Strong Stories Wall by Louise O’Connor

This Friday Afternoon Video is presented by Louise O’Connor, and relates to stories of women’s knowledge of domestic violence, how they stay strong in the face of violence, and how women stand up to violence from the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjanjara (NPY) lands. The strong stories wall was initially started by gathering women’s personal stories through individual case work. Whilst engaging in the act of double listening, alternative stories of knowledge and acts of resistance were able to be drawn out. After obtaining the women’s permission these stories were placed on the wall.  This wall is located inside the front door of our office so when the women come to see us they usually stop there to read the stories and look at the photos. In this very simple way, the woman is engaged as an outsider witness and also provided with the opportunity to tell her own story. Since this video was made, the Strong stories wall has grown tenfold and at the women’s request a strong stories book has been developed that includes all these women’s stories both written and illustrated by themselves. The DFVS case workers then bring this book to their individual and group work with women thereby sharing the women’s Tjurkupa (deep wisdom and knowledge) amongst the women themselves. This is a living document that is constantly being up dated and changed at the women’s request.

Biography
Louise O’Connor is a qualified social care worker with extensive experience in Ireland and Australia working within the youth and adult homeless sector, asylum seeker sector and domestic violence sector as a caseworker and community development worker including working in remote indigenous communities. She is currently the manager of the Domestic and Family Violence Service (DFVS) for the NPY Women’s Council (NPYWC), while at the time of the video, she was employed  as a specialist case worker at the same organisation.

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