Status in progress
2. Fewer Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system
2.4 Fewer Aboriginal people return to the criminal justice system
2.4.2 Drivers of people’s offending are addressed whilst in contact with the justice system
In progress
Justice Health, Department of Justice and Community Safety
Corrections Victoria, Department of Justice and Community Safety

Where we are up to

In 2020, Naalamba Ganbu and Nerrlinggu Yilam commenced development of an operating model for the Aboriginal Healing Unit in collaboration with the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Collaborative Working Group subcommittee.

The 2021-22 State Budget to included funding to establish the Healing Unit at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.  This included asset funding to support infrastructure updates at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.

The funding supports two positions, currently being recruited, to continue this development work with the subcommittee and manage project activities including procurement of an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) to operate the Unit, as well as working with the Community Safety Building Authority (CSBA) to determine the infrastructure works required.

The 2021-22 State Budget included funding to continue the Aboriginal Continuity of Care program for three years.  A procurement process is currently underway to continue the program.

Cultural safety training was delivered under the ASEWP across two streams:

  1. Cultural awareness training delivered by VACCHO completed in 2018 for Justice Health and contracted health service providers
  2. Aboriginal mental health assessment and treatment training for clinicians, delivered by Tracy Westerman, conducted in September 2019.

As at June 2021, training under the ASEWP has been completed. It is expected that health service providers will take on responsibility for contracting services to deliver cultural safety training to their staff in future.


This project will consider culturally appropriate, holistic health care models in prisons including:

  • extending the Continuity of Health Care Pilot and the Continuity of Care strategy to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people in custody and post-release
  • cultural safety training for health service providers in the adult and youth justice systems
  • trauma and grief informed health services in prisons
  • an 'Aboriginal Healing Unit'.