Media release: Safe journeys for Aboriginal women sleeping rough

Media release: Safe journeys for Aboriginal women sleeping rough

Aboriginal women and children sleeping rough in the Adelaide parklands will be supported into safe and stable accommodation, reconnected with their communities and if appropriate, returned to country through a new specialist domestic violence program.

The program, called Marni-Padni – Pukulpay anama, which means Journey safe, Safe Journeys in both Kaurna and Pitjantjatjara languages, will be run by Baptist Care, beginning on July 1 and running until the end of 2021.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the new $300,000 program supports safety and wellbeing for Aboriginal women by helping them into accommodation and returning to country.

“The Journey Safe, Safe Journeys program is designed and run by Aboriginal women so it will provide culturally appropriate support, with project staff going out to the parklands and building relationships with the women there,” said Minister Lensink.

“It is essential that we listen to Aboriginal women about their family’s needs and provide culturally appropriate responses that improve their safety and security in both the short and long term.

“Supporting women and children to reconnect with their communities and return to country safely is an important step in breaking the cycle of domestic violence.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said the program targets some of our most vulnerable and at-risk women.

“Women will be connected with accommodation along with other vital services including family violence counselling, health and mental health services, and wellbeing supports for their children,” said Mrs Power.

“We are engaging in ways to understand – and work to remove – the barriers that prevent women returning to live safely in their own communities. Being supported to safely maintain connection with family and community is so important.”

The program is funded through the Federal Government’s funding injection to help at-risk South Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing immediate support to women and children, the project is expected to provide useful knowledge of the needs of Aboriginal people staying in the parklands.