Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
As parents and influencers of our young people, we want the best for them, and for our community.
We want our young people to be healthy and proud of who they are. We want them to understand right and wrong. We want them to respect others and respect themselves.
Young people pick up their behaviours from us, their parents and elders. Sometimes, without meaning to, we might say things that excuse disrespectful behaviour towards women, and this sends an unhealthy message to our young people.
When we say things like “boys will be boys”, or “he was having a bad day”, our young people start to believe there are reasons and situations that make disrespectful behaviour acceptable.
Violence against women starts with disrespect. The excuses we make let it grow.
We can all help Stop It at The Start.
Speak Up Booklet
Respect Promise Card
- Text version of Yarning about respect – Stop it at the Start video
- Our young people, even from little bubbas, look to us to learn how things are done.
Mums and dads, aunties, uncles, grannies and pops, Elders, our community teachers, coaches and bosses.
Kids see everything we do.
They notice the good and the bad.
Like a sponge, they soak it all up.
So when we brush off or make excuses for being disrespectful.
Even if we don’t mean to, like
“Boys will be boys ya know”
“He just did it because he likes ya”
“Look at what she’s wearing”
It makes our boys, even as littlies, learn to think it’s okay to be like that.
And our girls too. They learn to think it’s alright, that’s just how boys are.
So, it’s up to all of us to stop violence against women and girls at the start.
Sometimes in our communities, it can feel bigger than our mob can handle.
But it’s not. Aggression against women and girls is not our culture.
It’s never been our way and it shouldn’t be the way now.
It comes down to doing the little things, like yarning with our young people about respect, and how women and girls should be treated.
Like when you see or hear something you’re not comfortable with.
If they have a question, or when they just want to yarn with you.
You could talk when you’re having brekkie before school.
Or driving in the car.
Or even watching telly.
Not just one time, but lots of times, so it becomes just what you do.
It means calling out disrespectful stuff when it goes on.
And helping our young people learn what’s right and wrong.
Bringing up respect.
So, let’s forget shame and keep working together on making our young people the best they can be.
Because every yarn helps shape them.
If you need some help on how to get started and what you can yarn about with young fellas.
You can go to respect.gov.au
Let’s bring up respect.
- Text version of Devon Cuimara – Stop it at the Start every day heroes video
- I used violence.
My father used violence.
My grandfather used violence.
Three generations of my male family used violence.
And violence had to stop with me.
Because there’s a fourth generation in my son
And I realised that if not with me, then who.
I wanted to be a part of the Stop it at the Start campaign
Because I believe in the next generation.
My name is Devon Cuimara.
I am a Whadjuk Yued Noongar man.
I am the founder of the Aboriginal Males Healing Centre.
Our purpose is to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who use violence.
It’s not an easy process when you are wanting to share
With others that you use violence.
But once you elect to be truthful to yourself the process then becomes a lot easier and recognising where it comes from
You weren’t born like that, you learn violence.
Respect for me came about because I didn’t want to be alone.
And when you use violence and when you disrespect
You’ll always be on your own and you’ll always be lonely.
Because you don’t respect yourself and you don’t respect others.
So you have to turn it on it’s head.
Culture for me when talking about respect
Was about listening and learning about what the old people were telling me.
About how to hunt, even simply about how to light a fire.
And learning really the structures within our families
And the sons and the history of our people.
As a father, as a grandfather, as an uncle, as a brother, as a son.
You know I teach my children, my grandchildren respect.
All the young people in my life about respect.
Is by respecting who they are as young people.
Having humility or walking in their shoes is not forgetting
That I was once a young person and how I would want to learn about respect.
Respect for one’s opinion, respect for one’s choices
Respect for the indivdual, whether you know them or not.
It’s everybody in the community’s responsibilty to teach young people about respect.
From Elders, down through all the adults, young people.
It’s a conversation that needs to be ongoing.
