Developing successful diversionary schemes for youth from remote Aboriginal communities


This report explores the experiences and aspirations of youth in Wadeye, a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory which has become synonymous with the deviant behaviours of its young people. The research was undertaken over a three year period, and builds upon a previous ten year period of community based research. As such it forms a unique longitudinal study of young people during a period of extreme change in their lives. The research applied a mixed methods approach, utilising ethnography, interviews and the application of a community wide survey. Although young community based people were the primary focus of the study, the research also included the wider community perspectives, service providers and a sample of imprisoned community members. While this research emphasises the complexity of gang cultures and gang dynamics in this community, the report argues that effective service delivery and the development of appropriate diversion activities for young people must recognise the diversity and complexity of the youth experience in the community and recognise and develop their current strengths. More partnership approaches to further research and program evaluation are encouraged, as the inclusion of young people in the research processwill benefit them and the the future of community.

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