Visit to Malta by Australian Academic, Activist and Educator
Dr Michael Flood
The High Commission of Australia organized a visit to Malta by Dr Michael Flood between the 2 and 9 April. Dr Flood is a prominent Australian academic, activist and educator and an expert in the field of the role of men in promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women. During his visit, Dr Flood took part in a series of workshops, meetings and events as part of the Australian High Commission's Public Diplomacy program, with the valuable support of local NGO Irgiel kontra il-vjolenza (Men against Violence), the President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, and the Gender Studies Department at the University of Malta.
As part of his visit, Dr Flood conducted training workshops for Personal and Social Development teachers and Social Services Officers on the topic of the role of boys and men in preventing domestic violence. These workshops were organized in cooperation with the Department of Education and through facilitation with Men against Violence. These sessions were well attended, with roughly 300 participants in total.
Dr Flood gave a public lecture at the University of Malta, with the cooperation of the Gender Studies Department and Men against Violence, entitled “Is Gender Equality good for men?” The lecture was well attended and provided some thoughtful debate on how men can benefit from gender equality. In addition to the public lecture, Dr Flood also participated in a roundtable discussion with academics from the University of Malta.
Dr Flood also provided a capacity building workshop for Men against Violence and representatives from a number of NGO’s, including the President’s Foundation/He for She Campaign, Kellimni (a local NGO providing a support network for teenagers), SOAR (Surviving Abuse with Resilience, a service provider for women who have suffered domestic abuse), and the Women’s Rights Foundation. Other attendees also included a counsellor working with the Education Department, and a staff member from the Ministry for Social Dialogue. The workshop examined different ways to engage men in preventing violence against women, and what were the potential benefits and risks of engaging men. Dr Flood also showcased a number of different campaigns and approaches for engaging men, discussing what worked abroad and what strategies might succeed in Malta.
A training workshop with Malta’s UN He4She Champions was also arranged as part of Dr Flood’s visit, hosted by the Australian High Commissioner, and with cooperation from the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. In September 2015, Malta’s President H.E. Mrs Marie Louise Coleiro Preca launched Malta’s He for She Campaign with United Nations Women in New York, as one of 10 Heads of State chosen by the United Nations to be part of the campaign.
Also in cooperation with the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, Dr Flood participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society at San Anton Palace, on handling domestic violence cases. The discussion was attended by the President of Malta, the High Commissioner of Australia, and a variety of high level officials from government, the judiciary, the police, and local service providers.
An interview with Dr Michael Flood and Aleks Dimitrijevic (from Men against Violence) was published in national newspaper Times of Malta, and can be seen here - http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160413/local/men-best-at-talking-men-out-of-domestic-violence.608577