04/09/2021 - Training In Mediation Can 'Bring Peace' to South Australian Community At APY.

A remote aboriginal community in South Australia's Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands hopes mediation will help make the community safer and end neighbourly feuds.

Beligerance between two groups of people in Amata recently led to one man being seriously injured.

According to locals violence has recently escalated and mediation can not come quick enough.
Local resident Lee Brady said, "Well this last conflict was sort of building up to where a person got hurt out of that one," Mr Brady said.

"A few other times people got hurt and we just looked at it and said if we don't do anything about it now, maybe it can get right advanced, someone can get killed and then it'll be a different story."

"We dealt with it, but we need training too so that we can do our job better, you know," he said.

"We want them to talk things through, instead of getting violent."

The program is being based on a service that now operates in the nearby Northern Territory community of Yuendumu, which was nearly paralysed by violence and riots five years ago.

Community members from Amata have been meeting with the Yuendumu's trained mediators to learn about how it operates.

Three members of the Amata community, Mr Brady, Anita Amos and David Cooley, are going to be formally trained as mediators in the new year.

They will spend five days completing a nationally-accredited course in Alice Springs in February.

The hopes of Mr Brady include mediators on each street to diffuse any impending violence.

Catholic Care NT is using Commonwealth funding to cover the initial program, but residents are hoping to source ongoing funding.

Mr Gaynor said there needed to be a long-term approach.

"It's not going to be a quick fix," he said.

"This needs to happen over time, over the next three, four years time.

"I'm confident we'll see major changes in the way conflicts are dealt with.

"It was a pretty dramatically bad situation at the time of the conflict and the mediation that was initiated by Lee Brady was fantastic."

"With mediation, hopefully we can be part of making the community safer for the children and the ones yet to come."

The new mediators will be paid for each mediation session once the program is established.

Chief editor



Add a Comment