Indigenous women’s experiences of domestic and family violence and its impact on relocation, housing stability and parenting

Dr Silke Meyer

Central Queensland University

This presentation is based on qualitative face-to-face interviews with Indigenous women in two regional Queensland research sites. Interviews focused on women’s experiences of domestic and family violence, related housing instabilities and the role of children. These interviews formed part of a larger study on cultural and regional differences in Indigenous and non-Indigenous women’s experiences of domestic and family violence and related homelessness. Findings reveal the role of intergenerational trauma, a normalisation of violence, the role of community and kinship ties and other challenges associated with leaving an abusive relationship in regional and remote settings. For many women, the decision to leave increased their risk of homelessness and their loss of social support. Implications for interventions will be discussed.

Biography

Dr Silke Meyer is a Lecturer at the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Research Centre at Central Queensland University. She is currently developing and delivering a new postgraduate program in Domestic and Family Violence Practice. Her research centres on different aspects of domestic and family violence, including women and children’s safety and wellbeing, perpetrator accountability and experiences specific to Australian Indigenous communities. Dr Meyer’s most recent projects examine cultural and regional differences in women’s experiences of domestic and family violence and related homelessness, engaging Domestic and Family Violence perpetrators as fathers and factors associated with Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents’ help-seeking.

Building an effective throughcare approach for Aboriginal offenders in Australia

H. Tubex

University of Western Australia

This paper reports on a project aiming to identify the needs of Indigenous male and female offenders on (supervised or full time) release to develop effective community-based throughcare strategies. It will summarise the experiences and first findings of interviews conducted during field visits to remote communities in the Kimberley (WA), town communities around Darwin and the Melville community on the Tiwi Islands (NT). We opt for a methodology that is not developed from within the criminal justice system, which is mainly designed for white male offenders, but for a non-governmental and community-led approach. Therefore, we start from the needs and strengths of male and female offenders and their communities and build on the knowledge and expertise of local Indigenous people and services. We are using the grass-roots experience of the people involved to develop strategies for effective throughcare, which are culturally appropriate, acceptable and therefore achievable in a context of Indigenous people returning to their communities. The findings will be reported back to the people and agencies involved in the project and they will form the basis of guidelines for government agencies on how to improve their throughcare approach for Indigenous offenders in preparation for release.

Biography

Hilde Tubex received a four year Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council for her project: ‘Reducing imprisonment rates in Australia: International experiences, marginal populations and a focus on the over-representation of Indigenous people’. She is currently working on a Criminology Research Grant to develop effective throughcare for Indigenous offenders. She is based at the Faculty of Law of the University of Western Australia.

Crossing borders, setting boundaries: Findings from an evaluation of the cross border Indigenous family violence program

Matthew Willis1*, Sarah Holcombe2

1 Australian Institute of Criminology
2 Australian National University

* corresponding author: matthew.willis@aic.gov.au

The NPY Lands of Central Australia are home to 13 communities speaking five Western Desert languages. The Lands straddle the cross border region where the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia meet. It is a vast and sparsely populated area with limited services and infrastructure. Like other remote communities across Australia, the Aboriginal communities in this region exhibit resilience in the face of systemic disadvantage and problems such as family violence.

The Cross Border Indigenous Family Violence Program is a joint initiative of the three cross border governments that works with mandated and voluntary men who have perpetrated family violence. It is a four week, 54 hour group work program that aims to achieve enduring changes in behaviour through culturally and locally appropriate support to address issues of family violence, anger management and substance abuse. The program works from the assumption that an individual can change their behaviour by developing self-awareness and taking responsibility for their actions.

Drawing on the findings from an evaluation of the program led by the Australian Institute of Criminology, this presentation will explore the difficulties of delivering programmatic interventions in remote Central Australia and consider the challenges of achieving positive behavioural change in these communities.

Biography

Matthew Willis has been with the AIC for twelve years. His main research areas are crime, justice and community safety issues in Indigenous communities, and correctional policy and practice. He has a strong research interest in Justice Reinvestment and has recently commenced doctoral studies focused on this emerging area. Matthew has operational management and policy experience with a range of Australian and ACT government justice agencies.

Doesn’t matter if you’re black or white: Othering of First Nation peoples in mainstream criminology journals

A. Deckert

School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, adeckert@aut.ac.nz

Canada and the United States both incarcerate Indigenous peoples at disproportionate rates. Previous studies have shown that scholarly discourse in high-ranked criminology journals has remained markedly silent about this issue, and that most published studies employed silencing research methods. Analysing the content of published research, this study reveals that most comparative studies do not classify First Nation peoples as a distinct social group. Rather, academics tend to apply the categories ‘White’, ‘Non-White’ and ‘Other’ indiscriminately; lumping First Nation peoples together with various ethnic groups and thus entirely disregarding and undermining Indigenous peoples’ political and legal uniqueness, histories, and relationship to the land. It is argued that the primarily othering discourse in mainstream criminology journals alienates Indigenous peoples and discourages contributions to criminological research both as participants and scholars. This lack of involvement generates further silence, and is used to legitimise the continued use of silencing research methods. The findings suggest that an intricate interplay of silence, silencing and othering, as observed in mainstream criminological discourse over the past decade (2001-2010), has contributed to the marginalisation of First Nation peoples, the reproduction of social inequality, and the preservation of elite power.

