The Burndawan Project

The Burndawan Project comes from the work done with researchers at the University of Melbourne and the Wadawurrung community (or Wathaurong community) of the Kulin Nations. The project was overseen by two cultural supervisors - Ms Renee Owen (Yorta Yorta woman) and Professor Kerry Arabena (Meriam woman of the Torres Strait).

The research team

Renee Fiolet is a Scholar at the Safer Families CRE, a member of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVe), and a lecturer in nursing.

Kelsey Hegarty leads the Safer Families CRE. Kelsey also holds the joint Chair in Family Violence Prevention at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital and co-chairs the MAEVe group.

Laura Tarzia is an ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow in the Department of General Practice and the Centre for Family Violence Prevention at the Royal Women's Hospital. Laura is Deputy Lead of the Sexual Abuse and Family Violence (SAFE) program, and a member of MAEVe.

The Community Advisory Group

The group is made up of six Aboriginal community members who reside on Wadawurrung Country.

Community Advisory Group Members

Renee Owen is a Yorta Yorta woman. She is the manager of the Aboriginal Health Unit at Barwon Health, located on Wadawurrung Country.

Corrina O’Toole is a Traditional Owner of Wadawurrung Country. She is a cultural advisor for Wadawurrung Country.

Syd Fry is a Gunditjmara and Watjobaluk man. He is a Senior Advisor for the Aboriginal Engagement Unit, Department of Health and Human Services.

Kaley McGough is a Barapa Barapa, Muttti Mutti, Yorta Yorta and Tanaurong woman. She is an Aboriginal Workforce Engagement Officer for the City of Greater Geelong.

Jasmine Knox is a Noongar Yamatji woman. She is a dental nurse who represents the youth of Wadawurrung Country.

May Owen is a Yorta Yorta woman who comes with a background in childhood education.

The project

Our project involved working with the peoples of the Wadawurrung community to determine the design and content of an online family violence resource in an effort to ensure that the end-users inform the resource make it relevant to their own needs.

The project has taken place through the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence. We project has received funding from the Melbourne Social Equity Institute for the design phase of the resource. A philanthropic organisation based on Wadawurrung Country called "Give Where You Live" has provided funding towards the development costs to ensure that the resource is made into a tangible tool that can be accessed by the Wadawurrung community following all of their work.

Other contributors

Aboriginal Artist Profile

Ammie is a Penangke Skin woman from the Arrernte people, Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Ammie’s dreaming comes from the Ntyarlke (Caterpillar). She was born and raised on Wadawurrung Country, Geelong Victoria and lives here still with her partner, a Bundjalung man, and their 6 young children.

Ammie is a contemporary Aboriginal Artist who uses patterns, colour, shape and design to create paintings that portray a sense of country, culture and self.

Painting by Ammie

From Ammie: This piece is a representation of family violence in the past, the present, the future. The painting has been created to use as the artwork for this project’s online resource.

The bottom circle represents our past. In our past our relationships, our self, our loved ones, our family may have been broken or come from broken. This is represented by the disconnected lines within the circle.

The middle circle represents the present. In the present we may still be broken, we may be solid. Hopefully we are stronger than yesterday and ready for tomorrow.

In the final circle we have solid lines. This is the circle of our future, the circle of tomorrow. We all deserve a solid future.

The yellow banding, supporting all 3 circles, is a portrayal of all the services that are available to those in need. Services and Supports that aid in the healing from the past, to the present, to the future.

Also binding the Circles is a representation of supportive people. These can be Individuals, Community, Family, Friends.

Dr Graham Gee and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

In the healing section of this website we have been permitted to use a section of the Aboriginal Resilience and Recovery Questionnaire (ARRQ). We extend our thanks to Dr Graham Gee and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service who co-authored the scale and endorsed the use of it in Burndawan.

Genevieve Engelhardt

Gen worked on the digital design of the website. She is a multidisciplinary Designer, working with a diverse range of individuals, charities & small to medium business. Her core abilities span digital and visual design and front end development.

With a career starting as a Graphic Artist, these days she focuses on Digital & Visual Design, designing & building websites, microsites & eDM's for small, medium and large business'. Find out more at

Daniel Trembath at 314 Technologies

Daniel Trembath is a developer from Melbourne, Australia. 314 Technologies focuses on custom software development and close collaboration.

Contact Us

Renee Fiolet

Safer Families CRE