville





CatholicCare Social Services Southern QLD (CatholicCare)

This digital story is about the BLESS (Building Linkages to Empower South Sudanese) project. The project is providing information to the South Sudanese community of Toowoomba about what Domestic Violence is and what support services are available to assist families that experience Domestic Violence. It describes the way the project has engaged a Community Connector, Community Leaders and Community Volunteers to advocate to the community on behalf of the project and provide advice on cultural matters for the project design.

BLESS was inspired by the respected South Sudanese tradition of community-based conciliation. Co-designed by Toowoomba’s large South Sudanese community, the project aims to equip, empower and strengthen women from this community who are at risk of or are experiencing domestic or family violence (DFV) or sexual assault, with safe, culturally appropriate, community-supported pathways to access community support and regional mainstream services. In response to issues community members have raised, the project team has run classes on parenting, family budgeting and schooling and organised community events to bring together community members and service providers.

Key project findings

The Bless project team conducted two focus groups, observation of five community action dinners and other project activities and a document review of attendance and other records from project activities. Our research highlights that:

  • Engaging community elders can create a positive and supportive way to promote discussions about the importance of family relationships and strengthening family harmony. For example, community members were very happy with the project’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations and how we recognised the value of grandmothers and grandfathers. At these events, the elders spoke to the young people about their life, how important it is to understand the new cultures of Australia and keep their children safe. They encouraged people in the community to work out differences and parent together without violence.
  • Support around parenting contributes to a safer and happier family environment. The project’s parenting classes helped young parents to be confident about healthy eating, early learning, keeping children active and limiting access to technology.
  • Having a trusted Community Connector, who was a member of the communities engaged by the project, was key to its success. Her work not only raised the profile of family violence issues and available services in the community, but also enabled community members to feel more comfortable seeking help when experiencing issues in their family so that they could be safely referred to services.
  • As CatholicCare is a large organisation with many support services co-located with the project team, referrals were easier and more holistic support could be provided for any community members facing family violence.

We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the South Sudanese Community Committee and active community members who have provided mentoring and advisory input into the project. We would also like to thank the Counselling and Family Dispute Resolution services within CatholicCare for their culturally appropriate support of clients referred from the BLESS project along with external referral supports from the housing and education sector in particular.

For further information about CatholicCare Social Services Southern QLD you can go to our websiteFacebookInstagramLinkedIn



Safer Pathways for CALD Women

The Neighbourhood Hub (QLD)

This digital story is about the CALD Women’s Club for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women in Mackay to connect and make new friends, to learn new skills and knowledge, to gain confidence and get new opportunities, and have fun in a safe, friendly environment.

Key project findings

Key findings from the Safer Pathways Project include:

  • Importance of language when engaging with CALD women to improve their safety. With stigma and shame attached to domestic and family violence language, it worked better to engage women while focusing on the positive language of healthy relationships, personal development, support and new opportunities.
  • It was important to give ownership of the CALD Women’s Club to the women and use a strengths-based participatory approach. This approach assisted CALD Women to connect over shared stories of immigration, settlement and cross-cultural marriages, as well as over their desire to stay connected and support each other. This approach also motivated CALD women to share their stories through the video to reach other women who might feel isolated or go through similar experiences.

The Neighbourhood Hub would like to acknowledge the invaluable support and mentorship from ANROWS and Digital Storytellers.

Thank you to Mackay Women’s Services for the ongoing support and commitment to women’s safety and to assisting women in reaching their best potential.

The Neighbourhood Hub would also like to acknowledge the Department of Social Services for putting their trust in us and supporting us with the funding to deliver this project.

Video storytellers: Etina Mlambo (CALD Women’s Club participant), Maricel Susaya (CALD Women’s Club participant) and Anne Butcher (Executive Director, Mackay Women’s Services)

Filmmakers: Valeria Edsall and Toni-Marie Strange (Safer Pathways for CALD Women Project, The Neighbourhood Hub)

The Neighbourhood Hub
4 George St & 43 Shakespeare St, Mackay, QLD
07 4957 2626







Making the Links − Building Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women in Regional Victoria

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (VIC)

This digital story is about emphasising the need to invest in faith leaders as potential partners in prevention of violence against women. It talks about the role faith communities and faith leaders can play in preventing violence against women, partnering with specialist services and providing safe referral pathways to women who disclose.

Key project findings

Working with partners in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Mildura and Swan Hill, “Making the links” is supporting services to provide culturally inclusive and relevant information and help, and encouraging migrant women to learn more about family violence, sexual assault and local services. Drawing on the available evidence, the project involves facilitating education sessions and service tours to connect women directly with local organisations as well as providing multilingual information and cross-cultural support to services about migrant women’s experiences. MCWH believes that faith settings can be a safe space for women to talk about their concerns and fears and therefore there is a need to include faith leaders as partners in PVAW. In collaboration with ANROWS, MCWH is currently still collecting information during the life of the project to evaluate the effectiveness of their activities and will be sharing findings with stakeholders at the end of the project.


Department of Social Services for funding the project.




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PO Box Q389, Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
Phone: 61 2 8374 4000
| Email: enquiries@anrows.org.au

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