ASK MARIA Project
The ‘Ask Maria Project,’ was delivered to women of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds in regional South Australia. The project is one of eight operating under the initiative ‘Safer Pathways for CALD Women’ established by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and Action Research Support.
The initiative aims to create safer pathways for women and their children, who are experiencing or at risk of family and domestic violence in regional South Australia. The tool facilitates access to supports, referrals and legal information in their local areas.
Ask Maria provides this information in a variety of languages. The information is also available in written or oral form.
As an outcome of this project, an online interactive resource will be developed for women and their children in four regional locations in South Australia including the Limestone Coast.
Four women’s legal sessions were held in August 2018 at Bordertown, Mount Gambier, Murraylands and Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centres, to collate women’s concerns and better understand their needs. These sessions also empowered migrant and refugee women from diverse backgrounds with knowledge on women’s rights and the Australian legal system, and how to access support services.
Key partners of the project included the Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC); regional MRCs; Multicultural Aged Care; regional domestic violence services; local councils; South Australia Police (SAPOL); rural and remote health services; drug and alcohol services; Centacare; Migrant Women’s Lobby Group; Red Cross; Yarredi Services; Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service; Victim Support Service (SA); Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS); Migrant Women’s Support Group; and Relationships Australia, South Australia (RASA).