Engoori process effective engaging Indigenous community – family violence mitigation

November 21, 2018

The upcoming 2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will be held at QT, Gold Coast next month over 3 and 4 December with optional workshops on 5 December. 

Joining us at the conference is Ms Marlyn McInnerney, Consultant – Strong Families, Strong Community with the Paroo Shire Council who will present on ‘Engoori process effective engaging Indigenous community – family violence mitigation’.


Case Study: Using a Mithaka conversational process to remember and re-enact stories of strengths to address Indigenous family violence in South West Queensland
Author/Presenters: Scott Gorringe, Dave Spillman and Lawrence Anderson

Recent domestic and family violence literature notes that programs targeting male perpetrators appear to be effective. A major challenge however, is motivating men to attend such programs. In addition, strengths-based rather than deficit focused approaches seem to hold greater efficacy in Indigenous contexts. One such approach in Indigenous communities is the Engoori process, developed by Scott Gorringe and Dave Spillman. Engoori is a strengths-based conversational process from the Mithaka, Tjimpa people of far South Western Queensland. Engoori has been used effectively in schools and general cultural strengthening initiatives and in this case study, it is successfully engaging Indigenous men and women in a change of culture around domestic and family violence.

The Strong Families, Strong Community (SFSC) project, a federally funded initiative in Paroo Shire in South West Queensland, is using Engoori to enact a whole-of-community approach to work intensively with both men and women involved in family violence. Half way through the project, the police statistics show a sharp decline, between 30% to 50%, in family violence incidents. Building on the Engoori philosophy, the ‘Men on Country’ initiative involves a group of men in sharing stories of strength and monthly overnight camping, to reconnect with country and culture. ‘Parenting for Fathers’ focuses on assisting men to enact their desire to connect with their children. The women’s yarning circle focuses on retelling and reclaiming stories of women’s strength within the community though sharing stories and collaborative, creative art. Local support services are also engaged in Engoori processes to ensure whole-of-community consistency in mindset and language in responding to family violence.


Scott is a Mithaka man from far western Queensland. He believes the challenge is to reconnect with self, others and environment. Scott has a Masters at the University of Queensland, and also studied at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He is Director of Murrimatters Consulting, Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Chief Investigator on Australian Research Council grant at ANU and currents leads the Milparanga Leadership Program for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. In 2006 Scott, with David Spillman, co-developed a facilitation process called Engoori that assists teams and organisations to address complex challenges.

For further information and to book tickets for the 2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference please visit www.stopdomesticviolence.com.au