About ARC

About ARC

ARC Gender Relations is a primary violence prevention project funded by Women NSW (Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund). This three-year project (2018-2021) seeks to challenge underlying causes of violence, and promote healthy and safe gender relations in the Lismore and Tweed regions.

What is ARC?

The ARC Gender Relations project is a primary violence prevention project which aims to engage communities in the Lismore and Tweed regions. The goal of primary prevention approaches is to reduce or prevent new instances of violence across whole populations before they occur, by addressing the underlying causes of violence.[i]


The ARC project draws heavily on the Our Watch – Change the Story framework, which makes clear that addressing gender inequality is a core aspect of preventing violence against women and their children. Our Watch identifies four main gendered drivers of violence, which are:


  • The condoning of violence against women
  • Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence
  • Stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
  • Disrespect towards women and male peer relations that emphasise aggression


The core work of the ARC project is to address these underlying causes of violence and promote more Accountable, Respectful and Connected (ARC) Gender Relations in our local communities. ARC uses an intersectional feminist perspective, to acknowledge and disrupt intersecting systems of power that enable prejudice, discrimination and inequality. These systems include racism, sexism, economic disadvantage, homophobia, ableism, transphobia and ageism. We will do this by providing programs that:


  • Support healthy gender relations and build safer communities
  • Challenge rigid gender stereotypes and roles
  • Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relations between people of all genders
  • Challenge cultural norms that enable violence-supporting masculinities
  • Promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life


The ARC project uses a gender transformative approach, which “seeks to reshape gender relations to be more gender equitable”.[ii] Within this framework, gender is understood as socially constructed patterns of behaviour rather than ‘natural’ characteristics that are biologically driven and ‘set in stone’. Given this, one of the main aims of the ARC project is to work with men and encourage them to reflect on how they have been socialised to ‘be a man’.


According to Dworkin et al, “research finds that men who adhere to dominant ideals of masculinity experience worse mental health outcomes, are more controlling of their sexual partners, engage in more high-risk sex, use violence to demonstrate power over others and avoid healthcare clinics more than men who challenge dominant notions of masculinity”.[iii] By reframing understandings of what gender means, the ARC project engages men in positive ways with the aim of integrating more respectful behaviours and attitudes, and better equipping them to become agents of change in violence prevention.



Dworkin, S., Fleming, P., & Colvin, C. (2015). The Promises and Limitations of Gender-Transformative Health Programming with Men: Critical Reflections From the Field. Culture, Health and Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care, 1-16.

Our Watch. (2019). Change the Story: A Shared Framework for the Primary Prevention of Violence. Retrieved from https://www.ourwatch.org.au/What-We-Do/National-Primary-Prevention-Framework

(2014). Our Watch Policy Brief 1 – Key Terms, Definitions and Statistics. Our Watch.


[i] (Our Watch Policy Brief 1 – Key Terms, Definitions and Statistics, 2014, p. 4)

[ii] (Dworkin, Fleming, & Colvin, 2015, p. 1)

[iii] (Dworkin, Fleming, & Colvin, 2015, p. 3)

Who is ARC?


Hunter McBride


Hunter is proud to work at the Men and Family Centre and contribute to the important work of engaging men as change agents in violence prevention.


He believes that breaking down rigid gender stereotypes and promoting healthy and respectful expressions of masculinity are vital steps towards reducing violence against women, and making our communities safer for everyone.


Hunter has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies and Anthropology (Monash University), a Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Studies (Melbourne University) and a Diploma of Gestalt Therapy. He has a history of advocacy and community engagement promoting the safety and inclusion of marginalised individuals and groups, and is deeply committed to positive social change.


With a wide-ranging background in the community sector, diversity training, community health promotion, and the fitness industry, Hunter has worked on numerous projects addressing barriers experienced by a range of clients with complex needs. Hunter is always learning and is fascinated by the links between our physical, emotional, intellectual and relational selves. He has recently discovered the term ‘multipotentialite’ and finally feels he has a word to describe himself and also explain his eclectic work history!


Sarah Drury


Sarah specialises in Adult Education and holds a Masters in Adult Education (UTS), a Bachelor of Arts Psychology (Sydney University), and a Certificate IV in Training and Education. She has worked extensively as an advocate for social justice and social change in the Northern Rivers, Sydney and Amsterdam. Sarah teaches Certificate IV in Community Services and Diploma of Counselling, and is a trainer of Bystander intervention into gender-based violence programs.


Sarah is a facilitator of Men’s Behaviour Change, and has delivered workshops to men in prison. Sarah is passionate about working towards social change and advocating for the rights of all people. Sarah loves working creatively as a community capacity builder, caseworker, educator and facilitator in both mainstream and LGBTQIAP+ communities. Social justice principles are strongly embedded in her work, which seeks to challenge dominant power structures, and generate conditions for new social and cultural systems to thrive.


Sarah is committed to lifelong learning, that will aid her in her mission to derail destructive and intersecting systems of power such as racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, homophobia and transphobia.


Lisa McPhie


Lisa is passionate about growing things – growing people, growing relationships, growing connections with the earth, growing understanding of our bodies and selves, and growing our imaginations through books, theatre, and art: so we can find new, and reclaim lost parts of our selves.


Lisa has a background in social work and has provided therapy, and psycho-education to children, adults, families and groups both in private practice, and in the NGO and government sectors. Her work history has included extensive work in the area of child protection and sexual assault. Facilitating change to overcome and understand the effects of trauma, and working towards the safety of women and children in our community are foundational tenets of her work. She also enjoys supporting community workers through providing clinical supervision and training.


Lisa is particularly interested in breaking inter-generational cycles of violence and believes a stronger focus on fathering and working with males to promote respect and gender equality can contribute to achieving this. Lisa is passionate about working towards a society where there are many and diverse choices for positive masculinities.

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About ARC