On 16 June, the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse (IJC) brought together 175 policy makers, program designers, practitioners, researchers, and community organisations to lead a forum discussion around overrepresentation and Closing the Gap justice targets.
The forum provided practitioners in the Indigenous justice field with quality, accessible information about ‘what works’ to try and reduce overrepresentation and improve community safety. Attendees discussed innovative initiatives which will help shape our response to Closing the Gap targets.
The forum was facilitated by Edwina Crawford, Director, Aboriginal Services Unit, Department of Communities and Justice. Presenters included Jessica Foote (Branch Manager, Closing the Gap, National Indigenous Australians Agency) and Aurora Milroy (Secretariat for the Coalition of Peaks) on the National Agreement on Closing the Gap justice targets. Leanne Liddle (Director of the Aboriginal Justice Unit) and Warren Jackson (Deputy Director, Aboriginal Justice Unit Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Northern Territory) on Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Draft Agreement. Gina Hill (Acting Director Aboriginal Justice Transformation Unit Department of Justice Western Australia) on Justice Reform: Reducing Avoidable Remand. John Bell (Director, Koori Justice Unit Aboriginal Justice Department of Justice and Community Safety) on Reducing Aboriginal over-representation in the justice system and Jidah Clark (Team Leader, Koori Youth Justice Taskforce, Koori Advisory & engagement Team) on The Our Youth Our Way Report. Louise Lynch (Principal Manager, Aboriginal Strategy and Policy Unit Corrective Services NSW) on Aboriginal Women’s Commonwealth funded programs. Superintendent Anaru Pewhairangi (Director: Maori, Maori Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES), New Zealand Police) on Te Pae Oranga: Iwi Community Panels.
The forum provided a platform for Indigenous voices to be embedded into literature and research, so that policymakers, educator’s and health practitioners can learn to create environments that better suit the needs of our Indigenous people.