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Aboriginal Catholic leader urges wholistic response to violence


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council chair Vicki Walker is hoping the Federal Government will adopt a wholistic approach as Prime Minister John Howard pledges to tackle the problem of domestic violence in indigenous communities.

The Catholic Leader reports that Mr Howard made the commitment at a meeting with 16 Aboriginal leaders in Canberra last week, with family violence emerging as a key issue.

After the meeting, he said violence is the most important issue facing the indigenous community in Australia.

"Violence is a hugely important issue because it is destroying communities," Mr Howard said.

Ms Walker, who chairs the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council, disagreed with Mr Howard's statement that violence is the most important issue facing indigenous communities.

"It's certainly an important issue within Aboriginal communities," she said.

"But when we look at issues in Aboriginal communities we need to take a wholistic approach.

"We can't brand one (issue) as more important than another. I don't think we can presume that solving domestic violence is going to solve all our problems."

SOURCE
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

LINKS
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne
Catholic Leader
Tackling the issue of Aboriginal domestic violence (The Age)
Violent truth that made PM sit up and listen (Sydney Morning Herald)
Domestic violence and abuse, in Indigenous communities (Media Release, Prime Minister's website)
Summit on domestic violence in the Aboriginal community (ABC PM)

32 Aug 2003