Family violence in Indigenous communities


Tom Calma presents his speech at the AIJA Family Violence Conference in Brisbane. Family violence is defined in context to kinship in Indigenous communities. The complexities of Indigenous family structure are discussed in regard to the Western application of the terminology ‘domestic’ and ‘family’ violence. Competition for limited resources in these kinships is described as a determinant for family violence. Historical context is provided for Indigenous communities in Queensland. The prevalence and characteristics of homicide for family violence in Indigenous communities is stipulated, supported by data and research. Calma presents what action is required, highlighting the injustices that exist within access to justice, police and community safety and community justice initiatives. The synergies between Australian law and customary law are deliberated. Healing, justice reinvestment and Indigenous involvement in such issues are argued to be integral to countering family violence.