Biography

Senior Lecturer Criminology

Doesn’t matter if you’re black or white: Othering of First Nation peoples in mainstream criminology journals

A. Deckert

School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, adeckert@aut.ac.nz

Canada and the United States both incarcerate Indigenous peoples at disproportionate rates. Previous studies have shown that scholarly discourse in high-ranked criminology journals has remained markedly silent about this issue, and that most published studies employed silencing research methods. Analysing the content of published research, this study reveals that most comparative studies do not classify First Nation peoples as a distinct social group. Rather, academics tend to apply the categories ‘White’, ‘Non-White’ and ‘Other’ indiscriminately; lumping First Nation peoples together with various ethnic groups and thus entirely disregarding and undermining Indigenous peoples’ political and legal uniqueness, histories, and relationship to the land. It is argued that the primarily othering discourse in mainstream criminology journals alienates Indigenous peoples and discourages contributions to criminological research both as participants and scholars. This lack of involvement generates further silence, and is used to legitimise the continued use of silencing research methods. The findings suggest that an intricate interplay of silence, silencing and othering, as observed in mainstream criminological discourse over the past decade (2001-2010), has contributed to the marginalisation of First Nation peoples, the reproduction of social inequality, and the preservation of elite power.

Biography

Senior Lecturer Criminology

Doing ethical Indigenous criminology

Professor Maggie Walter

Pro Vice-Chancellor Aboriginal Research and Leadership, University of Tasmania

Population statistics are not neutral data. And statistical non-neutrality poses significant, but frequently disregarded or misunderstood ethical issues in the doing of Indigenous criminology. Indigenous population statistics in particular should be recognised as social and cultural artefacts that often say more about the group gathering and analysing those data than the group who are the subject of such data activity. This plenary session uses the NHRMC guidelines for research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to demonstrate the ‘do’s and ‘donts’ of doing ethic Indigenous criminology.

Biography

Maggie Walter (PhD) is member of the Palawa Briggs/Johnson Tasmanian Aboriginal family,  She is Professor of Sociology and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania. She has published extensively in the field of race relations and inequality and is passionate about Indigenous statistical engagement. Books include: Growing Up Strong: Indigenous Perspectives on the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (edited with K.L. Martin and G. Bodkin-Andrews, Palgrave Macmillan, in press); Indigenous statistics: a quantitative methodology (with Chris Andersen, Left Coast Press, 2013) Inequality in Australia: Discourses, Realities and Directions 2nd Edition (with D. Habibis OUP 2014) and Social Research Methods (ed) 3rd Edition, OUP 2013).

The elements of indigenous criminology

Chris Cunneen  

This paper draws on the recently published book Indigenous Criminology (Policy Press, 2016) and co-authored with Juan Tauri.

In a non-prescriptive way, it sets out what we see as the key elements that make-up an Indigenous criminology. It discusses methodological, theoretical and political intersections to ‘doing’ Indigenous criminology.

Biography

Chris Cunneen is Professor of Criminology jointly in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Law, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia. He has an international reputation as a leading criminologist working in the areas of Indigenous people and the law, juvenile justice, restorative justice, policing, prison issues and human rights. Previously, Professor Cunneen taught criminology at the University of Sydney Law School from 1990-2005, and was Director of the Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney from 1999-2005. He was also the Chairperson of the New South Wales Juvenile Justice Advisory Council (2000-2007) and a member of the New South Wales Aboriginal Child Sexual Assault Taskforce (2003-2006). He also holds a conjoint position with the Cairns Institute at James Cook University. Professor Cunneen is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Cunneen has conducted research work for a number of Indigenous and human rights organisations, including the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and their National Inquiry into Racist Violence. He was also a consultant to the National Inquiry into Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. His most recent books include Indigenous Criminology (c-authored with Juan Tauri, Policy Press, 2016), Justice Reinvestment. Winding Back Imprisonment (with Brown, Schwartz, Stubbs and Young, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Juvenile Justice. Youth and Crime in Australia (co-authored with Rob White and Kelly Richards, Oxford University Press, 2015), and Penal Culture and Hyperincarceration (with Baldry, et al, Ashgate, 2013).

The elements of indigenous criminology

Chris Cunneen  

This paper draws on the recently published book Indigenous Criminology (Policy Press, 2016) and co-authored with Juan Tauri.

In a non-prescriptive way, it sets out what we see as the key elements that make-up an Indigenous criminology. It discusses methodological, theoretical and political intersections to ‘doing’ Indigenous criminology.

Biography

Chris Cunneen is Professor of Criminology jointly in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Law, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia. He has an international reputation as a leading criminologist working in the areas of Indigenous people and the law, juvenile justice, restorative justice, policing, prison issues and human rights. Previously, Professor Cunneen taught criminology at the University of Sydney Law School from 1990-2005, and was Director of the Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney from 1999-2005. He was also the Chairperson of the New South Wales Juvenile Justice Advisory Council (2000-2007) and a member of the New South Wales Aboriginal Child Sexual Assault Taskforce (2003-2006). He also holds a conjoint position with the Cairns Institute at James Cook University. Professor Cunneen is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Cunneen has conducted research work for a number of Indigenous and human rights organisations, including the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and their National Inquiry into Racist Violence. He was also a consultant to the National Inquiry into Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. His most recent books include Indigenous Criminology (c-authored with Juan Tauri, Policy Press, 2016), Justice Reinvestment. Winding Back Imprisonment (with Brown, Schwartz, Stubbs and Young, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Juvenile Justice. Youth and Crime in Australia (co-authored with Rob White and Kelly Richards, Oxford University Press, 2015), and Penal Culture and Hyperincarceration (with Baldry, et al, Ashgate, 2013).

ABOUT ANZSOC

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