This Strategy has been developed as a direct response to what needs to change in the existing youth justice system.

The following section sets out what Aboriginal children and young people see as the key issues that need attention and focus.

The following are direct quotes from Aboriginal children and young people through the Data Safari Project, undertaken as part of the Strategy’s development.

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Source: Data Safari Outcomes Framework and Final Report, 2021, ThinkPlace, prepared for the Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victorian State Government.

I want to be supported at school.

  • “If I had had a program like Pavilion - the same surrounding and that, I would have finished school this year.”

I want stability in my housing

  • "Before the system I was under DHS, in resi care. I was meant to be there for a weekend and ended up being there for 7 months."

I want to be with people who will support and guide me

  • "I wouldn't be going too good now without them [family and BWAYS support]. They pull me up and keep you on the path."
  • "I wanted to be with family...when I first got there I knew I had to get out of there."

I want access to reliable legal support when I need it most

  • "Legal Aid are really good. They're always there and I know they'll show
  • up...Other services can be pretty useless and really slow."

 

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Source: Data Safari Project

I need a worker who can understand me and will stick with me

  • "My old worker - he'd just listen. It was mad, He was like a brother boy."
  • "I'd want more workers that understand what it's like to be Aboriginal, how to help us go through the journey, and know what's going on at home."

I want to be connected to my culture and know where I am from

  • "I want to return to Country because then I know who I am and the sense of realising that I'm not alone now...I'll be connected."
  • "I want to find out a lot more about where we're from - I want to know my relations."

I want parts of the system to talk to each other, so I don't have to repeat my story

  • "If you're not going to work with me I'm done repeating myself to you mob. I know what I want so I'm gonna do that - At BWAYS [I] have only had 2 support workers so I didn't need to repeat myself."

I want a broader range of options/jobs in the community

  • "We need a broader range of job options out here."

 

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I want society to value us

  • "I would say, get a black prime minister."
  • "Get more programs happening."
  • "Camps - a chance to get-away. Remove age-limits so you can all mingle."

I want to feel safe

  • "Yeah remand definitely impacted on my mental health. I didn't feel safe. You don't have any freedom. Wasn't even able to have a ciggie."

I want to have positive role models and peers in my life

  • "It's really hard to get out - the kids you meet, you're doing it with them, and then you get out and are hanging with the same people and getting in more trouble."

I need trust and flexibility to help me grow

  • "Here is more chilled. Have that trust and flexibility."

 

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I want to be loved

  • "Family - they love and support me. I've always got a roof over my head."
  • "My mum isn't like most mums. She's always the one bringing me home. Even when I was in care and in the system."

I want to be seen as a child with the potential to flourish and grow

  • "Having this apprenticeship - it gives me something to do. Keeps me busy. Gives me the money I need."

I want the option of Koori Court

  • "All Indigenous kids should know about Koori Court."

I want to be seen for who I am and not a stereotype

  • "I'd change the way they [police and school] profile people."
  • "It's been pretty shit because of the discrimination."