The Pilbara Family and Domestic Violence Network is launching its new series of Vital Change programs aimed at tackling the causes and effects of family and domestic violence as a result of $1.1million in funding from BHP’s Vital Resources Fund (VFR).

The VRF was established earlier this year to support regional communities respond to COVID-19 in areas such as healthcare and mental health and to support Indigenous communities.

The programs were launched at a morning tea in South Hedland in the presence of  Simon McGurk, Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services.

Warren Wellbeloved, General Manager Rail, said: “BHP recognises we can play an important role to help to address family and domestic violence in our host communities. We hope this funding will make a real difference to the local community.”

Ms McGurk, said it was great to see business investing in measures to address issues of family and domestic violence at a local level – particularly during the State Government’s 16 Days in WA campaign to stop violence against women.

“Sadly, we know all too well that this violence is a problem across Western Australia, so I welcome the collaboration between BHP and the community services sector,” she said.

The Vital Change programs consist of three major projects and one backbone support:

  • Stronger and Safer Communities and Families for the Pilbara. Led by the WA Centre for Rural Health, this is a primary prevention strategy to be developed alongside community and tailored to the diverse Pilbara needs.
  • Hedland Residential Behaviour Change Program. Led by Communicare, this is a residential facility in South Hedland for people who use violence and have been given a police order. The aim is to remove the person who uses violence to ensure the family can remain safe in their home.
  • Trauma-informed training to be delivered in 2021 across multiple Pilbara locations, facilitated by The Seedling Group. Trauma-informed practice is integral to understanding the underlying causes of FDV as well as other social problems, such as alcohol and drug use and mental ill-health.
  • Backbone support for 12 months to the Pilbara Family and Domestic Violence Network, led by WACOSS Pilbara manager Celeste Stephens