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NSW community project recognised for reducing violence, abuse and neglect in Indigenous communities

Media release

19 October 2017

The NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) Aboriginal Qualification Pathway today received a silver award in the community-led category of the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

“Aboriginal community or health workers can enter ECAV’s four-tiered Aboriginal Qualification Pathway through community development programs and can then progress into various qualifications right up to a Masters in Social Work,” said NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence Director, Jo Campbell. 

“This is a sustainable approach to Aboriginal workforce development as it builds skill in Aboriginal workers who are based in their community, they already have the respect and rapport with their people, and this gives them the skills and knowledge to deliver specialist services.”

“I am proud of the ECAV Aboriginal Team and what they have achieved and continue to achieve for their people, it’s through their hard work and commitment that the program making a real difference. The ACVPA award recognises ECAV’s ground breaking work,” said Ms Marlene Lauw, ECAV Aboriginal Portfolio Team Leader.

These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

“The ECAV Aboriginal Qualification Pathway is the only one of its kind in Australia. Congratulations to NSW Health for supporting a holistic approach to training that builds specialist skills in Aboriginal workers within health services and across their interagency partners,” said acting Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Nicole Rose PSM.

“Achieving better integration across the service sector is integral to addressing violence, abuse and neglect in Indigenous communities.

“There is a high need to deliver trauma-informed counselling practices that are embedded in Aboriginal worldviews.

“Through this pathway Aboriginal workers learn how to do this work in ways which are culturally appropriate and evidence based. In the trauma field, Aboriginal people do better with skilled Aboriginal workers as cultural safety is paramount to their healing,” said Ms Rose.

All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and chaired by the acting AIC Director.

New South Wales ACVPA Board representative, Chief Superintendent Brad Shepherd, said the ECAV Aboriginal Qualification Pathway was an innovative program that has provided education for Aboriginal people across urban, remote and rural areas in NSW for over 30 years.

“Programs like these enable communities to develop trauma counselling skills and build resilience within their communities. The goal of reducing violence, abuse and neglect creates safer communities and NSW Police Force recognises these targeted programs that support crime prevention and reduction,” said Chief Superintendent Shepherd.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

For more information about the award winners, visit

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