Australian Red Cross and Justice Reinvestment SA (JRSA) are working in partnership with the Aboriginal community living in Port Adelaide and the western metropolitan area of Adelaide to plan and implement the first stage of a justice reinvestment trial.
This work builds on previous (2015) community and stakeholder consultations undertaken by SA Government and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) which identified widespread community interest in justice reinvestment, with the caveat that any pilot program would need to be Aboriginal community led and designed (see below).
Since that time, Red Cross and JRSA have secured independent and government sources of funding to establish the first stages of i) a data gathering framework to monitor JR initiatives overtime ii) a ‘community justice hub’ on site at the Tauondi Aboriginal College to provide an essential ‘place and space’ for the community to connect with local initiatives, and iii) a community engagement process to establish a community led governance framework and a Port Adelaide JR Aboriginal leadership group.
In March 2018, a representative and independent Aboriginal Leadership Group comprising 9 members – now known as Tiraapendi Wodli (meaning to protect the home in Kaurna language) – came together as a group for the first time to start a visioning and planning process to identify priority issues and opportunities for improving the safety, health and lives of Aboriginal families and their children and young people, using a justice reinvestment approach.
In December 2018, Tiraapendi Wodli released a ‘Priority Action Plan 2019-21’ which sets out the overarching priorities, projects and key indicators identified through a series of local discussions with Aboriginal community members and local stakeholders with a commitment to building the strengths of local Aboriginal families.
The Action Plan 2019-21 focuses on 4 key target populations including primary school aged children, young people, men and families accessing services. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy will be established with the support of an independent research body to underpin implementation of all priorities and key projects described in the Plan.
- Tiraapendi Wodli can be found on Facebook
- Justice Reinvestment SA (JRSA) – website available soon
Further Background to Justice Reinvestment in Port Adelaide
In 2015, the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department engaged Pricewaterhouse Coopers to undertake a series of consultations with members of the Port Adelaide community and stakeholders (service providers, government, non-government organisations and others) on their receptivity to implementing a justice reinvestment (JR) project locally. Five workshops were conducted as part of this consultation process: the first three dedicated to canvassing the concepts of JR, what capacities might be needed to implement various JR programmes within the community and what stakeholders might be involved; the final two sought participant feedback and input on potential models of JR implementation in Port Adelaide. The consultation process identified widespread community interest in JR.
PwC’s report of the consultation process undertaken in Port Adelaide can be accessed here via the South Australian Attorney General’s website.
Port Adelaide Site Updates March – June 2019
- The project has been successful in securing 2 year funding (2019-21) from the SA State Government to develop the Port Adelaide project in partnership with Tiraapendi Wodli.
Red Cross, Tiraapendi Wodli and Justice Reinvestment SA are currently in discussion about the detail of the agreed outcomes. However we understand that the Government will be seeking outcomes to support the new SA Govt Child and Family Support system and to build community capacity to reduce Aboriginal family violence and over-representation in youth justice and child protection systems.
- The project has also been successful in securing small grant funds through the Society of Women Leaders and the Wyatt Benevolent Trust. These funds will contribute to Tiraapendi Wodli priority areas including supporting families to improve their children’s participation at school; to support parents to be involved in establishing and reviewing their children’s individual learning plan; and a range of health, wellbeing and community leadership priorities for men and women.
- In June, Red Cross and Tiraapendi Wodli hosted a visit with the Collier Charitable Fund Board Chairperson and Executive Officer to introduce Collier to the work being undertaken in Port Adelaide and an example of community-led justice reinvestment in a metropolitan environment. Collier has been an ongoing supporter of Red Cross’ work with Aboriginal communities and stakeholders in the justice system in Ceduna and Far West. Collier was very interested in the work and keen to maintain connection with outcomes achieved with families as the program develops.
- Red Cross and JRSA have established a short-term evaluation agreement with UniSA (through lead investigators Prof Leonie Segal (Health Economics) and Assoc Prof Deidre Tedmanson (Social Work and Social Policy) to consider the success factors and early impact of the work in Port Adelaide. A report of these findings will be provided by early August.
- Approximately 100 presentations are received through the Tiraapendi Wodli Hub each month to attend community planning meetings, access services and supports, attend education sessions and seek Court support. An increasing number of agencies are connecting with the Hub to improve their contact with Aboriginal families. Red Cross and Tiraapendi Wodli are now exploring options to secure a larger Hub space in a more central Port Adelaide location (closer to other community-based services and supports) which will also enable the provision of a more flexible and comprehensive program of support and services.
- Tiraapendi Wodli has a very active Facebook page and will be launching a website in the next few weeks to increase the Aboriginal leadership profile.