The Good Beginnings project aims to create opportunities for conversations with couples about how to build respectful relationships and strong marriages when they are at the beginning of their journeys together.

Project history

Led by the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre in partnership with Benevolence Australia, the 'Good beginnings: Pre-marriage counselling resources and training for Muslim couples (Good Beginnings)' project will collaboratively develop pre-marriage counselling resources and training for Muslim couples.

Good Beginnings aims to create opportunities for conversations with couples about how to build respectful relationships and strong marriages when they are at the beginning of their journeys together.

The project has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services as part of community initiatives to prevent family violence. 

Project objectives

This project will bring together best-practice principles in primary prevention of family violence and the goals of Islamic pre-marriage counselling to provide an Islamically sensitive approach to strengthening positive, equal and respectful relationships between Muslim couples who are about to marry.

By tying primary prevention to milestone events in the religious lifecycle, such as marriage, the project aims to offer timely knowledge and skills to pre-empt later marriage difficulties and support happy marriages.

The project design employs SZCC’s model of community capacity building, which involves.

  1. A collaborative learning model – We will use a train-the-trainer learning model to build on existing knowledge and skills of imams and marriage celebrants.
  2. Multilayered engagement across the community – We will work with leaders from across Victoria’s Muslim communities to seek collaborative consensus on resources and training program.
  3. Devolution – The resources and train-the-trainer program will be handed over to Benevolence at the conclusion of the funding. 

2020 

  • Research and adapt existing best-practice faith-based pre­-marriage counselling primary prevention resources and approaches.
  • Consult with Muslim communities on information to include in the pre-marriage resources and training package.
  • Create pre-marriage counselling resources and training package.

2021 

  • Conduct workshops for imams and marriage celebrants in the use of the pre­-marriage counselling resources.
  • Trial the resources in pre-marriage counselling sessions provided by imams who participated in training program.

2022

  • Evaluate the train-the-trainer program and the pre-marriage counselling resources via feedback from Imams and couples.
  • Revise the pre-marriage counselling resources and training package based on feedback.
  • Handover ownership of project to Benevolence.
  • Promote the pre-marriage counselling resources to Muslim communities in Victoria and nationally.

Previous SZCC participant giving a presentation to peers

Get involved

If you would like to find out more and get involved, please reach out to us via email at [email protected]

In particular, we would welcome:

  • suggestions on the topics and content of the pre-marriage resources
  • introductions to relevant networks
  • advice on promoting the resources and project. 

 

A series of multi-coloured post-it notes representing community engagement

Brainstorming session