On the International Day of Peace, 21st September 2023, a significant event unfolded as Muslim Women Australia (MWA), in collaboration with various government, community, and sector partners, launched the Saving FACE Sector Guide. This guide is a groundbreaking resource aimed at enhancing the capacity of the domestic and family violence sector in Australia to provide culturally, linguistically, and religiously appropriate care.
The online event began with a warm welcome by the MC, Moo Baulch, Chair of Our Watch and Director of Primary Prevention at WAGEC. Sharlene McKenzie OAM, Managing Director of Allawaw Aboriginal Corporation, delivered a heartfelt Acknowledgement of Country, recognising and paying respect to the indigenous heritage of Australia. MWA’s CEO, Hajeh Maha Krayem Abdo, introduced the SAVING FACE Project and Sector Guide, emphasising its significance in the sector and the history involved and leading to this moment.
Testimonial videos provided powerful real-life perspectives, and Hon Justine Elliot MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and the Prevention of Family Violence, officially launched the Sector Guide. Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner Micaela Cronin discussed how the Sector Guide aligns with the National Plan and the priorities of the Federal Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission.
A panel discussion, expertly moderated by Dr. Hannah Tonkin – NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner, included Ghaith Krayem – Saving Face Project Lead at MWA, Nemat Kharboutli – Strategic Support Manager at MWA, Annabelle Daniel OAM – CEO, Women’s Community Shelters and Chair, DVNSW and Britt Baillie – Acting Head of Engagement, No to Violence, and explored faith’s role in addressing domestic violence, as well as community approaches, prevention, trust-building, and male identity perceptions. A message of support from Hon Amanda Rishworth, Federal Minister for Social Services, was shared with the audience.
The event featured messages of support from significant male leaders and ambassadors for change including Dr Jamal Rifi, Hon Tony Burke MP, Rev Stu Cameron, Father Shenouda Mansour, Sh Ahmed Abdo and Hon Jihad Dib MP.
Hon Jodie Harrison MP, NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, delivered concluding remarks via video message and Maha Abdo OAM, CEO of MWA, returned to close the event with gratitude and thanks.
The launch of the SAVING FACE Sector Guide symbolised a significant step in combatting domestic violence in Australia, focusing on cultural and religious sensitivity, community involvement, and collaborative efforts among government and organisations.
Further details about Saving FACE are available here: https://mwa.org.au/face/
Full webinar recording is available here: https://youtu.be/p7d1Dxyrm78
Panel Discussion is available here: https://youtu.be/hv6lmOMBMcY
Saving FACE Sector Guide is available here: https://mwa.org.au/submissions-and-reports/saving-face-faith-sector-guide/