Working Together Against Violent Extremism (WTAVE) is an initiative of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.
WTAVE was launched to respond to rising concerns about young Australians being drawn into violent extremist movements and heading overseas to support groups like Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, concerns about home-grown terror attacks, the growth of right-wing extremism and a breakdown in trust within Australian communities. WTAVE is also concerned about the underlying social issues driving extremism leading to violence.
WTAVE brings together a range of international and domestic experts including psychologists, criminologists and social workers to provide support to government, non-government organisations and institutions, and where possible, community groups. It aims to work in partnership to respond to the challenges of politically motivated anti-social and violent behaviour and politically motivated acts of violence. Key partners include Hedayah in the UAE and a range of civil society organisations.
WTAVE operates as a central repository of research and a clearinghouse for resources in the field of CVE through the collation of information on past and current research across Australia and overseas on related studies. The Hub interprets and disseminates information for use by government and non-government organisations.
On the WTAVE website, these sources include:
- CVE resources
- International organisations
- Key reference documents
- Evidence summaries and policy briefings
Where possible, WTAVE uses the concept and language of intervention, which is used in criminology and psychology best practice. Commonly used terms such as radicalisation, de-radicalisation and CT (counter-terrorism) carry considerable baggage and where they do appear on this website, they have been utilised in the context, and for the purpose, of encouraging open and transparent discussions in this space.
WTAVE’s direction is grounded on the notion that our work and research to address politically motivated anti-social and violent behaviour must be embedded within activities that engage and support communities, and that their partnership is essential to the success of the longer-term goals of community safety and harmony.
WTAVE does this by:
- Making available to the wider public existing knowledge about politically motivated anti-social and violent behaviour and how to counter it.
- Generating original empirical research about politically motivated anti-social and violent behaviour and about the interventions aimed at countering it.
- Providing training and support to develop interventions and support programs to prevent and counter politically motivated anti-social and violent behaviour.
- Engaging communities and local service provider organisations to develop and promote grass-root strategies with support of evidence-based research.
WTAVE’s core functions include four activities:
- To identify evolving international best practice, and help to translate this to the Australian context in a timely and effective fashion.
- To provide a stable repository of dynamic knowledge and expertise and related initiatives to help retain institutional memory within government, policing and where possible, community organisations.
- To generate, collate and interpret evidence-based research that can be applied within a range of policing, government and community training and work.
- To provide training and support for groups and service providers to develop and sensitively undertake appropriate, sustainable interventions for individuals and families that help safeguard the well-being of individuals, communities and society.
- To deliver media training to stakeholders from communities affected by politically motivated anti-social and violent behaviour in how to effectively convey messages via the media.
- To facilitate independent evaluations of intervention and support programs.
- To engage with media and communities.