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'Code of ethics' for family peace builders was launched

Mon 30 Nov 2020

Grassroots change led by multicultural community leaders passionate about combating domestic and family violence by building peace in the family and community.

A ‘Code of Ethics’ and ‘Community of Practice’ co-created by community leaders and agencies to guide family peace building was launched and celebrated at Multicultural Australia this week

The Code covers: cultural respect, safety and strength, equality, safety, confidentiality, Integrity, independence trust, capacity and referral, conflict of interests, duty of care, understanding violence and how to engage with perpetrators of family violence.

The initiative emerged from key research and three years of work which included a ‘Community Conversations’ deep consultation about family violence prevention with 27 Brisbane communities from refugee/humanitarian backgrounds, training on conflict resolution and family violence prevention plus development of a ‘Family Peace Building Toolkit’ for community leaders

Online workshops were then held in August covering: dealing with conflict, the nature, extent, causes and impact of violence; Australian law; safety and overcoming barriers to key services; mediation; effectively working with abusers, and ways to share these understandings with community/clients..

The Code gives a framework of key skills and ways to positively manage conflict and engage deeply with community. For example, one of the clauses states:

In a dispute I will be independent and not take sides - unless there is actual or possible abuse and violence, including threatening or dominating behaviour. In that case I will prioritise, and make it clear I will support those who are most at risk of abuse and harm. Where there is a real risk I will refer parties to relevant services. I will still seek to maintain a respectful relationship with all parties so as to explore their story and keep open a chance to promote positive change.

The Code is a ‘living document’ and will be further developed in more training workshops in 2021 alongside the Community of Practice’ for people to share peace building stories and skills

Key agencies driving the project with leaders were RAILS (Refuge and Immigration Legal Service), South Community Hub, Multicultural Australia; and the Dispute Resolution Branch of the Queensland Justice Department. Other agencies joined in the online training, including IWAA (Islamic Women’s Association of Australia), Immigrant Women’s Support Service, DV Connect and Queensland Police Service

Further training and practice development is planned for 2021 and anyone interested should contact Seblework Tadesse ( or Rob Lachowicz (


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