It’s a conversation that should never stop because respect has to never stop.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘How do you respect people?’
We have to lead by example.
We have to speak by example.
And we must live by example.
- Text version of Keelen Mailman – Stop it at the Start everyday heroes
- My mother embedded in me to be a strong, black, independent woman – to want respect, you’ve got to earn respect. So, when I was at the hands of domestic violence, I couldn’t understand with all the love that I gave out, that I was getting treated so bad. I didn’t deserve to be treated like that and neither does anyone else. So, you need to put a stop to it right at the start. My name is Keelen Mailman. I’m a Bidjara woman and I’m the manager of Mount Tabor Station, Augathella, and I’ve been in that position for 26 years. So, we’re working with organisations in town. We have a lot of children’s trips out onto the property. We’re bringing them out to hopefully break down the barriers and give them a bit of hard yakka and teach them all about respect. I sit down and do a lot of mentoring with them and speak to them about what it is growing up to have respect for mum and dad, to have respect for their siblings and to each other.
The importance of culture and respect to me, is the handing down of continuity and connection to country. Knowing where you come from, knowing your survival on land, because then it gets passed onto the next generation and there’s always respect for your Elders.
My advice to parents is talk to your children, teach them. Because they’re not going to know any different if you don’t teach them. If it starts inside the home and you’re bringing your children up to show respect, that’s embedded in them because from when your children are starting to walk, they’re starting to learn.
My son’s seen the domestic violence that his mum went through. But I continued to teach him that you don’t disrespect a woman or anyone. Show respect to your sister, show respect to your other siblings, your uncles, and aunties, and never be ashamed to talk about that sort of stuff. I also taught my daughters, you don’t deserve that, never accept that.
The saying that a lot of people have, “boys will be boys”, that’s not good enough. We need to teach them that you can be a better man. It doesn’t make anyone any lesser man or woman to take the shame away and speak out about respect. We’re only all visitors on this planet for one lifetime, so let’s bring up respect together and walk hand in hand and do this as one.
- Text version of Scott Prince video
- Hi, I’m Scotty Prince, proud Kalkadoon man from the Mount Isa region up there in Northwest Queensland. Former NRL player, played for 16 years, and now doing some work in our local communities, and also some coaching with the NRLW, the women’s program. I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to have a chat to young people and children about respect, whether it’s a coach, school teacher, mum, dad, Uncle, Aunty. I think the conversations are always open about what respect looks like. The reason why I wanted to support the Stop It at The Start campaign is that I’m very passionate about, you know, respect towards everyone in the community, especially our women in our lives. I have two young daughters who I want to be a perfect example of that. I want them to realise, you know what respect is, and not accept anything less than being respected as a woman – but respected in community.
Coaches play a massive role in teaching our kid’s respect. So many children come to training from all parts of life, and everyone’s different in their own way. In terms of sport, everyone’s at a different level as well. So, it’s not about making fun of others. But respecting where they’re at, that’s a part of the coach is to bring all that in together and making everyone on the same page and the same level. You know, you’ve got them at the palm of your hands, and you need to show them, you know, what respect looks like. Not only accepting other footy players, but also other elements of the game; whether that’s other coaches, opposition, referees decisions.
Talking to the coaches about showing respect to young women, I think it’s really, really important. If you hear, you know, remarks at training, it’s about stopping training and sitting down and having a conversation about it and it’s really, really important to nip it in the bud straight away and raising awareness about showing respect to our women and girls. I think community has a massive role teaching our young people and children respect. They see and hear and listen to what people say and do, and whatever is accepted when they’re young and that will flow on into their teenage adult life. So, it’s really, really important that we get them at the start. Being a proud Aboriginal man, I’m very passionate about this, because, you know, you’re part of something bigger. You’re part of a community that’s enriched in respecting country, respecting people and I think it’s something that’s built inside you already as part of your DNA. I draw a lot of inspiration through myself as a father, myself as an uncle, myself as a brother and also a coach. I draw inspiration from our culture, from our Elders to pass down to the next generation.
