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Greater support for Women and Trans and Gender Diverse People with innovative support service

Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Service (EMH) and Drummond Street Services (DS) are pleased to announce that we will be delivering Pre Release Support Services to women and trans and gender diverse people in Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) and Tarrengower Prison, as well as continued Post Release support across Victoria.

Funded over five years by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the service will commence on the 1st October, 2022.

This first of its kind support will be offered to women and trans and gender diverse people who are sentenced and assessed as high risk and moderate to high need. Through both our individual and collective work this program will provide safe and affirming care, beginning in prison and based on their needs, continuing once people are released into the community.

Each client will have a consistent key worker support them throughout their engagement in the service, as they begin the process of reconnecting with their families, communities and place.

Women in correctional facilities often have underlying and complex co-existing issues such as homelessness and a history of family violence or abuse. Our service is responsive, safe and appropriate, ensuring a specialist response for First Nations women through EMH and for LGBTIQA+ people through DS’s Queerspace.

The service will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of qualified and skilled practitioners, with an affirmative employment and training /framework for people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

Elizabeth Morgan House knows that Aboriginal women heal Aboriginal women. As the first Aboriginal Community Controlled organisation to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation, EMH has a long history of advocating for the rights of Aboriginal women. The history of trauma of Aboriginal people, through colonisation, forced removal of children, systemic racism and the grief and loss associated, reaches into our present and must be addressed through systems change.

Over the five-year period, the program will be continually reviewed, evaluated and developed to respond to changing needs, trends and demands in DPFC, Tarrengower and Community Corrections, drawing on feedback and input from program participants, based on our shared commitment to co-design, cultural safety and diverse and lived experience perspectives.

We look forward to delivering this crucial service and welcome opportunities to connect, collaborate and work collectively to support our communities through the Pre and Post Release Program.

Quotes attributable to Kalina Morgan-Whyman, CEO of EMH:

‘This program is an opportunity to further support Aboriginal women at a point in their lives where they need cultural and community connection and a trauma-informed approach that meets their individual and unique needs.’

Further information:

Contact EMH:

Roberta Styles-Wood, Communications and Engagement Manager

0448 271 496

Drummond Street Services:

Paula Fernandez Arias

Phone Number: 03 9663 6733

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