Wondin-dee works

INDIGENOUS domestic violence offenders now have an outlet to talk about their relationship problems with a new CTC program called Wondin-dee.

CTC councillor Simon Geri said the 12-week program worked with men who had been domestic violence offenders.

"We aim to teach them more appropriate ways of dealing with conflict in a relationship," he said.

"The main focus is about increasing and improving means responsibilities and making them accountable for their own actions.

"The aim of the program is increasing education and decreasing violence with the victim as an outcome."

Mr Geri said men were generally referred to the program through probation and parole.

He said some men were referred to the program for assaulting their own mothers.

Mr Geri believed the program was already showing positive results after only six months of being in action.

"I think its working," he said.

"It's going to be a long road.

"It's been a problem in the community for a long time and now is the time to address the issues in the community."

The Wondin-dee program was introduced to the Cherbourg and Murgon areas because there was no domestic violence deterrent program specific to this area.

Mr Geri said the program was made to be culturally appropriate and consultation with local elders was a major part.

"It makes it a quite unique program to the area," he said.

Reasons for domestic violence in Cherbourg and Murgon are due to post-colonisation, Mr Geri said.

"It's the impact of living in a small community," he said.

"Gossip, alcohol and a high rate of unemployment also have an impact.

"What happens here might be different to what happens in other aboriginal communities."

Men in the program complete many activities, including group counselling sessions, to deal with their relationship conflicts.

Funding for the program will last until the start of 2015.

South Burnett

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