Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 28, 2023


Kangaroo Island Community Centre

The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (14:38): My question is to the Attorney-General. Will the minister inform the council about his recent visit to Junction Australia's service delivery hub, the Kangaroo Island Community Centre?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:38): I thank the honourable member for the important question.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Girolamo and the Hon. Mr Wortley!

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: During community cabinet's most recent visit to Kangaroo Island, amongst the many visits to local organisations as minister I have conducted, I was fortunate enough to meet with the good people at Junction Australia' service delivery hub, the Kangaroo Island Community Centre. The Kangaroo Island Community Centre is a multipurpose service delivery hub in Kingscote that is operated by Junction Australia, a community housing and service provider.

The community centre is a versatile, well-used hub for services, including domestic violence support, homelessness support, emergency financial assistance, community passenger transport and assistance for carers. It also provides a range of social and other activities for community members as well as a community garden.

I was able to hear from Maree Baldwin, Bec Davis, Alice Worrall and other staff at the meeting particularly about the domestic and family violence support the service provides. It's also a location where women's legal services are provided through the Legal Services Commission several times a year through their InDIGO program, which runs through my department, the Attorney-General's Department.

During the meeting, the staff from the centre shared some fairly harrowing but significant and insightful stories about the types of scenarios they deal with on a day-to-day basis with local victim survivors. In the context of domestic abuse, the staff made a point of saying how critical education is in ensuring this cycle of abuse doesn't continue and that the government's recent awareness campaign 'See the signs' of coercive control was a small but very effective and powerful part in the education of their community.

We look forward in the near future to introducing legislation in relation to criminalising coercive control in this place and seeing how that will positively influence the work that service providers are doing in education in what is a complex and difficult area. I would like to pay tribute and thank again all the staff at the KI Community Centre, especially those who spent their time telling me about the difficult experiences in the domestic and family violence space and the complexities of the services that are provided on an island such as Kangaroo Island.

The work that so many do in this area but particularly, but not only, in remote and more isolated areas is so critical in ensuring the safety of the community and not just improving lives but, in many instances, actually saving lives. I look forward to dropping by next time I am on Kangaroo Island. I don't think I will take up the invitation of going to a Tuesday night karaoke session as they suggested at the KI hub. No-one needs that.