Richard Kanari’s message to others is a clear one: “say no to the violence,” SBS News reports.
The Pitjantjatjara man is one of a cast of Indigenous men coming together to work towards preventing the problem in remote communities.
The NPY Women’s Council is holding bush camps in the arid landscape of central Australia for Indigenous men to talk and reflect on what Mr Kanari describes as a “good way” of living.
“Domestic violence is a big thing in Australia, and in the community … fighting young mother and father, that is not a good thing,” he tells SBS News.
“We have got to stop all that.”
The bush camps are one of three community programs set to receive more than $2.3 million in funding from the federal government.
The NPY Women’s Council is getting $900,000 to continue its work helping connect Anangu men with community leaders through these camps.
Mr Kanari says he has seen the consequences of falling down a “wrong” path of drinking, taking drugs and criminal behaviour can lead to.
That’s why he believes sharing experience across generations at these camps and promoting a “strong message” against violence is so important.
“We teach the young fellas to go together with the middle-aged people and the elders. Try and sit down and listen to stories,” he said.
“We always talk about all that [and] teach them how to live in the good way.”
The funding is part of a push to reduce family violence in at-risk communities by working directly with men through culturally appropriate initiatives to address these challenges.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the aim is to break the cycle of violence before it occurs.
Richard Kanari says it comes down to taking the “good road”.
“My message is to stand strong and keep standing for the young people.”
The NPY Women’s Council’s bush camps are bringing men together to help encourage respect in relationships. Source: Rhett Hammerton