A community forum was held with the West Metro Aboriginal community on 23 June 2022 focusing on issues relating to cultural safety and cultural strengthening, transitioning in and out of custody and family services, child protection and out of home care. The day was centred on deep listening by Secretaries and other senior officials from the Department of Justice and Community Safety (External link), the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (External link), the Department of Health (External link) and the Department of Education and Training (External link). The forum was well attended by both community and sector representatives, including Elders and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

The Community shared the profound personal costs that flow from a lack of resources and culturally safe supports and services. Secretaries committed to doing better and the first step towards this has been the development of the Joint Secretaries’ Statement, in consultation with the West Metro Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, to outline commitments across departments to address the issues heard on the day. The statement sets out twelve actions with an overall focus on supporting community-driven solutions and ways of working, and a commitment to establish more sustainable and effective longer-term arrangements, in partnership with the community.

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