Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP)

Peace Leadership Training

Melaleuca Refugee Centre is doing a pilot project that adapts an internationally recognised model of building peace to emerging communities from refugee background in Darwin. The workshops build the capacity of community members to meet individual and family needs, maintain harmony and foster non-violence. Program Coordinator, Jordan Hoffmann organises the workshops and supports the bi-cultural facilitators. The Northern Territory Office of Children and Families fund the project to be delivered to newly emerging communities in Darwin. This program is underpinned by the international Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) model, an innovative, preventative approach that engages with communities to reduce of the impact of violence and increase community harmony.

AVP recognises that conflict is an inevitable and normal part of life, and we continue to learn how to respond to this through our life. The AVP workshops:

  • support respectful relationships
  • assist people to respond to conflict in non-violent ways
  • are delivered by community members
  • are based on experiential learning
  • build an understanding about the causes of conflict
  • create space to learn peaceful responses to conflict

The model has been continually developed since 1975 and delivered to thousands of people in over 50 countries ( . Through interactive exercises, games and role play participants gain skills through sequential workshops: Basic; Advanced; Facilitator Training. Facilitators from the community are supported to grow their awareness of the impact of conflict on their behaviour, use new strategies and build skills to deliver to a group. Experienced facilitators in Australia and internationally are giving their time and expertise to anchor a series of workshops. Darwin’s existing AVP community ( have given invaluable assistance through guidance and advice as well as co-facilitating workshops. Many participants and facilitators appreciate the opportunity to connect with people from very different walks of life, yet find so much in a common concern to contribute to a more peaceful world- in their lives, their homes, their communities.

The newly trained community facilitators co-deliver workshops to their own as well as other communities with the support of a senior, experienced facilitator. Many people of refugee background have had a profound experience of violence and the consequences of it. They may have trained in the past in the areas of gender violence, conflict resolution and mediation. AVP workshops are also being delivered by various organisations and volunteer groups within their countries of origin…Liberia has just created a program, the Democratic Republic of Congo has delivered in regions of high conflict, and some of the largest refugee camps such as Hagadera near the Somali border with Kenya use the program. The Melaleuca program has lead the way in terms of delivering AVP to people of refugee background in Australia, and workshops have subsequently been delivered in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.

Information & Contact

Jordan Hoffmann – AVP Program Coordinator
Phone: (08) 8985 3311

Peace Leadership Training for Facilitators 1-2 March 2014

The Peace Leadership project uses the AVP workshop program. It is also used around the world for those who want to manage conflict better in their lives, jobs, communities and families. In March 2014 newly arrived people from DRC came together to complete a Basic workshop in French/Swahili. Many thanks to the dedicated and hard working child-carers, drivers, caterers and facilitators.

Anyone who has completed the Basic level is invited to Advanced workshops. Advanced workshops allow people to explore one issue in more depth, such as Anger, Fear, etc.

Peace Leadership Training 29 – 30 March 2014

As demand was high, another workshop was held at the end of March for those who could not attend the first Basic. The two intense days were a real commitment from people who give so much to their work, families and community already and the training room was filled with laughter and positive energy throughout. Contact Jordan if you are interested in finding more peace for your community, or tackling conflicts in different ways.

Alternatives To Violence Project (AVP) National Conference 2013

AVP_Conference_2013Many facilitators committed to peace came together in Canberra to improve their skills about managing conflict in non-violent ways. Nhinzy Khaing and Annie Nkiere have participated in and facilitated workshops in the Peace Leadership Training project. They learned about the new ‘Trauma Awareness’ advanced workshop as well as presented to facilitators from around Australia.