Yuwaya Ngarrali - the partnership between DEG and the UNSW, recruited three members of a new Youth Team in 2020. We worked together - led by Peta MacGillivray, to build a holistic, community-led model
to divert young people from the criminal justice system in Walgett.
This Youth Diversion Demonstration Model, which was named ‘Bulaarr Bagay Warruwi Burranba-li-gu’ by the Dharriwaa Elders Council, aims to create new, positive opportunities and life streams for current and future generations of Aboriginal children and young people in Walgett.
The Youth Diversion Demonstration Model that we have developed and refined through our collaboration process is, like all of Yuwaya Ngarra-li’s work, underpinned and driven by our core principles and built on the integration of community knowledge and priorities, identified needs, existing evidence, and reflection and lessons from our years of collaboration. It is also systems-focused, with its outcomes and impact designed to be sustained over the long-term.
It has three main strategies:
- Work directly with children and young people
- Build and support community leadership and family engagement
- Influence and ensure accountability of agencies and services
The establishment of the Youth Justice Working Group - later changed to Holistic Working Group (HWG), from 2019, supports the part of the model that seeks to influence services and agencies. This group has been meeting monthly ever since. Police and the NSW Government have since established other groups that include members of this HWG however they do not interact with the HWG which is community-led despite DEG's requests of Dept Regional NSW and NSW Police.
In 2022 the research and evaluation arm of our Yuwaya Ngarrali team produced a report so that we could see from government data if our program was achieving outcomes. The result is the Yuwaya Ngarra-li Research Report: "Has criminal justice contact for young people in Walgett changed over time? Analysis of diversions, charges, court and custody outcomes 2016-2021"..