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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1084 ..

Men's Reference Group

(Question No 45)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 19 February 2002:

In relation to the Men's Reference Group with Marymead Child and Family Centre who have responsibility for running the Men's and Children's Crisis Services (MACCS) refuge and outreach service

1. Who are (a) the Men's Reference Group and (b) how many members are there.

2. Will a committee manage the MACCS refuge and if so, who will be its members.

3. Will there be accommodation for couples at the refuge under its new management and if so, why.

4. When will the refuge reopen under the new management.

5. What funding was given in 2001-02 to (a) the Lone Fathers' Association and (b) to the Men's Reference Group to run this refuge.

6. Who by (a) name and (b) position was on the committee/panel who decided on the tender for the MACCS refuge.

7. In relation to the refuge, is the Minister able to advise why did Ms Dennise Simpson, Manager, of the ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service, state "she accepted a need existed for a men's centre" but said it "needed to be accountable to women's services" (CT 9/11/01 p3).

8. Will the new management of MACCS be accountable to women's services and if so (a) how and (b) why.

Mr Corbell: The answer to Mr Cornwell's question is:

1. The Men's Reference Group was formed in 1998 in response to requests from service providers for assistance to develop better service responses for male clients. This voluntary group provided advice in the development of the ACT MensLine. MensLine assists men whose lives are affected by domestic violence, including those troubled by their own violent behaviours and those who are subject to violence.

Members of the Men's Reference Group have participated in the development of initiatives which support men and their families both locally and nationally. The group have considerable collective experience working with men and fathers in policy and program development, program management, research, education, skills training, counselling, supervision and group work.

Individual members of the group are currently employed in direct service provision to men and fathers, including separated fathers. These members are well known and highly respected amongst professional community service providers both locally and nationally.

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