Connecting Communities Project

Connecting Communities is a free program of learning and support activities for prevention practitioners in the community sector who are working with multicultural and/or faith-based communities.

This resource has been developed to grow the understanding of values-based messaging for primary prevention practitioners working with multicultural and faith-based communities, highlighting the role of values-based messaging as a tool to engage community, build trust, and address backlash and resistance by creating messages that resonate with communities. Read more.

To achieve a world free from family violence, we have to change attitudes across the whole population. But there’s no one-sized fits-all approach to primary prevention that works for every community. An intersectional approach to primary prevention means involving, consulting and collaborating with the communities you are working with. Read more.

Connecting Communities logo beside the MCWH logo and the Safe and Equal Logo, which is the words "Safe +Equal" printed in bold black text. the plus sign is a bright. magenta. Text underneath reads "Standing strong against family violence"

Connecting Communities is a partnership program between MCWH and Safe and Equal, to support recipients of the Victorian Government Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence Grant.

Why this project is important

Violence prevention practitioners who work to prevent violence in ethno-specific and faith-based communities face unique challenges for which there is little support. These challenges can include backlash, racism and resistance, which can significantly impact on practitioners' professional and personal lives. Currently there are limited resources or tools to support practitioners or address these challenges.

Promoting gender equality at the same time as promoting anti-racism is essential to prevent violence. Multicultural and faith communities face racism, xenophobia, and faith-based discrimination, like Islamophobia and Antisemitism. These forms of discrimination cannot be separated from multicultural and faith communities' experiences of gender inequality. That is why preventing family violence and promoting gender equality must include anti-racism.

How this project is making a difference

Multicultural and faith-based organisations have unique strengths relevant to family violence prevention. They have specialist expertise which draws on shared community experiences and examples of resilience, survival, and collective care and understands common experiences of displacement, isolation, and systemic exclusion, as well as culturally specific challenges and gendered norms.

Connecting Communities connects practitioners to strengthen their capacity and share their expertise, while supporting practitioners to build resilience.

Project Activities

Capacity building activities such as training, communities of practice, events and practice workshops are running through 2023.

So far, Connecting Communities participants have taken part in:

  • Prevention in Practice training
  • Event to connect participants and encourage networking
  • Communities of practice to offer support and practice reflection. Topics we have covered so far have included: Challenging 'cultural' explanations for violence, Building equitable partnerships and Co-designing prevention initiatives.

Practice workshops for 2023 will include sessions on:

  • Intersectionality in practice
  • Transforming resistance – faith and culture
  • Migrant men and masculinities
  • What we can learn from Aboriginal PVAW
  • And more to be confirmed.

For more information about our 2023 activities, please contact:

Connecting Communities is a partnership between Multicultural Centre for Women's Health and Safe and Equal, and is supported by the Victorian Government.

Logo for the Victorian State Government

Guides for primary-prevention in multicultural and faith-based communities

As part of the Connecting Communities project, the Connecting Communities network have developed a series of guides on primary prevention. These guides were developed after the Connecting Communities network - a group of practitioners who all work in multicultural and faith-based communities - expressed a need for short, concise and practical resources in topics relating to primary prevention work.

Communicating for Connection: Values-based messaging for primary prevention in multicultural and faith-based communities
Improving our approach to community-led prevention guide