A 13.2ha site once earmarked for an East Pilbara transport and logistics hub will become home to a 28-bed facility with the first specialist counselling centre for Aboriginal perpetrators of family violence.
However, the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre still needs to raise the $13 million needed to build the rehabilitation centre.
The Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre’s chief executive Devon Cuimara has rallied Newman’s local council, Martu elders, police, legal services and the local community to support his vision for a centre for Aboriginal men to take responsibility for their actions and stop a multi-generational cycle of family violence and sexual abuse.
With a limited budget and scare resources, Mr Cuimara’s vision has been supported by a not-for-profit organisation — COLAB Community Link to Architects and Builders — that helps forge relationships between “built environment professionals” and community projects that need their services.
For example, COLAB managing director Margot Matthews said COLAB was able to find a project manager, architect and surveyors for the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre.
The Shire of East Pilbara donated the 13.2ha site and Mr Cuimara said he hoped to raise the funds for building and have the service running by 2021.
“As an Aboriginal man myself, I’m about making sure the women and children are safe and restoring hope and love in families,” he said, adding family violence was generational.
His grandfather had been violent, his father was violent and he had been violent. “This stops with me,” Mr Cuimara said.
Today and tomorrow the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre’s patrons, WA Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin and WA Family Court Chief Judge Stephen Thackray will attend a conference in Newman.
Attendees at Sons of the Fathers Family Violence and Sexual Abuse Conference will talk about health and wellbeing of Aboriginal men and boys, and encourage stakeholders to work together to develop a model of healing for Aboriginal men.
“The only rehabilitation available is incarceration — it’s not enabling men to take their power back and take responsibility,” Mr Cuimara said.
He said the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre had also received support and funding from bodies including Royalties for Regions, LotteryWest, Fortescue and BHP.
Pro bono work worth an estimated $700,000 had been invaluable in finalising a culturally appropriate design and plans for the healing centre.
The West Australian
For more information or to make a donation to the building, go to www.amhc.org.au