- Text version of Shelley Ware video
- Shelly Ware
Hi, my name is Shelley Ware and I’m a proud Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu woman from South Australia living in the lands of people of the Kulin Nation here in Melbourne. And I have my beautiful son Taj here with me, and we’re talking about respect and respectful relationships. I’ve been really blessed my whole life to have my mother and father, who were brilliant. They taught me respect the way they live their life, the way they were with other people, and the way that they love my brother Aaron and I and I was also very fortunate to have some beautiful grandparents that did an amazing job of living within community and showing us the right way to treat our Elders, our Aunties and our Uncles and our cousins. So, I’ve been really blessed that whole entire time to have my Pappa Ware as a man who showed me what kind of person to be. Being part of The Stop It at The Start Campaign was literally a no-brainer for Taj and I. We’ve seen the full effects of domestic violence on everybody involved, and we wanted to be a part of reminding people that ongoing conversations are really, really important. And that children are taught that being respectful from a young age is a key to decreasing domestic violence, if not stamping it out completely. As Aboriginal people, we believe it’s the whole community’s responsibility to have conversations about respect. Aunties, Uncles, cousins, grandparents, you know, they’re all part of those conversations, daily. Life’s about seizing moments, you know, taking your child to place, that they’re really comfortable and for Taj It’s the ocean and, and the water and being able to surf.
When I’m getting ready to go surfing, we sometimes talk about how like I could of dealt with a situation better, or I could deal with the situation better in the future.
This is where he is open to conversation, and he’ll just start randomly talking about his day. And if you can do that and make your child a better person for the future, and the people that they interact with not much more, you can ask for. What I love about taking time to surfing is that it’s not just about our time to have respectful conversations that he goes out on the wave and I watch him, and he’s got this whole community that are there. You know, they’re teaching him about when to come in on a wave. They’re also having conversations to sitting on their boards, and it’s just great.
And you have respect for the ocean and how powerful it can be.
Yeah, like that too you know, like, he’s spending that time in the ocean and understanding our country. From a very young age we’re taught to respect our elders, to respect country and to respect our community and always give back whatever we can. So, respect is literally Aboriginal culture, and always has been. Taking the shame out of domestic violence it’s vital and part of that is constant ongoing conversations with children, and women, and with men about respect.
Respect to me is treating people equally and not discriminating against others.
I’ve been a teacher for 25 years, and one of my golden rules in my classroom is ‘treat others the way that you want to be treated’ and I just don’t think you can walk through life any other way. Being nice, being kind is just so important and having those conversations, if you’re a coach, you know, you’ve employed a young person, make sure that you seize the moment, there’s always a moment to make someone better. And if you can be a part of that, like nothing better than that.
Bring Up Respect Artwork
Artist Rachael Sarra
- Read about the Bring Up Respect Artwork
- By First Nations artist from Goreng Goreng Country, Rachael Sarra. “My interpretation of ‘Stop It at The Start’ and ‘Respect’ through a cultural lens is the idea of maintaining a strong connection to culture and community support networks. Without these networks and positive role models we are more vulnerable.
This artwork shows a deep textural layer to represent our legacy as the longest continuing culture in the world. The soft curves and movement in the artwork represent the role water plays in our culture as a healing resource. This texture is overlayed by a softer layer symbolising connection—connection to culture and connection to support networks and role models—and the positive influence that community has through culture and conversation.
This layer also emphasises the importance and role that respect plays in both preventing violence and creating healthy relationships, which helps to make sure we have strong, sustainable and resilient First Nations communities.
Through the support of community, represented in the white elements, individuals are able to create self-determined outcomes and be empowered to Stop It at The Start.”
Bring up Respect Lock Up
Respect starts with us
Respecting Women and Girls
The Conversation Guide
Read the whole guide below, or download one of our handy quick chat guides