Since 2020, Yuwaya Ngarrali has made significant progress and impact in relation to its community-led model of diversion from the criminal justice system. The Two River Pathway to Change model was developed, tested, documented and refined during this period, informed by international evidence and local priorities that gives simultaneous attention and strategies at the systemic, community and individual level to effect change. As a result we have seen the KPI of less than 10% of Aboriginal children & young people appearing in the Children’s Court exceeded, with the most recent available data indicating it to be 7.8% (a figure we will be able to track and measure more precisely in the future with our own linked dataset).

We have documented DEG providing direct assistance to 144 Aboriginal community members around criminal justice-related matters, including 17 young people provided intensive support by the Youth Team; 14 young people and 19 adults assisted by the Community Troubleshooter Team; and 94 clients of the Dealing with Fines Team.

The Two River Pathway to Change model has enabled an effective community-led approach customised to the Walgett context that gives necessary simultaneous attention and strategies at the systemic, community and individual level to effect change.  

The work to date provides evidence of the effectiveness of an ACCO-led model of diversion. We have also learnt that there are many more young people in Walgett needing intensive and holistic support and that this is not a model that DEG can deliver solely at the scale and depth that is required, but is ideally placed to build based on its expertise and relationships with other ACCOs and relevant agencies in Walgett due to the Two River Pathway to Change model and the trust from young people, their families and community.  

In 2022-23, all that we have learned has underpinned the development of a new Walgett Youth Wellbeing Service and Accommodation which provides an innovative model of collaboration between DEG, Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT that will respond to one of the nation’s most pressing human rights and policy challenges. 

launch of Action Plan for Children and Young People Gray Park June 2018
launch of Action Plan for Children and Young People Gray Park June 2018

In June 2018, after extensive follow up talks building on the momentum from the Youth Justice Forum held in March 2018, the Yuwaya Ngarrali partnership between DEG and UNSW

launched the Walgett Action Plan for Children and Young People. It focuses on taking immediate steps to make Walgett a better place for our children and young people to grow up, live and thrive in, as we created the foundations for long term change. "Our vision is that Aboriginal children and young people in Walgett can learn, work, be safe, supported and thrive within a robust sense of belonging to their families, community, culture and country." At the launch we sought commitment from community and service providers and we set goals for the next three years of our work in the Yuwaya Ngarrali partnership. See the Action Plan here.