MATE (formerly called Mentors in Violence Prevention) is a leadership program focused on preventing all forms of violence. It utilises a bystander approach to prevention. The program does not view participants as either perpetrators or victims of violence. It views all participants as empowered bystanders who can confront, interrupt or prevent violence. The program seeks to enlist all people in the fight against violence by equipping them with the skills to be effective bystanders.
MATE is designed on best practices developed over two decades of delivering gender based violence prevention education training with diverse and varying populations. Topics covered can include: abusive and healthy relationships, sexual assault, alcohol and sexual consent, gang rape, sexual harassment, technology-facilitated abuse, jokes and language, gender roles and sexism as a system. The program aims to raise awareness of the level of abusive behaviour in our culture as well as the subtler issues that support a harmful and abusive environment. MATE training challenges the root attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that normalise problematic behaviour, and creates a safe environment for people to share their opinions and experiences about these volatile issues. Ultimately, MATE seeks to inspire leadership by empowering participants with the tools to feel confident addressing harmful and abusive behaviour.
- Raise participant awareness of underlying issues and unique dynamics of all forms of violence
- Challenge participants to think critically and personally (empathise) about these issues
- Open dialogue amongst participants about the dynamics and context of all forms of violence
- Inspire participants to be proactive leaders around these issues by challenging them to develop concrete options for intervention in potentially dangerous social situations
What makes the MATE program unique?
- Trainings provide the context necessary to empower participants to be proactive bystanders
- Teaches concrete bystander intervention skills for use in the most difficult situations
- Employs a discussion-based educational philosophy to make training sessions dynamic and interactive. MVP training sessions are not lectures;
- Uses teaching materials consisting of realistic scenarios involving various forms of violence;
- Works with men and women in both mixed and single gender sessions;
- Staff create a "safe space" for participants to learn from one another;
- Highly replicable, allowing organisations to utilise the curriculum long after the initial training.
Recognition for excellence
MATE (MVP) was explicitly named in Not Now, Not Ever: The Final Report of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland as “an excellent example of a violence prevention program that has been implemented in several communities and attracted widespread support” (p.167).
MATE is the Australian adaptation of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), created by Jackson Katz in 1993. MVP has been a cutting-edge industry leader since the early nineties, using a unique bystander approach to violence prevention. MVP is the premier program in the United States working with hard to reach populations, such as college and professional athletes, the military, and fraternities and sororities, on the issues of men’s violence against women for over a decade. MVP has been rigorously evaluated in the USA, with similar work currently being undertaken in Australia for the MATE program. Evaluations have found the program to be successful in creating sustainable positive change in attitudes and behaviours.
- MVP Evaluation Report Year 1 (PDF 1,397k)
- MVP Evaluation Report Year 2 (PDF 492k)
- MVP Evaluation Report Year 3 (PDF 295k)
Shaan Ross-Smith has performed in managerial roles within Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) over a period of fifteen years across a comprehensive range of positions including Regional Programs and Training Officer, Probation and Parole Officer, Supervisor and Assessment Unit Officer. In 2013 Shaan accepted an opportunity to work with the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre as the Integrated Response Manager. This role required the collaboration of significant Government and non-Government providers to coordinate the management of high risk domestic violence matters. Shaan credits this diverse experience as providing her with a rich professional perspective of the criminal justice system and it’s interface within the broader community.
Upon returning to Queensland Corrective Services in 2014, Shaan has acted in the role of Director, Offender Rehabilitation and Management Services, overseeing three distinct portfolios, namely Offender Intervention, Offender Management and Education and Re-entry. In 2015 Shaan undertook a review of internal processes related to Domestic Violence across Queensland Corrective Services before returning to her substantive position at Southport Probation and Parole to assist with the implementation of the specialist Domestic Violence Court.
Late 2016 Shaan commenced at Griffith University as the Director of the MATE violence prevention program. The MATE program uses a bystander approach to prevention that empowers leaders to think more critically and personally about intimate partner and sexual violence as well as attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that nurture and support those issues at a foundational level.
Shaan holds a degree and postgraduate degree in Psychology and is currently the Deputy Chair on the Board at DV Connect.
For more information, please contact Shaan on firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 5678 0420.