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Countering violent extremism

The Australian Government is committed to preventing violent extremism—that is, the use or support of violence to achieve ideological, religious or political goals.

Countering violent extremism is a shared effort between all Australian governments. The objective of the countering violent extremism programme is to combat the threat posed by home-grown terrorism and to discourage Australians from travelling overseas to participate in conflicts. The Attorney-General's Department coordinates this comprehensive national approach.

Australian governments and communities work together to build resistance to all forms of violent extremism, whether politically, religiously or racially motivated. Every day, federal, state and territory government agencies are engaging with communities and forming vital partnerships.

The Australian Government's approach comprises four complementary streams of activity. Work across these four tiers is underway, and includes:

Building strength in diversity and social participation

  • The best way to counter violent extremism is to prevent radicalisation emerging as an issue by addressing the societal drivers that can led to disengagement and isolation.
  • The government funds settlement and multicultural community initiatives, and other social policy programmes to enhance Australia's social cohesion by supporting community harmony, migrant integration and strengthening economic participation.
  • The Living Safe Together website provides information and resources to help the public understand, identify and address radicalisation to violent extremism.

Targeted work with vulnerable communities and institutions

  • Support for communities to help them identify and prevent people from moving down the path of radicalisation to violence.
  • Development of community information resources and training packages, including tailored packages for educators.
  • Work with state and territory governments to develop and implement programmes to rehabilitate people imprisoned for terrorism related offences, as well as prevent the radicalisation of other prisoners.

Addressing terrorist propaganda online

  • Addressing online radicalisation and challenging terrorist propaganda by limiting its appeal, reducing access to extremist material online and empowering community voices to combat extremist narratives.

Diversion and deradicalisation

  • The delivery of early intervention programmes to help people move away from violent ideologies and reconnect with their communities.
  • Development of a Directory of CVE Intervention Services for government agencies to easily connect people in need with community-based organisations. 
  • The Living Safe Together Grants Programme is assisting community-based organisations to build their capacity to deliver services and apply to be included on the directory.

Supporting activities

  • International engagement for collaboration and information sharing on best practice approaches to this common challenge.
  • Engagement with academia to leverage knowledge and expertise.

For more information on how communities and governments are working together to counter violent extremism, visit the Living Safe Together website.