Miralarringu means ‘to become visible’ in Martu wangka.

Violence against women and children is a crime and a fundamental breach of human rights. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing violence over the course of their life than non-Indigenous. Family violence creates intergenerational cycles in which trauma and the propensity for violence is passed from parent to child. 

The AMHC has a big vision. That all Aboriginal women and children live safe and healthy lives free of family violence.


core principles


There is currently a patchwork of programs to address family violence in Aboriginal communities; but there remains a lack of coordination and consistency in approaches. The cycle of violence persists. 

To address the gap, there is accord among practitioners that a holistic system-wide approach is needed. Self-determination for Indigenous people is internationally regarded as the most effective factor in producing better health and social outcomes for Indigenous people. 

The following principles are core to the AMHC.

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the challenge


The impact of family violence on women and children is significant.

Women experience physical and emotional trauma, depression and anxiety, homelessness and poverty. Children suffer from inadequate brain development and learning problems; and are likely to think and act differently to children that have been raised in a safe and secure environment. 

The long-term impact is dysfunction and disadvantage – poor health, low participation in employment, alcohol and drug abuse and criminal activity. Family and community networks can be disrupted; leading to a loss of culture, identity and connection to the land.

Family violence creates intergenerational cycles in which trauma and the propensity for violence is passed from parent to child. For families and communities caught up in this cycle, violence can become normalised and an expected part of family life.

Current programs are not effective. In serious instances of family violence, the courts will, and should, respond with appropriately severe sentences. However, the safety and well-being of victims is paramount, and in less serious cases the safety of victims in the medium to longer term is not always improved by a custodial sentence. Incarceration simply removes the men from the community temporarily and returns the men without effective rehabilitation. The cycle continues.

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AMHC will offer an alternative to incarceration for men that use violence against women and children. AMHC aims to heal these men and break the cycle of violence; and provide a safe and secure place for women and children. The safety of women and children is our paramount concern.

The AMHC will offer a 12-month residential healing program incorporating clinical care and rehabilitation underpinned by Aboriginal culture and lore. An extended program will give the men time to develop:

  • Life skills and meaningful employment opportunities

  • A sense of responsibility

  • Good physical health

  • Emotional and spiritual strength

Throughout the healing process, AMHC will aim to protect the safety of women and children by providing a safe and secure environment away from the centre.

Aboriginal culture and lore

It is widely accepted that connecting to culture should be a key component of Indigenous programs and is “significantly associated with non-recidivism”*. 

There is clear recognition of the importance of culturally safe interventions which:

“…centre on culturally based forms of identity, belonging, stability and protection which create meaning and connection for Aboriginal peoples. This is viewed as the central element in building resilience, meaning and purpose for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the entire community, not solely in the criminal justice system.”

The AMHC presents an opportunity for Aboriginal men who use violence to remain on country and reconnect with their culture while undergoing healing. Aboriginal culture and lore is key healing element. All programs are developed and delivered by respected Elders in collaboration with the clinical team. 

Entry into the program

Men can enter the program on a voluntary basis or be referred by the courts. The demand for the AMHC is anticipated to be high. Accordingly, residents referred by the courts will be prioritised. 

Under Western Australian law, there are several ways in which the AMHC program can be mandated by the courts such as: 

  • a condition of bail,

  • a condition of a Community Based Order or Intensive Supervision Order, or 

  • deferring a sentence for a period during which the offender can be subject to conditions.

* Reference: The impact of indigenous cultural identity and cultural engagement on violent offending; Stephane M. Shepherd, Rosa Hazel Delgado, Juanita Sherwood, and Yin Paradies; 2017


evaluation & monitoring

There is always debate around the effectiveness of responses to family violence.  Accordingly, the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the program is paramount.

The success of AMHC will be determined by the extent to which policy outcomes are achieved and how they have affected stakeholders. AMHC will identify and map baseline information as well as ensure that ongoing access to consistent data sources will be available through monitoring over the life of AMHC. Data will be quantitative (hard or numerical data) or qualitative (soft or categorical). 

The credibility of our evaluation will be enhanced through sound evidence, high professional and ethical standards, and the engagement of independent evaluators. AMHC is aware that an effective evaluation is the result of a planning process over the life of the initiative.