Status complete
2. Fewer Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system
2.3 Fewer Aboriginal people progress through the criminal justice system
2.3.1 More people are diverted from further contact with the criminal justice system
Koori Justice Unit, Department of Justice and Community Safety

Where we are up to 

The following 4 community-based intensive diversion programs for Aboriginal people have been funded under the fourth phase of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA4):

  1. Bramung Jaarn, delivered by Dardi Munwurro, which seeks to engage and empower young Aboriginal men aged 10 to 18 years to heal and build resilience, with the aim of diverting them from the criminal justice system.
  2. Cultural mentoring programs, delivered by the Aboriginal Wellness Foundation (formerly Wayapa Wuurrk), which aims to engage Aboriginal young people across a range of age groups through cultural and therapeutic activities that strengthen connection to culture and other protective factors.
  3. Dungulayin Mileka Massive Murray Paddle, auspiced through the Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Associated Limited (VACSAL), which extends on the existing event by offering Aboriginal young people the opportunity to engage in coaching, leadership, and relationship-building activities.
  4. An Aboriginal men’s diversion program in Mildura delivered by Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS).

The Minister for Youth Justice announced funding totalling $500k to support additional community-based diversion projects. A statewide expression of interest process was conducted to identify one regional and one metropolitan based project, which would receive funding of $250k each in 2022-23. An Aboriginal-led assessment panel selected projects in:

  • Doveton (auspiced by the City of Casey): this program will support gender and age specific activities before and after school 4 days a week. Activities will focus on health and wellbeing, yarning circles to support in depth conversations, sport, art, dance and pro-social recreational activities.
  • Geelong (Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative): this program will provide case management for Aboriginal people in contact with the justice system, who are unemployed and/or disengaged from education. Participants will be supported to undertake a Certificate IV in Land Management and Conservation through caring for Country at Wurdi Youang.


Through Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja, the fourth phase of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA4), the Victorian Government and the Aboriginal community are committed to improving justice outcomes and reducing negative contact with the justice system. Community-Based, Intensive Diversion Programs were one of the funded initiatives announced under AJA4. Community-Based, Intensive Diversion Programs will target Aboriginal children and young people who have had, or are vulnerable to, involvement with the criminal justice system to address factors contributing to offending.